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PARAGLIDING High in Manila in 2013!

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Paragliding in Manila started 4 years ago (with only 20 paragliders to date in Manila). It started to become popular when the Main Fly Site in Carmona, Cavite was discovered by Jonathan Thayamora, a 2nd- generation paraglider. The other paragliding flysite is in Saranggani.

Recently, Buko Raymundo - an Airsport Specialist, offered tandem Paragliding in the Carmona flysite to those who want to experience the Paragliding High in Manila :)

2013 is definitely the year of Paragliding in Manila :) Check out our Tandem Paragliding experience:

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Paragliding is like surfing where you depend on the best wind conditions to fly (in surfing, you check out the wave forecast).  

(Note: forecasts could change so you need to free-up your entire day +/- 1 day for paragliding)

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Based on wind forecast, December 28 afternoon was the best time to fly so we met at Caltex Station after the Carmona Exit, SLEX at around 3pm, and drove via Sugar Road that passes by the Manila Jockey Club.

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The Sugar Road would connect Carmona to Nuvali and it is still under construction. You will pass by rough roads going to the landing site, so it is best advisable to bring a big car or a 4x4.

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The main landing site is a flat grassland where we set up our picnic paraphernalia and played soccer with the boys.

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As part of the paragliding package, Buko set-up a mini-picnic area to enjoy some snacks and wine to celebrate a successful paragliding flight.

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It took us 20 minutes to drive from the landing site to the launch site via super rough roads that only a 4x4 car can manage. We rode with the boys in Buko's 4x4  towards the hilltop.

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Meet Buko Raymundo, also fondly called Buko Pie, who specializes on air sports like sky diving and now focused on promoting paragliding in Manila. He organized air exhibitions like the base jump in Bonifacio Global City or the wing suit exhibition in Camsur Watersports Complex.

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One of the appeals of paragliding is that the sports gear is easily portable. 

"Paragliders are unique among soaring aircraft in being easily portable. The complete equipment packs into a rucksack and can be carried easily on the pilot's back, in a car, or on public transport. In comparison with other air sports this substantially simplifies travel to a suitable takeoff spot, the selection of a landing place and return travel." (source: Paragliding on Wikipedia)

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Buko pointed to the positive indications that it is a good time to fly - birds gliding in the sky, the trees swaying gracefully with the wind, and a clear sky.

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It's a short hike to the launch site passing through the caretaker's bahay kubo.

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Jim the Australian, was scheduled first to fly and got ready for his first tandem paragliding flight.

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The boys joined us, complete with binoculars on hand, to see us in our flight.

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It was beautiful to see the paraglider's fabric wings flying in the air like a big kite with multiple lines.

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The launch is quite simple, you run off the cliff while focusing at the horizon in front.

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In tandem paragliding, the passenger sits on a harness while the pilot navigates through the wind.

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Meet Beng Pascual, the first female paragliding pilot in Manila. She is getting ready to put the harness on me for my first ever tandem paragliding. 

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I had the privilege of having Buko as my paragliding pilot. As I contemplated on flying, I was comforted by Buko's assurance that paragliding is a safe sport. He had zero accident over the past 5 years; and it is safer than riding a bike downhill. 

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Once you are geared up with your harness, the next time you know it you are  already flying!

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As you glide through the air, the advice is to always focus at the horizon so that you won't get dizzy.

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Here's a paragliding view of the main launch site in Carmona.

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You can cross your legs to be more comfortable during the flight.

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The only time I had a mild case of nerves was when Buko asked me to take control of our flight. You move from side to side as you glide through the air.

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The flight had a good view of the San Lazaro Racing Track in Carmona.

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As we prepared to land topside in the launch site, we let Beng fly first.

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Beng was flying like a bird and made it look easy and safe to paraglide.

Beng and Buko got their paragliding certification in Timbis, Nusa Dua in Bali.

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We circled the launch site and made our final attempt to land. Since I was heavy, we were able to land back “solidly” on the launch site so that Rache could also fly.

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Here's our landing photo with Joshua greeting us as we landed.

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Up next was Alex Yap, fondly called Bubbles by his closest friends.

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He is a balikbayan and was practising his paragliding skills while in Manila.

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Rache was a bit nervous and still undecided if she wanted to fly or not.

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It was such an awesome experience that I encouraged her to fly now or might miss the opportunity to fly in such a nice weather condition.

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After a few minutes, Buko and Rache are now flying through the air.

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It was an awesome sight to see paragliders soar up in the sky like birds.

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The best time to fly is before the sun sets :)

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Since most of the people have paraglided already, I got the chance to drive the 4x4 all the way down to the landing site passing by the Canyon Ranch community.

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We celebrated our first tandem paragliding flight with wine together with Joanne Bawalan of DOT Carmona.

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TIP: It's best to bring your own picnic gear and food to complete the paragliding experience.

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Here's Bubbles going on a 2nd round of flight as the sun sets in the horizon. 

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Beng landing on the grassland with the cows as her witnesses.

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Here's  a satisfied Beng carrying her paragliding parachute.

Paragliding in Carmona-180.jpgBuko and Joanne after they have landed.

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We just hang out and chill out as the moon rises in the background.

(Tip: Bring a portable sound system, wine and cheese to complete the chill- out ambiance.)

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Thank you to Buko, Beng and Bubbles for an awesome tandem paragliding experience! 

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We were holding a go-pro camera throughout our flight and here's our first tandem paragliding experience captured on video:


Definitely, Paragliding is a must try awesome experience in 2013 in Manila!

