Philippine Paragliding & Hang Gliding Association
Image courtesy Philippine Paragliding & Hang Gliding Association
The Philippine Paragliding & Hang Gliding Association was officially registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission this month in Metro Manila, to further develop the fledgling air-sports of paragliding and hang gliding around the Philippines.
Paragliding in particular is a burgeoning adventure sport that has attracted individuals from all walks of life because it gives the freedom of the skies, using the same principles the have kept raptors aloft since the dawn of the dinosaurs.
The mountainous terrain of the Philippines, combined with two distinct windy seasons (providing persistent updrafts), allow for long flights along ridges and escarpments. The most popular escarpment near to Manila is at Carmona, near the race track. Other soaring hot-spots are at: Tagaytay Ridge overlooking Taal Lake and Taal Volcano; Mount San Isidro, Labrador, Pangasinan; Montalban, Rizal; and, as far South as Maasim, near General Santos City. But in truth, paragliding is a sport that can be undertaken almost anywhere around the Philippines, where there is access to a good hillside launch site and a good landing area.
Paragliding employs a self-supporting fabric wing, similar to a kiteboarding wing, that is fully collapsible and can be easily carried in a back-pack. By contrast, hang gliding employs fabric over a rigid frame (albeit collapsible into sections). These very closely related air-sports are similar in that you need a launch site & landing area, and a ridge along which to soar. Paragliding is more popular because it is easier to transport the equipment to a more remote launch site. The other similarity is that, without proper training, you can end up wrapped around the tree tops or up to your bum in pineapples when attempting a landing.
Because the wind does not always blow the right way, a derivation of paragliding is powered-paragliding: you strap an engine, propeller and fuel tank to you back and off you go – not the easiest way to get to the office but guaranteed to create a buzz near the coffee machine.
The all new Philippine Paragliding & Hang Gliding Association aims to develop specific areas for international competition and to work with local communities to allow access to safe launch sites & landing areas.
Starting 6th February, at Carmona, the Philippine Paragliding & Hang Gliding Association is offering tandem training flights to interested individuals, to give everyone the chance to explore their ambitions in the air. According to sources within the Association, 32 people have already signed up for tandem paragliding training flights. If you are interested to take a tandem paragliding training flight at Carmona in February then contact the Philippine Paragliding & Hang Gliding Association as soon as possible (contact details below).
Not sure if you want to get involved in paragliding or hang gliding? Then visit the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Clark Field, Pampanga, (see separate story) and check out the air-heads and their magnificent flying machines.
Philippine Paragliding & Hang Gliding Association at Yahoo Groups
Paragliding & Hang Gliding in the Philippines information