Balloon festival kicks off

February 14, 2009

Written by Albert Lacanlale

CLARK FREEPORT—Twenty-four giant hot-air balloons from 12 countries were flown into the Philippines to

join this year’s Hot Air Balloon Festival, which kicked-off yesterday at the Air Force Ramp here.

Close to 20,000 local and foreign spectators watched as the balloons soared from the ramp, where organizers had set up booths and allowed kite-flying, paragliding, and remote-controlled plane-flying contests.

The balloons came in various sizes and shapes including a telephone booth, a coffee mug and a tiger.

Ronaldo Tiotico, the Tourism Department’s director for Central Luzon, said more than 150 enthusiasts from Switzerland, New Zealand, Finland, England, Japan, the United States and other countries were participating in the festival.

He said the event was expected to bring in P1.5 million from sales, services and gate receipts compared with P1.2 million last year, adding gate receipts were already close to the P1-million mark. -Manila Standard Today

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