Friday, September 26, 2014

Captured: Paragliding Philippines

Filipino paragliding pilots featured on Sports Unlimited.  Check it out!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bali on my mind

Flying over Timbis in Bali Indonesia

"I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings."
-Mary Oliver

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Paragliding in Bali

Yes it is that time of the year again when we do our annual trip to Timbis in Bali for paragliding.
Last year was a blast so it's started to become an annual journey for us...
Paragliding in Bali from monique ignacio on Vimeo.

There's always some kind of magic in the air in Bali.  She is usually gently and calm.  You can just sit back and literally fly for hours and enjoy the coastal view.  Lots of surfers and people sunbathing below you while you fly and hover around them.

On my last flight today I decided to gate crash on a party happening by the beach....  Sorry guys.  I just couldn't resist....

Bali Beach landing from monique ignacio on Vimeo.

Monday, September 1, 2014

An afternoon with the Philippine Pros

What a rare treat when you can spend an afternoon in Manila Southwoods with a couple of young and talented golfing professionals.  Tonton Asistio and John Kier Abdon.

Check out their swings below.


Golfing with the Philippine Pros from monique ignacio on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Philippine Paragliding Team

Paragliding Team Philippines
What joy it is to fly. But to fly and represent your country and compete with some of the best paragliding pilots is even more gratifying.  At the recently concluded  International Paragliding Accuracy Championship ( IPAC 2014)  15 of us Filipino paragliding pilots were able to do so.

Pilot Ian Veneracion proudly flying our Philippine flag at the openeing ceremonies of IPAC 2014
Held at the SAFI ranch flysite in Maasim Sarangani Province, IPAC brought in some 40 pilots from Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Germany and Spain.  The Philippine team was composed of pilots from Manila, Sagada, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Sarangani.  A majority of us had flown in Sarangani the previous year in a "Fun Accuracy" competition so we were familiar with the flysite. But for the majority of the foreign pilots in the competition, flying in Sarangani would be their first time.  That was why I thought it was pretty impressive that they were able to garner the top positions in the competition despite it being their first time to fly in the Philippines.

Accuracy landing entails that a pilot take off and land at a designated target on both feet.  If a pilot falls before the wing is on the ground, he or she is penalized for it.

Monique Ignacio landing 

To win in this competition your foot must touch the center of the target upon landing. An electronic target pad is used to measure how close you are to the bullseye. For a spectator, being able to land dead center may look easy, but I can assure you it is not.  Our take off point is some 1,000 feet above and controlling your wing can be tricky if strong winds and thermals happen. You may be approaching your target and then a sudden gust off wind right before landing can quickly push you back making you miss your target.  You can also easily overshoot your goal by miscalculating your approach.  Personally I think "timing and feel" is as import as your landing technique.  Much like in golf where if your timing and feel is wrong, you miss your sweet spot.

The gorgeous Sarangani Bay is a sight to behold as you fly
Paragliding is a sport dominated by men.  It was encouraging for us female pilots to see however, a growing interest from more women taking up this exciting air sport.  From 15 pilots representing the Philippines, Five of us were women including the youngest Filipino pilot Dids Veneracion who is only 13 years old. Amongst the top scorers in the leaderboard from the other countries were also female.  In fact Indonesian female pilot Liz Andriana came in for 3rd runner up.

Asians have become a force to rekon with in paragliding competitions lately.  So it didn't come as a big surprise that the top prizes in this accuracy landing competition went to Taiwan, Japan and Indonesia.

Lis Andriana (Indonesia 3rd runner up) is surrounded by the Ms. Earth beauties who graced the IPAC award ceremonies

67 year old Yoshiki Oka (Japan 2nd runner up ) showed everyone that paragliding has no age limit

Luis Liu  of Taiwan wins the top prize

It was a fantastic week of flying for all of us.  Blessed with good winds and new pilot friends to share the skies with.  Until the next International Paragliding championships!

Go Paragliding Team Philippines