CLARK FREEPORT– Department of Tourism Region III Director Ronnie Tiotuico revealed today that the DOT is spearheading a new hot air balloon festival dubbed as “The Philippine International Friendship Balloon Festival 2014”, set on April 10-13 here.
In a planning session attended by tourism stakeholders, Tiotuico launched the hot air balloon festival as an answer to the public’s clamor for one of biggest aviation sports event in the Philippines.
DOT is the pioneer organizer of the ballooning event 18 years ago (1994) before it was transferred to another group.
Tiotuico said that the 2014 festival is set to feature more activities not only limited to aviation. Final line-up of activities will be announced soon.
“Ayaw nating masira ang tradition..ang legacy” said Tiotuico. He even recalled that there were two instances in the past in which the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival (PIHBF) did not push through. But still the DOT did not tethered flying and still pushed for a smaller scale event in Bayanihan Park to continue the legacy.
Last November 2013, Clark Development Corporation, upon consultation with Capt. Joy Roa decided to cancel the PIHBF that was set supposedly on February 2014.
With the cancellation of the PIHBF, DOT said that “it’s official we (DOT) are taking the lead”, to create an event for tourists and hot air balloon enthusiasts.
With the theme “It’s more than just hot air. It’s a celebration of life in times of adversity”, proceeds will go to the rehabilitation of the Eastern Visayas region affected by the Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and various charity missions.
The event is supported by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., and will be organized by Philippine Exhibits and Themeparks Corporation (PETCO).
Tourism stakeholders and organizations expressed their support for the project.
The Philippine International Friendship Balloon Festival 2014 is expected to attract thousands of tourists and to generate millions of revenues for the local community.
Hot Air Balloon Festival 2014 Launched by DOT,