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:
(Note: forecasts could change so you need to free-up your entire day +/- 1 day for paragliding)
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.
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.
"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)
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.
Beng and Buko got their paragliding certification in Timbis, Nusa Dua in Bali.
(Tip: Bring a portable sound system, wine and cheese to complete the chill- out ambiance.)
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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.
This sport is fun but it involves a lot of waiting for the correct wind speed so as not to compromise your safety.
- 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.
- This sport is dependent on weather and wind conditions so it is not guaranteed that you will be able to fly.
- Expect it to be hot. We do have a shaded area and we will set-up hammocks for resting.
- We have no insurance coverage. Paragliding is not covered by Blue Cross.
- 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.