BY GERRY LEE GORIT
MISAMIS ORIENTAL – A paragliding accuracy landing competition was held in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental last July 14 to 16 along with the opening of the Sipaka Heights Fly Site.
Sipaka Heights is an islet off the coast of Talisayan which has a height of 1,000 feet.
There were 45 participants in the three-day competition who came from Indonesia, South Korea and Filipinos from the cities of Bacolod, Cebu, Davao and other places here.
The event, which was organized by the local government unit of Talisayan led by Mayor Rico T. Taray, was graced by Gov. Peter M. Unabia and first district Rep. Christian Unabia.
It was learned that Sipaka Heights fly site was promised by Taray during his candidacy campaign in the elections last year and its launch last weekend is the fulfillment of that vow.
Impressed during the fly site opening, Gov. Unabia pledged P50 million for the construction of a viewing deck and a zip line from Sipaka Heighs to Mindanao mainland which is 1.8 kilometers long.
Meanwhile, Rep. Unabia also pledged congressional budget for the construction of a road network in the islet itself.
Municipal administrator Invinsor Taray revealed that athletes to the debut competition, who were impressed as well, said they will invite more Southeast Asian paragliders to join in the event next year such as those coming from Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan.
It was learned further that Sipaka Heights fly site is suitable for all weather except at night, even during monsoon and summer seasons.
The competition consisted of the preliminary round during the first day, semi-final round during the second day and final round during the third day. The champion received P30,000; second placer P20,000 and the third placer P10,000.
All participants were housed by the local government unit of Talisayan.
There are four disciplines in paragliding – cross country, hike and fly, acrobatic and landing. The event last weekend was a landing competition. This mode is for competitors to take off and sail in the air in such a way that they manage to land the paraglider on a specific point that is only 20 centimeters in diameter.