I don’t have problem with heights. If I have to choose between open sea swimming or flying, I will pick flying anytime of the day.
The day I went Tandem Paragliding last May 1, 2018 was a spur of the moment adventure trip. I saw it on my events suggestions on Facebook . I checked the event page, visited the site, and made my a reservations. I can be spontaneous sometimes especially if it is something I really like to do. Plus Inhave an enabler sister who already have gome tandem. Paragliding a few years back. When I told her there is a paragliding even she told me to go for it so I did. I had to get her approval coz she will be theome to watch over daughter when I am away.
I did not expect to get a slot but I did. Instructions on how to pay the reservation fee was sent via email and the rest led me to the next day of my paragliding adventure.
We met at 6am somewhere along C5 in Kalayaan. There was a bit of miscommunications with the pickup point. Which gave me a chance to explore the community along C5 Kalayaan. Who knew there was a hostel and a co-working space in there!
I was picked up by the owner of the paragliding adventure site I signed up for. We did not have a pleasant first meeting because of the confusing directions he gave about the meeting place. I sat by the passenger seat in front coz there were two other passengers at the back. Everyone was silent the entkre drive, I guess they all felt how pissed-off I was. Hey, it was too early and I haven’t had coffee yet so don’t me.
I felt I need to be the one to start the conversation coz I was the one who silenced them. Talked with my fellow co passengers who said they too were confused with the meeting point directions he gave.
Anyway , we arrived at the flying site and it was a couple hectares of land with lots of cows roaming around. You can see a hill not very far from it amd that was the lift-off point . To go up there you need to ride or it might take about 15 minutes hike or so.
Up on the hill were nipa huts for resting and waitinf.. The hill is covered with banana trees and many other trees I can’t name. Uwe (the owner of the paragliding adventure trip) described the place as a special place for paragliding . In Europe and other paragliding site, they always start high, like from a mountain or a cliff. Here they can only start from 100 meters. This was a challenge paragliding pilots love to conquer start low and try to pick up the wind to go higher up to the clouds.
While my entire flying time was pleasant, I can’t help notice how unorganized they are on the ground. There was no briefing on what to expect when flying. What are the do’s and don’ts when up in the air and so forth. Everyone was just waiting for their name to be called and get strapped on with the flying gears and strapped in front of the pilot.
It would have been better if the lady assisting (Tina) would gather passengers and tell the do’s and don’ts. I overheard from the pilot that the lightest passengers fly first so they can asses the wind.
What to wear and what to bring when flying?
Wear comfortable clothes, something light and less dangly. Rubber shoes are important you don’t wanna hurt your feet when taking off and landing. It would be nice if you have a GoPro if not you can rent theirs for Php500 . I did not rent and used my Fuji X-A5 instead. Yep, daredevil with my cam. I have used it on a floater on the sea.
When it wasy turn to fly
An assistant strapped the parachute and harness on me. Then clipped me to my pilot who got was positioning to take-off. Instead of being scared of heights of my personal well-being, I worry more about my cam not falling off the ground!
Our time up in the sky was so relaxing. We kept going higher and higher. The higher we went the stronger the wind gets. I even have to catch my breathe a few times and got slightly dizzy. My pilot has been flying for 25 years amd 6 years in the Philippines ! Occasionally he would ask if I was feeling fine coz there were instances some passengers passed out or vomit. I guess you have to be fit with no seriois health problems when you try this adventure, I am glad I take my vitamins everyday.
After a solid time in the air, we did a top landing, meaning we went back to where we started, at the top of the hill. Taking off and landing were the crucial points of the flight . I got a bruise on my left arm after coz it was a slightly rough landing that I had to hold on tight and secure my camera! Yup my camera was my main concern!
Watch my Tandem Paragliding experience below
Where to go on a Tandem Paragliding adventure in the Philippines ?
I booked my trip at high5paragliding.com. From there you can make reservations. Tandem paragliding fee is Php3,000 if you want to join the pickup that will take you to the flying site and back add Php500 for gas and toll fees. You can send full payment or just send reservation fee of Php1,000 and pay directly to Uwe after flying.
Uwe Klein was my pilot and owner of the paragliding adventure site I booled at. Personally, I. Enjoyed pur time. Up in the sky. It was more than enough. When he told me we could have gone as high as the clouds, I wish we did. But for first timers he tries to make the passenger as comfy as possible.
For all the 10 passengers he took flying that day our flight was the best of the day he said. Wind was perfect, it was a beautiful sunny day. It was not too hot from the sky coz of the wind. I could almost fall asleep coz it was calming to me.
Best time to fly
Uwe said that May was the last of the flying season as the wind starts to become stronger or it starts raining. March, April, May would be my bet for best days coz it was start of summer.
They rely on wind forecast and there are cases trips are canceled due to no wind or it is raining.
There are two paragliding sites in NCR, one in Carmona Cavite where we fly, and the other in Tanay Rizal. Where he takes his passengers flying depends on the weather and wind conditions .
I am super glad to have finally crossed Tandem Paragliding on my bucket list unexpectedly . Unplanned trips are the ones that push through sometimes amd sometimes you just have to go for it!
Would you try Tandem Paragliding? Let me know at the comment section below!
Stay gorgeous everyone!