My life was at the mercy of a single rope.
As the wind blew me away from the boat, I was briefly taken to my juvenile years, when all I did all weekend was run across a cleared field and fly a kite. But this time was different. This time, I was the kite.
It happened so fast. One moment I was seated at the back of the boat; the next, I was high up in the air. I barely remember what happened in between. One of the boatman securely strapped me to a harness attached to the parachute and explained the do’s and don’ts while at it. “You’ll be up there for 15 minutes,” he said. “If you want to go down before the time is up for whatever reason, just do this.” He raised an arm and drew imaginary circles with his elbow.
Not gonna happen, I thought. Fifteen minutes is a short time, a very short time if you’re having a blast.
He unspooled the rope, and the wind snatched us and carried us skyward. Slowly the boat got smaller and more quiet while I tried my darnedest to not show any emotion. There was something terrifying about the whole thing. Exciting, definitely, but there was a tiny bit of fear in knowing that all that was keeping me safe was this thin line. All of me was on this line. Tragedy was very unlikely, but there was no one there with me to blow away images of this rope snapping. Chicken was what I was, a flying chicken.
It took me a couple more minutes to pull myself together and start looking around. There I was, dozens of meters up in the air, staring down at one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Unfortunately, we were too far from the shore to have a good look, and it was too early for the sunset. It was a great view of Bulabog Beach nonetheless.
The boat continued to drag the kite — me, the kite — across the sea. The longer I stayed in that altitude, the more comfortable I got. Nerves had abandoned my body, leaving only a sense of achievement. It might not be such an accomplishment to some people, but it was a big deal for someone like me (read: coward). I was soaring like a bird, like a plane… and right on cue I looked up and realized that the chute displayed a Superman logo. Hell, yeah!
The feeling of invincibility began to grow in me when I noticed the boat grow bigger with it. One of the boatmen wound the rope around the spool and I was pulled back to reality. My 15 minutes was up.
How to book parasailing in Boracay: Visit the office of Diamond Watersports at Station 1 (just beside Milky’s Dive Center), or contact +63 36 288 6621 or +63 36 288 6681.
Rates: The normal rates during high season are P2500 for a solo ride, and P2000 per person for groups of 2-3. This can go significantly lower during off-peak season. I got mine for only P1000. It can still go lower, depending on your haggling skills.