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Skydiving boogie over Binalonan

The WCC airfield just before the skydiving boogie

It was a fun weekend when skydivers turned the WCC airfield in Pangasinan into a drop zone.

The event was the 1st Binalonan Skydiving Invitational which was held on Feb. 9 and 10.

Dozens of skydivers, including those in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, trooped to the airfield in Binalonan to enjoy a grand time.

For nearly six hours across two days, the air over the skydiving boogie’s drop zone was filled with canopies as skydivers hopped and popped as many times they could in the available time.

The jump plane used for the skydiving boogie

The skydiving event was organized and spearheaded by retired general Rommel A. Gomez, the former captain of the Philippine Army Skydiving Team after the cancellation of the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was confirmed.

Gomez, who told the Philippines Graphic he hadn’t jumped from a plane in 14 years, showed everyone he hasn’t lost his touch. His canopy handling was as sharp as ever, and his landing was spot on.

Skydivers check each other’s rigs before boarding the jump plane

While three skydivers were in the air in each lift, the others prepared their gear. All focused on getting as much time in the air as possible. Once the jump plane taxied to the ramp, the next three skydivers got on board for the next lift.

Skydivers landing one by one

The skydiving boogie was a fast but delicate aerial dance, combining speed, accuracy, safety and, of course, fun.

A skydiver’s view just before landing

Skydiving is an extreme sport that demands the right moves at the right time. There’s very little margin for error.

Selfie of the author, Philippines Graphic associate editor Fil V. Elefante

It’s a demanding sport which has very little patience for slackers. As a skydiver with 44 jumps under my belt, I think I can say that I know this personally.

This journalist expresses his personal thanks to Snooky Cruz and Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, head of Police Regional Office 8, for the opportunity to touch the sky again. G

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