#PHTravel: Flying fun in Carmona
MANILA, Philippines - Did you ever dream of flying like a bird when you were a child? You’re not alone. That childhood dream motivated Caviteño Jonathan Tayamora to look for ways to fly even without wings.
“As a kid, I became interested with flying like a kite. When I was 10 years old, I created something out of bamboo and plastic and jumped off at a small hill near our home,” Tayamora tells Rappler.
Years later, Tayamora, an electrical engineer by profession, discovered paragliding and became friends with Randell Raymundo, a fellow paragliding enthusiast and president of the Philippine Paragliding and Hang Gliding Association.
Paragliding is an adventure sport wherein a rider jumps off from a cliff and is lifted by air through a harness attached to a canopy.
Passion for flying enabled Tayamora to discover the long ridges of Carmona, Cavite as an ideal site for paragliding. The site has a take-off point that's 150 feet from the ground.
“This place is ideal for paragliding because the hill is facing the wind which comes from Laguna de Bay directly,” says Tayamora. The site also has an open field suited as a landing area, adds Raymundo.
Raymundo says that anyone can fly as long as he/she is accompanied by a professional paraglider. This is called tandem flying, wherein the passenger sits in front of the pilot through a harness.
Weight is not a problem as it can carry up to 100 kilos or 300 lbs.
For solo flights, one should first undergo a 3-day lesson on paragliding.
Before trying this sport out, Raymundo says that one should be mentally prepared, disciplined, and patient. Tayamora adds that one should be sensitive to and understand the behavior of the wind.
Carmona Mayor Dahlia Loyola hopes that sports tourism will flourish in her municipality with the introduction of paragliding. The ridges of Carmona once served as training grounds for Filipino paragliders and hang gliders who competed during the 2011 SEA Games.
- Check the weather. When there are cumulus (fluffy) clouds, it’s a good time to fly.
- Best months to fly: Amihan Season (November to May)
- Best time to fly: 6am-9am
- Equipment: wind meter, helmet, harness with cushion, reserve parachute
- For a tandem flight: Wind speed should be 15kph
- For beginners in a tandem flight, one can stay up in the sky for about 15 minutes
It's almost the weekend. If you're planning a weekend adventure, why not go paragliding? Do something for the first time!
Contact Randell Raymundo at email@example.com. - Rappler.com
(Izah Morales is a travelholic whose passion for travel and writing keep her going through life. Follow her adventures at www.tripadora.com.)