A weekend break (from household chores) 😀 – is an appropriate description for my blog today, recounting our field trip experiences at Clark Field to watch the 18th Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was a fun and cheap weekend trip worth remembering.
We left our house at ten in the morning of the 21st, dropped-by the pharmacy to buy some anti-dizziness tablets, picked-up a couple of grocery items and sandwiches for lunch while on the bus. I also bought a 16G Micro SD for our one and only COOLPIX pocket-sized camera we had – our poor 5-year old, hard-working gadget that already needs replacement. LOL.
I was not familiar with the place that I knew I had to ask someone for directions. We finally reached 950 Condotel in Pampanga, where we would be staying for the next 4 days. We were greeted by polite and courteous hotel staff, and we were ushered to our room (an Executive Twin Suite booked online via www.asiarooms.com) which, seemed to me, was noise-proofed, safe, and very spacious. The bathroom, (I felt the need to inspect it first and foremost) – good enough! – it was clean, smells freshly cleaned; the beds were comfy, the A/C worked great. The TV’s cable program channels seemed non-stop, which Dada enjoyed, as we do not have a TV set at home. The hotel’s free WI-FI was a plus, though, the speed was not as fast as I expected. I am not promoting the hotel as there might be some better hotels in the area, though, I feel I had to give them credit for the good service and nice accommodation.
Anyway, Nice and Dada did not mind “hibernating” the whole day (in our room) because it was raining outside – on “the day” (22nd) when we were supposed to be out watching the events at Clark Field. We had an early breakfast at the hotel’s roof deck, a restaurant/bar they called TUGS – a surprisingly quiet and cozy place to be, to read the morning papers with my coffee. They served decent food choices for breakfast and dinner on our first night. The hotel is located near public utility terminals, fast food areas, fruit stands, the SM & Marquee shopping malls. The convenience store at the ground floor area was really that – “convenient” – as we did not have to go outside the building for our snacks and drinks.
“But I didn’t come here to lock myself up in this room for another day”, so I thought. I was really looking forward to a clear, blue, bright, not so hot sunny sky on the 23rd, Saturday. At the same time, I was also anticipating for a cold and breezy early dawn trek to the Clark Field for the first set of events – the Hot Air Balloons were scheduled to fly at 6:30 in the morning. The hotel arranged for a cab to pick us up early in the morning, but unfortunately, the driver did not show up. To find other means to bring us to the venue was not that hard, though, as finally settled for a PUJ (Public Utility Jeep) at the nearest PUJ Bayanihan Terminal to bring us nearer to the field. We walked from where we were dropped-off, which, seemed to me, was like a 45 minute trail, my legs were already starting to feel the tension after walking the same path twice, as I have to meet Iris back at the hotel, also to bring her to where the event was being held (she traveled from home to Pampanga, on her own, two days later). Summing up, it was actually a good early morning walk for me, despite.
I missed most of the events, actually – with my mind being so preoccupied with other things, such as – I was wary about leaving Nice and Dada in the field but because I had to meet Iris when she arrives in town, I didn’t have much choice; had to go back to the hotel, request that our breakfast be served as soon as Iris arrives there; worried about Iris being on the road travelling alone; I was so concerned about security lapses (the paranoia in me, as usual) because of too much people around; I had to monitor the younger kids’ whereabouts/updates via text messages and calls; I had to update le’ husband overseas to keep him posted with everything about the kids; what’s for lunch; what’s for dinner; and my hips started to give up on me due to long hours of walking and standing but was ignoring it. I admit, I was a mess back there – but I didn’t let it show. Two things are worth mentioning, though, as I consider these “miracles” – my foot didn’t hurt a bit and the rain stopped when we asked for it – an extreme manifestation of Mark 11:24.
Oh well, if for any consolation, my kids really had great fun. I saw how their eyes gleamed and shined as they account and recount each event (for me) in awe, thrill and excitement – and in Nice’s words – she “drools” like crazy while they watched the Breitling Jet Team Exhibition. They even went back to the field (on the 24th before we headed for home) to have another look. Their stamina doesn’t seem to drain, not even a drop! My goodness! I am still working on letting them write their own experiences for more detailed accounts of our adventures (in their own point of views) – so, that’s coming soon!
But for now, I just want to share how Iris nicely puts her own “thoughts” on her Facebook status last night when she wrote:
“If it’s not the place, if it’s not the date, if it’s not the experience, then it must be the people I wanted to go on this trip solo. I did travel the road alone, but I had company in the event itself, thanks to a supportive family, and a fun set of friends who happened to be there!”
“I have been wanting to see this since college, and finally.. after years of waiting, I was able to experience a “weekend of everything that flies.” I now understand how a little boy feels when he sees RC operated toys inside the mall. (O_O) a weekend of everything that flies, wonderful sight, meeting good old friends, losing a valuable, burnt skin, and a nice cozy place. Awesome experience! Praise the Lord for the good weather and all!”
“Treading on foot to see everything in the air. Sweet fleshy mangoes and other mouth-watering treats. Balloons, awesome jet show, gliders, engines, and the like. Hahh. I wish I could sum up everything in one word or even a sentence. But for now, I will let them sit in my mind for a long while. It was indeed a fly weekend”
Note: I just love how she weaves “words” when she writes about things. Looking forward to Nice’s version, too. 🙂
Yeah, I was able to “get-away” from my usual chores alright, but not without my kids for four consecutive days (geesh, a sigh of relief!). I transformed instantly from a busy house/teacher-mom into a seemingly know-it-all tour-guide, an over-protective chaperon, a proud escort, a frantic attendant, a trying-hard photographer, an over-acting-sikyu (security guard), an overzealous overseer, and a crazy usher – rolled into one – and yet, I am still their mom, acted as one – can’t help it! HAHA!
“Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24