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You can tell these licensed paragliders are really passionate about flying when they seem to enjoy it more than you do. Say hi to my awesome tandem flyer, Armand Dard, in photo. He spun me around mid air and took me up really high for what seemed to be a really long time (I think it was 15 minutes or longer), and it was a lot of fun!
We booked a tandem flight via the contact number provided on the Philippine Paragliding and Hang Gliding Association Facebook page (PPHA). They normally post their schedules there, or you can inquire.
Paid 3,800 each total; this includes Gopro rental (P500).
The weather seemed to cooperate at the Carmona flysite (this was last March 20, 2016), but they say the best time to go flying is towards the end of summer (May), and in the mornings.
Just a few tips to make your experience smoother than ours:
1. Be there by 8am so you're first in line. The crowd started coming in at around 9ish, so thankfully we got there early. Otherwise we would have waited long for our turn.
2. If you're renting their Gopro, to be safe, I'd suggest to bring your own sd card, card reader, and laptop so you can transfer your videos and stills.
We had multiple issues with getting copies of our videos because we didn't have an sd card to transfer the file. Nor a laptop to facilitate the transfer. One of them had to go get a laptop (of which its battery was running low) and luckily my camera had an sd card. It was quite chaotic I tell you.
3. Right after you land, ask for the file to be transferred - RIGHT AWAY. Don't let your tandem flyer go off back to attend to the next customer without getting your file copied first, else you'll lose it.
This happened to one of my friends. Her flyer went back up the hill with her file and took forever to come down. In the end, she didn't get her copy (albeit having requested for the file to be sent via email instead- they said it got corrupted... So... there goes)
3. Do not bring your valuables to the takeoff site. Leave it all in the car. Because what happens is, when you park at the landing site, they take you in a separate 4x4 car up the hill going to the takeoff point. And you can't really bring your bag with you when you fly.
The driver forgot to bring down our bag so we had to wait for him to make two trips back. Which took long. So to avoid the hassle, just bring yourself and anything you can take in your pocket.
4. Bring water. You'll need it.
5. Waze works guiding you to the meeting point. Internet is intermittent throughout the trip though so just also make sure you get directions ahead of time as back up.
Other than these hiccups, I'd say it was still an exciting experience.
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3, 2, 1. There isn't any counting. The wind just takes you with a little hop, skip and a small jump you are off and flying. Paragliding isn't an adrenaline sport, it makes you relax when you're up in the air and gliding. Your fate is determined by the winds or in this case, my pilot, Uwe, who took me 300 meters and counting above ground. This experience just makes you drink in the view of sprawling lands and of how the city is slowly developing. There are a few hills with trees to which I did not feel like crash landing on. And I didn't, because Uwe knew what he was doing. The wind is great and I wish, I wish I could learn to control the sails. My biggest fear in any of these up-in-the-air conquests, is landing. But it was a smooth one that I was able to stand right away and not embarrass myself for falling flat on my bum or on my knees.
Tandem paragliding is good for beginners and those who want to experience flying not on an airplane. If you want to fly solo (which is now what I want to do) there is a 5-day course you can take. Paragliding Philippines needs more members, so if you like it that much I suggest you go for it.
Thank you, JP G for inviting your uts Kirby G and your kapatid (me!) to go with you on this buwis-buhay escapade. If not for you, I wouldn't have known that paragliding existed here. Now all I want to do is study and jump off a building with the sail behind me like in that Hope commercial.
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Was invited by JP G to celebrate his bday and undergo his true friend test, which we passed with flying colors (as you can see). Yina M and I happily went along with Jp's plan to spend his birthday up in the sky! Good call
The meeting point was about 45mins-1hr drive away from Manila, you can check for directions here: (uklei06.wix.com) it was a relatively short drive and we got to the meeting area early, which was actually the land site (landing zone), and waited a couple of minutes for Uwe and Albert to arrive. From there we hopped into their 4x4 and drove up a hill overlooking the land site, maybe about a 5 min drive.
Once on top they have a small hut where you can relax and chat, the wind was really cool and relaxing. The caretakers around the area also sell drinks to the "gliders". After a short briefing and what to do's and what not to do's (took about 2mins), we were ready to fly!! If you are a small group they usually just do it one by one, but the most they were able to fly were around 3-4 at a time, I guess depending on the availability of the pilots. Today though we had the skies all to ourselves.
The hardest part honestly was taking off and landing, but pretty much the pilot controls everything for you. They strap you into a harness and attach you the pilot, Paragliding Philippines prioritizes safety above all else, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the view once you are up in the sky.
The only discomfort I felt would probably be due to the harness, the sudden up-wind (pull of air) can hurt the family jewels , but it was all good nothing too drastic. Once up the air though it was pretty relaxing, I was just chatting with Uwe, our German pilot who is living the dream here in the PH.
If you want to experience something new and get a bit of adrenaline going, definitely recommending this one, just go to Uwe's page and you can book directly from there. Fly high Looloo-ers
P.S. If you dream of flying solo, Paragliding PH offers a 1 week course to certify you as a pilot.
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What an awesome way to spend my birthday - by letting everything go and getting HIGH. the legit way that is. Hahaha.
Been wanting to try this for ages and who knew you could do this in the Philippines. For those looking for an adrenaline rush and for those who secretly want to be superman even if for just a few minutes, this adventure is for you.
First learned of this via Ensogo but sadly their deal was already done. Luckily, it led me to their website and I got to liaise with Uwe, a paraglider pilot. Soon enough I booked the flight on my birthday and dragged the pseudo siblings Kirby G and Yina M (thanks for being hatakable hahaha).
Apparently the adventure sport has been in the country for some time but was low key. There are 2 spots to do it - Carmona, Cavite (where we did it) and San Mateo, Rizal (but winds there are erratic and you can do it only a few times a year). Was kind of scared of our flight that day because of the upcoming typhoon - the clouds were getting dark and it started to drizzle a bit. But the heavens were kind to me since it was my birthday and when we got there, the weather was perfect (Albert and Uwe, the team behind our jump, said the day before was bad for flying and I was lucky because the weather was awesome. Swertihan din Yung conditions e).
Once you meet at the landing site, they'll fetch you with their 4x4 then bring you up a mount (the fly site). Then they'll do a quick briefing at the "athlete's lounge" and hook you up to the paraglider. Then you'll wait for the wind the boom, you're off. The scary moment is just the take off because so many things come to play - the wind, the endorphins, the sudden pull of the lift, and the fleeting ground. But once you're up there, it's awesome! And Uwe was an awesome and accommodating pilot (btw, he's a lawyer by profession in Germany and this is just his hobby... What am I doing with my life haha). Plus when you're up there, the view is just perfect. Plus no aircon or electric fan will beat the heat like the winds way up there. Don't forget the sunblock though because I got sun kissed even if it was just a short flight. I wanted to become a pilot when I was a kid and I think this is the closest I'll get to it. Hahaha.
It's an exhilarating adventure and I hope it gets more traction so that more and more people will know about it. It was an awesome and breathtaking way to spend my birthday. Thanks to the sibs and the paragliders - Uwe and Albert
If you're interested to do it, check out their website for the details and the prices -- http://www.uklei06.wix.com/paragliding.
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