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PARAGLIDING in the Philippines.

TANDEM flying… Where you fly together with a certified Tandem Pilot.

Tandem flights use a wing large enough to hold two people, an instructor and a passenger. Each person is seated comfortably in his own harness which are attached together, with the passenger in front, and the pilot right behind.

Once on air, the pilot can easily talk to the passenger and explain how to control the paraglider. Bring your camera because this is an experience you will not forget! Tandem flights usually last around 15 minutes.  Experience the exhilaration of flight; seeing the earth from another perspective - from the sky!

Tandem Paragliding is 3,500 pesos for the 5-to-15-minute flight.  Flying Season is from November until April (Carmona). 

You can book thru Buko Pie <buko314@gmail.com> for a SPECIAL RATE 2,500 PESOS/person--(Carmona flysite)

To ensure that everyone will have a great time, please go through this list very quickly.

  • CARMONA flying site usually operates from November until April.
  • We meet at Starbucks along SLEX @ 7AM.
  • Weather is quite unpredictable and we really want everyone to be able to do the tandem flight. It is highly advisable for you to come early and as soon as the wind conditions are favorable, we will do the tandem flight.

WHAT TO BRING/WEAR:

  • Expect hot weather or a little rain.
  • Polyester/trekking pants (shorts, not really recommended due to the sharp grasses, but if you insist, you can).  Any dri fit (or similar material) shirt for comfort. You can also wear leggings
  • Sun protection: hat, sun block, shades, long- sleeved jersey
  • Outdoor shoes, trekking shoes, trail shoes or running shoes. SLIPPERS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED.
  • A change of clothes – but you will probably change in the car or at the gas station
  • Toiletries: insect repellant, alcohol, wipes
  • Helmet:  bike or any sort, bring your own HEADWEAR; if not, we have some to spare
  • Camera or video camera for souvenir shots
  • While waiting:  a snack, a seat, a music player, a book, stories, jokes, fun energy, and a lot of patience
  • Food, water – the area is in a remote location in Carmona, Cavite. It has cellphone signal though. It will not be easy for you to go in and out of the venue so kindly bring appropriate provisions like personal medicines.
  • Private Transport – if possible an SUV or 4WD as the terrain to the site is rough, rocky and muddy. There is a grassland parking area for your vehicle. We advise that you bring only one vehicle for your group.

EXPECTATION SETTING:

This sport is fun but it involves a lot of waiting for the correct wind speed so as not to compromise your safety.

  1. The flysite area in Carmona does not have facility for washing up or  restrooms; so your usual routine will be done at a nearby mini forest.
  2. This sport is dependent on weather and wind conditions so it is not guaranteed that you will be able to fly.
  3. Expect it to be hot. We do have a shaded area and we will set-up hammocks for resting.
  4. We have no insurance coverage. Paragliding is not covered by Blue Cross.
  5. We will cancel the activity should there be a typhoon. We will not compromise your safety should the weather condition be unfavorable (extreme rain, flooding, typhoon, thunderstorms). There also may be a possibility that you cannot fly when you get to San Mateo. Please be mentally prepared for a situation where you may wait for your flight. If you will not be able to fly the same day, we can reschedule you and rebook you free of charge. The fee is non-refundable but rebookable and transferrable to another person.

INTRODUCTORY LESSONS (IF YOU WISH TO CONTINUE PARAGLIDING):

The intro course is great for anyone wondering if paragliding is for them or someone who just wants to try something exciting and different! You will be taught how to launch and land a paraglider and the rules of the air. The goal is to learn launching and landing skills. Should you wish to proceed with a more advanced course, we will deduct the amount you paid for the Paragliding Pilot Course which is a 7-10 day course (700 USD, + 50 USD for certification card). 

CONTACT PERSON:  +63 917-8167820 – Buko Raymundo, airsports specialis

 

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Full Disclosure:  We paid for our paragliding trip. I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don't accept compensation from food and travel places we feature in the blog. 

P.S. Kids as young as 6 years old can fly if they are mentally brave enough for the experience.

Hanging out with Dad_Carmona

P.P.S. There is a media Paragliding press event on January 12, Saturday, in the Carmona Flysite. Contact Joanne Bawalan of DOT Carmona at +63917 547-4042 for details.

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it must be a wonderful experience :)))

Is the GoPro video part of their service?

Yes bro, the GoPro video was part of the service. They were the ones who edited the video.


Anton

Wow! Kayo pala yung nakita namin... We were at a friend's house.

We just tried this last Saturday! It was awesome! Galing ni Buko our pilot - you're the man!

There's something up there that makes you very very calm and peaceful - it's really relaxing up there. :-)

Astigs na experience - a must try for your bucket list! ;)

Sherwin E.

Thanks for sharing your experience :)


Anton

Hi Anton, thank you so much for sharing this with us. I was with Sherwin E (with the rest of the brave people) last Saturday and really, it was awesome, the experience was one of a kind!

We plan to go back before April ends, maybe bring another set of friends. We also had fun meeting the other pro paragliders!

BTW, Buko is the best! We call him the new national bird hahaa!

Eis,
Parang ang saya talaga ng trip niyo. Thanks for sharing! Indeed, Buko is the new national bird :) hehe

Anton

hi,
i am comming to manila on the 24th of may, i would like to know if there is any chance to do paragliding tandem ( i have no experiance at all), at this period, i know you said the season is from november till april. thanks in advance for any tips. agata

Hi Agata, contact buko if they have a schedule. Email him buko314@gmail.com

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