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Paragliding in Oslob? Why not, says American expert

By: Rick C. Gabuya December 26,2017 - 10:23 PM

Aside from whale sharks and waterfalls cascading down moss-covered cliffs, a new attraction unfolds in the town of Oslob early next year with the staging of Paint the Sky, a fun, paragliding event.
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If you think Oslob town in southern Cebu is only for watching butandings (whale sharks) and dipping at Tumalog Falls, better think again.
Because starting next year, a new kind of sport will invade the town’s exciting skyline –– paragliding.

According to Malcolm Vargas, an American paragliding coach, developer and author for the past 20 years, Oslob will soon be the paragliding center in the Visayas with its geography, topography and wind maps pointing to a perfect paragliding experience.

And interested parties can get a first glimpse of this fun-filled sport when Oslob hosts “Paint the Sky”, a two-day paragliding experience on January 6-7, 2018 where around 30 paragliding experts from the US, Taiwan, Korea, France, Japan and other countries, will be coming over to showcase their paragliding skills.

The more adventurous ones may want to try tandem gliding where one paraglides with a designated expert for a fee.

“I have invited some pilots from abroad and some from the Philippine Paragliding and Hang Gliding Association (PPHGA) to visit Oslob next month and try its perfect paragliding conditions,” Vargas said during yesterday’s press launch. His project is under the Oslob, Cebu Paragliding Development (OCPD) which he also jokingly translated as Obsessive Compulsive Paragliding Disorder because as he said, once you start, you can never stop.

An author of several books on paragliding, including the world’s only comprehensive training manual in English and Chinese entitled “Introduction to Paragliding”, and the world’s only book about site selection and development, Vargas said his involvement in the sport in the country is for the long haul as he has started mapping out the blueprint for the realization of Oslob’s paragliding potential while promoting the town’s ecotourism sites and providing jobs to the locals.

As to why he chose Oslob as his pilot site in Cebu, Vargas enumerated a long list of reasons, among them, Oslob’s proximity to two aiports (Mactan and Dumaguete), the town’s hectic alternate activities, ample landing areas, sufficient steep slopes, good drive up to the take-off area, high cooperation from the locals and town officials, high accessibility with buses passing through the town every 15 minutes, and the presence of amihan (northeast) winds eight months of the year.

“While in other sites you can only paraglide in three to four months a year, here in Oslob we have eight amazing months to do that, and that’s a good sign to make paragliding a sustainable activity here,” Vargas said.

And speaking of sustainability, Vargas is looking forward to creating a paragliding community in Cebu, individuals who are willing to take on the sport year-round. That is part of the American’s mission to “promote paragliding as a springboard for ecotourism in Cebu and the Philippines.”

For the “Paint the Sky” project, Vargas is teaming up with Tito Rendon, specialist in engineering and Manol Dalumpines, specialist in ecotourism, resorts, hotel management and property.

Those who are interested to be part of this historic sporting event, you may address your queries to Lucille Dalumpines at 0942-3861-156 or 0956-1380-263 or email at [email protected]

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