When sir Rolly Magpayo extended an invite to try out paragliding, I didn’t hesitate since the site is near Manila. The Carmona Paragliding fly site is about an hour away without traffic. Found nearby a subdivision, the farm ground is vast and there’s a nice ridge where the launching site is located. We had to do a little hike to get to the top since the the rains the day before caused the road to be real muddy for cars to pass by except for 4WDs.
From above, we could see Mt Makiling and a race track nearby. Everything went fast when it was my turn to fly. They put on the harness and the helmet, I got a little briefing on what to do when landing. They handed me the GoPro I can borrow to document the experience and soon I was on air. So this is what it feels to fly. Personally, it feels like I’m on a very high swing being pulled by the air. Once riding the wind, it was simply soaring and I got into interesting conversation with my tandem pilot Ditoy from Saranggani. He said, depending on the wind, people can paraglide for hours to thousand meters high and even go cross country. There are so may factors affecting a flight aside from the wind. There’s the thermal heat from the ground and also the heat from the sun. The landing part was also the exciting part of the ride. It may look daunting but veteran paragliders can lightly descend on the ground, tiptoeing down like an angel quickly pausing mid flight for an effortless landing. Being new to this, I just followed the instruction to simply walk and turn left. And there we go. It was easy and fun and I would definitely do it again!
Fly for a Cause
The Carmona Paragliding is operated by AirSports Adventure Philippines. And this holiday season, from December 17, 2014 to January 16, 2015, Tandem Paragliding adventures in Carmona will benefit the Persons with Disability Educational and Assistance Program of Municipality of Carmona, Cavite. Weekday rates Php 3000/person and weekend rates Php 3500/person. Flight duration is usually 5–15 minutes depending on prevailing weather and wind conditions.
For booking, visit www.airsportsadventure.com
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.