Have you ever wanted to soar to the skies just like an eagle does? Well, you definitely can, through paragliding. You can literally stay afloat on the air on a paraglider aircraft for a few minutes or for as long as you want. The long wait is finally over because paragliding is now officially in Cebu.

A rider awaiting for her tandem flight.

 

At the home of southern Cebu’s famous whale shark watching destination, Oslob, paragliding is a new extreme air sports added to its inventory of tourist attractions. A fair amount of PhP 3,500 affords you to do a 10-20-minute paragliding tandem flight. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing. The wing shape is maintained by suspension lines, the pressure of air entering the vents at the front of the wing, and the aerodynamic forces of the air flowing over the outside.


 

An aerial view of a paraglider soaring above the town of Oslob.

 

Unless you fancy a PhP 19,000 sky-diving ride in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu, paragliding is your best alternative to the more pricey extreme air sports. Offered in Daanglungsod, Oslob are tandem flights, where a pilot accompanies the rider during the flight. Solo paragliders are welcome only if they are licensed and when they have their own paraglider wings.

The best time of the day to fly is from nine to eleven in the morning during the amihan season. A windsock guides the pilots for the perfect timing to do a forward launch by running down the slope facing the seaview until the aircraft is inflated by the wind and lifts the tandem riders off the land. Another way to take off is to do a reverse launch, but this is mostly done by solo pilots. This is a more straightforward way for them to inspect the wing and check if the lines are free as it leaves the ground. Once in air, solo pilots who want to stay gliding maneuver skillfully, exploiting sources of lift. This is specifically for thermal flying, where when the ground is warm enough it sets off thermals that rise through the air taking the pilot to a certain height, even climbing to a few thousand meters. Unlike tandem flyers who are limited to 10 to 20 minutes of flight to accommodate other riders on queue, solo pilots can choose to stay in air for hours. The sealing weight they can allow for a rider is 100 kgs.

Equipment

A solo paraglider preparing his paraglider wing for his flight.

 

The paraglider wing or canopy is technically known as “ram-air airfoil.” Paraglider lines are usually made of Dyneema/Spectra or Kevlar/Aramid. Although they look rather slender, these materials are immensely strong. For example, a single 0.66 mm-diameter line (about the thinnest used) can have a breaking strength of 56 kg. The top brands used in Oslob are APCO, BGD, Ozone, Advance, and Independence.

Most harnesses have foam or airbag protectors underneath the seat and behind the back to reduce the impact on failed launches or landings. Modern harnesses are designed to be as comfortable as a lounge chair in the sitting or reclining position. Many harnesses even have an adjustable “lumbar support.” A reserve parachute is also typically connected to a paragliding harness.

Preparing for a tandem flight, the pilots stays at the back of the rider to be at his watch.

 

Oslob’s solo paragliding took off in January of 2018 whereas their commercial tandem flights just began in March of 2019.

A solo paraglider, taking a rest while enjoying the view of the other flights and awaiting for his second flight.

 

The success of Oslob’s paragliding is credited to Tito Rendon, Hilario Figuracion Jr., and Malcolm Vargas who organized the Oslob Cebu Paragliding Development, a proud member of the Visayas Paragliding Club.

Oslob Cebu Paragliding Development with its participation trophy from an Accuracy contest at Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.

 

While the amihan winds are still around, take a tandem-flight at Oslob now.

 

How to Get to Oslob

From Mactan-Cebu International Airport

A. MyBus

1. MCIAA to Parkmall is PhP 25.00 / pax
2. MCIAA to SM City Cebu is PhP 40.00 / pax

For details click here.

B. Grab Taxi

1. MCIAA to Cebu South Bus Terminal ranges from PhP 383.00 to PhP 460.00 / maximum of 4 pax

C. Grab Car

1. MCIAA to CSBT is PhP 408.00 / maximum of 4 pax

From Parkmall to Cebu South Bus Terminal

A. Public Utility Jeepney (01K) is PhP 10.00 / pax
B. Grab Taxi ranges from PhP 225.00 to – 270.00 / maximum of 4 pax
C. Grab Car is PhP 231.00

From SM City Cebu to Cebu South Bus Terminal

A. PUJ (01K) is PhP 8.00 / pax
B. Grab Taxi ranges from PhP 158.00 – 190.00
C. Grab Car is PhP 156.00

From Cebu South Bus Terminal to Daanglungsod, OSLOB

A. Ceres Bus, with “BATO OSLOB” signage (air-conditioned) is PhP 155.00
B. Non-air conditioned is PhP 150.00

For inquiries, please contact Mirhady Rendon (0925-544-6789) or Mary Dalumpines (0956-138-0263).