Antenna Hill will soon be famous for things other than mountain biking

Who didn’t dream of flying as a kid? Almost everyone I know once tied a towel to his back, pretended it was the cape of some superhero and jumped off some fence or roof in a split second make believe of flight. As kids, we we wanted to soar through the air, like Superman, Peter Pan or the child warrior Atreyu on his luck dragon Falcor. Those were great times, weren’t they?

But somewhere along the way, age and the reality of adult concerns got in the way of dreams and imagination. We gave up fantasies of taking to the air in favor of a car, regular visits to the mall, flat screen TVs and the latest gadgets.

Fortunately for me, I am getting to relive this childhood dream thanks to some odd luck and an even odder Japanese dude.

Paragliding in the Angono-Binangonan Hills
You need to be patient. Waiting for a suitable breeze takes time.

After covering the Spyder Downhill Cup on Antenna Hill last January, I asked Trixx, one of my friends who took part in the event, if I could use some of his photos. Besides pics of riders attacking the infamous downhill track, there were also several pictures of a guy paragliding over the Angono Binangonan hills.

After publishing that blog post, the paragliding Japanese dude commented on the article that he actually wanted to start a flying club in Rizal province. And that’s how I got in touch with Sky Habu.

Controlling the Glider
It’s a lot more complicated than trying to fly a kite
Paragliding Practice
The wind shifts and you try to catch it
Paragliding Jump
It was just a few feet off the the ground, but the feeling was fantastic!

Since June, I’ve only done my second training session in paragliding. Apparently flying is not as easy as jumping off a slope and letting the wind lift you up. It requires a lot of patience while waiting for the right window to open up, a strong breeze that will be enough to fill the parachute and provide lift.

On my first session, there was a lot of downtime spent just waiting for wind. I practiced opening the glider to the wind, and controlling its direction with light tugs. On my second session, I was finally able to get some airtime. The breeze was a lot stronger then, and I was much more confident about the controls. I was perhaps fifteen feet in the air, and trying to gently land when I lost control and crashed smack into a boulder. Thankfully the thick grass on the base of the rock cushioned my fall.

Learning how to paraglide is not as easy as learning how to ride a bike. But those few seconds of flight were fantastic, and I am definitely going into this sport for the long haul. Sky Habu said it would take perhaps up to 15 sessions to actually be able to fly. Sensei Habu is in Japan now, but when he comes back in Spetember, I’m definitely going flying again.

Travel Up has written a much more expansive article on our paragliding trips in the Angono-Binangonan hills. Check out her post :)

Paragliding in Antenna Hill
Sometimes it’s fun to flow with gravity. And sometimes it’s even more fun to defy it.
Angono Binangonan Hills
The view from the hills isn’t bad.
Paraglider in Binangonan
Who knew that the hills of Binangonan could also be a playground for paragliders? This is something that definitely needs a second and third look.

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