Weekend With Balloons

A month  ago, I was tagged by my best friend in a travel agency’s post. The post is about their offer for the upcoming Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.Since I’ve always wanted to attend that even because of the good things I’m hearing about it, as well as the beautiful photos I’ve seen from the previous years, I asked her if she wants to go and she said yes. I started to make arrangements, buying tickets online and coordinating with my friends. The six of us (me, my best friend, her daughter, our other high school friend and her husband and kid), went to the event. We were all so excited to see the hot air balloon.

We decided to go on the last day of the event, which  is a Sunday. We left Manila at 1:30 AM, and arrived at Clark by 3 AM. We were surprised by the swarm of people at the entrance.


At the entrance

We got inside at around 5 AM. However, it wasn’t that easy to get in. The queue was slow, and there were people pushing us. There were some people who went back to go to another line. Me and my best friend got separated from our group, and we found ourselves being pushed to another  line, which is for tickets. I almost fell on the ground when someone pushed me, good thing I was able to balance myself.


Once we got inside, my best friend lined up to the portalets, while my other friend decided to buy some food. I waited for my best friend, and while waiting, I got to see the early exhibition of the paragliders. It was almost daybreak when the program started, and we got a glimpse of the balloons.

I wasn’t able to take much pictures because there were a lot of people  on the event ground, and I was too tired from standing and walking for almost 4 hours. I couldn’t even get in front to take a closer look at the balloons. After taking a few pictures, I decided to rest. Luckily, my best friend found a seat inside the snack test, so we just sat there while watching the balloons while we ate breakfast.

Sorry for the crappy pictures.


We decided to go to our next destination at 7 AM. However, if there is a traffic going inside the event early that morning, the human traffic going outside was terrible. There’s only one gate for the entrance and the exit. We weren’t able to get to the parking lot right away, and had to stand at the exit for 2 hours. The problem is, there is a bottleneck near the parking lot. There were more people going inside, and the pathway is too, and to think there’s only one entry and exit point.

We got to the parking lot by 9 AM, but we were only able to exit the lot by 11:30 because, again, a lot of cars were leaving. We were too tired to go to our next destination, so we decided to have lunch at Yu Ganne, which serves unlimited Sam Gyup Sal. I’m not a fan of Korean food, but hey, it’s unlimited meat.


After our lunch, we went to Duty Free to buy some chocolates, then we headed home.

It wasn’t really a good experience, but my eyes feasted with the sight of hot air balloons. I wished that the organizers did organize the event on the last day. There should have been a different gate for the entrance and the exit, so that there won’t be any hassle in going and out of the event.

They said that this is the last hot air balloon fiesta, but it’s not true. There will still be another next year, as per our sources, only it will be more organized (wait, what?) as this year, they only got a month to prepare. I’m not sure if the rumor  surfaced because the owner of the venue has other plans to use it.

Will  I be going to the next hot air balloon fiesta? I think I’ll pass, unless it becomes really organized. Although there was a lot of hassle that day, I did enjoy spending the whole day with my friends.


Quick Stop At Tagaytay – Josephine’s and Rowena’s

Before going home to Manila, we made a quick stop in Tagaytay. It has been years since I last went to this place, so I gave it a go. My mission here was to buy some goodies at Rowena’s, and to find an affordable honey.

We were able to find a bottle of honey along the way. If you frequent Tagaytay, you’ll usually see vendors selling fruits and other goodies along the road. I bought a bottle of honey for Php 150. It was a deal, because I also bought a bottle of honey for my Team Lead.


Then, our next stop is Rowena’s Tarts. If you want to buy “pasalubong” from Tagaytay which is not Collette’s then this is the place to go to. I was planning to buy blueberry cheesecake tarts, but I preferred the sylvanas.


Sylvanas are Php 200 each pack, and I bought two. I saw a wine with nice bottle, but I didn’t buy it. Maybe next time I’m around the place.

Next stop is Josephine’s. We didn’t eat lunch before leaving Club Balai Isabel, and only ate pizza. So, we indulged ourselves to their great tasting food.


Lechon Kawali


Kare Kare


Baked Tahong


Seafood platter

We sat right in front of the overview. It was a very relaxing combination – Good Food + Beautiful View = Relaxing afternoon.


Team Building At Club Balai Isabel

We have been stressed lately. With the last quarter of the year coming, and 2016 going to end soon, it’s almost crunch time to us. We have been too pressured lately from work, and we needed to unwind and relax, or else we’ll get burned out. As studies says, too much stress can destroy the neurons in the brain. We don’t want that to happen to us.

Good thing, September 5 is a holiday in Canada. And since we follow Canadian holidays, it’s a long weekend for us. Our team planned to have a team building for the long weekend, and luckily, one of our team mates have a membership in Club Balai Isabel, so we decided to to do our team building there.

We left Sunday afternoon in Ortigas. After a stop over at Rose and Grace’s Restaurant in Sto. Tomas, Batangas for an early dinner,  we arrived in Club Balai Isabel at around 7 PM. We stayed at Balai Laurel, one of the villas in Club Balai. Some of us rested for a while (including me), others had to go out to look for and buy some ice for our drinks.




Our Room

Our room is very spacious. It had 2 queen size beds and a small kitchen.

After everyone has settled down, we decided to roam around the place that night, and take a night swim.


After our night swim, we then began our bonding – drinking!



I wasn’t able to take much pictures that night. I was planning to wake up early to take a photo of the sunrise, but since I was too drunk the night before and slept late, I wasn’t able to do so.

We strolled the place that morning. While two of my team mates were biking around the place, we chilled at the poolside.


We went home by 1 PM. We had a quick stop at Tagaytay, but that would be for another entry.