This is a post by THH Jon.
I’ve always wondered how birds felt like when they are flying. Do they get dizzy the way most people do when they are up in the air? Or do they just live the moment?
For Louie and I, it was more of the former when we went paragliding for the first time. Louie has always fancied trying sky diving but since it is quite expensive, she looked for alternatives to satisfy her thirst for adrenaline. She stumbled upon Paragliding Philippines online who offers tandem paragliding (tandem because you need a license to fly solo).
Louie has been trying to make arrangements with the pilot since July but since it was the rainy season, we had to postpone the trip.
There are 2 venues to choose from, one in San Mateo, Rizal and one in Carmona, Cavite where Louie and I did our flight. The venue depends on the season. The wind speed has to be right in order for you to fly safely. Of course when it comes to such activity, safety is not something you want to compromise.
Here is the schedule for the fly sites:
Carmona, Cavite — end of October until end of May
San Mateo/Rizal, Eastside of Manila — June until October
Be aware that flights might have to be cancelled any time by short notice
I didn’t have a clue how to get to Carmona but fortunately, the pilot offered us a lift since he resides near our town. We agreed to meet up at Kalayaan C5. The pilot will require you to pay the toll fee which is around PHP 300. A small amount compared to the hassle of commuting to an unknown location.
The fly site itself is owned privately that’s why there are security guards in the area to prevent squatters from settling in. The jump off site is a 10 minute uphill drive (20-30 minutes by foot).
After additional safety checks and instructions, it was time to fly! Louie wanted to go first. She’s been looking forward to this for many months now so I gladly yielded (not that I’m nervous or anything (–,)). I could tell she was a little scared as I captured her on video but as soon as they took off she started screaming with joy.
Flight time normally lasts for 20-30 minutes depending on how strong your stomach is. It might seem a short time but trust me once you are up in the air, you won’t even notice time passing by.
Soon it was my turn. I felt more excited than scared. One thing that I liked about my flight was that the pilot did not warn me that we were going to take off. We just started running and that was it, we were up in the air. The first ten minutes of my flight was gruesome. Maybe my body was still adjusting to the new environment. I could almost feel the fluids in my ear rushing making me nauseous at the same time.
I could tell that our altitude was quite high as the hut that we stayed at became very little. The pilot then warned me that we were going to do some stunts. First hard left, then hard right and then a 360 turn. All I could do was scream my lungs out. We did the stunt twice! He opted for a third time but I was like no thank you haha!
To my surprise, he then asked me to fly the paraglider. Even though it was something that I’ve never done before, I didn’t feel a tad bit nervous. Knowing that the pilot was just behind me gave me confidence to pilot the paraglider. It was quite easy actually. Pull the left brake to go left, pull the right one to go right. It felt like flying a giant kite but the difference is you are attached to it haha!
We then started to descend because the wind was getting stronger and stronger. Strong winds means that the paraglider will be harder to control.
We relaxed a little bit in a makeshift hut and drank fresh coconut juice after our flight. I have to say, our aerial adventure is something that’ll stay with me for a long time.
You can watch the video of our aerial adventure below!
RATES in PHP (season 2015/2016)
Contact them at http://uklei06.wix.com/paragliding
1. Individual Booking:
PHP 2,400 (weekdays), PHP 3,400 (weekends/ public Holidays) per pax
2. Booking for 2:
PHP 2,200 (weekdays) PHP 3,200 (weekends/ public Holidays) per pax
3. Booking for 3 or more:
PHP 2,000 (weekdays) PHP 3,000 (weekends/ public Holidays) per pax
GoPro photos and videos are available for an additional PHP 500 per person. Free of charge if you have your own camera.