SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/20 May) – Will he make it? A triathlete-lawyer will try on Wednesday (May 21) what no other human being had done before: swim from an island in the Visayas to Mindanao.
Surigao native Atty. Ingemar P. Macarine, 37, will try to cross the Surigao Strait from Benit in Southern Leyte, a distance of 11.2 nautical miles or 18.2 kilometers, starting at 5 a.m.
But Macarine said he will actually be swimming at least 25 km as he would be dragged sideways by strong currents.
He said this will be the longest distance he will swim so far but that he is doing it to promote protection of the marine environment as well as tourism and healthy lifestyle.
He reckoned it would take him at least eight hours to cross the Surigao Strait.
Macarine, however, admitted his greatest worry is the strong current along the channel. He said three ship captains who are plying the Surigao-Leyte and Surigao-Cebu routes told him it is hard to predict the timing of the current.
He said the ship captains were stunned when he said he will try to swim from Leyte to Surigao.
He said if he will be dragged by the current during high tide he might be carried towards Malimono in Surigao del Norte or Camiguin. On the other hand, a low tide would bring him to Dinagat, which lies near the Pacific Ocean.
Macarine added his right shoulder was also bothering him. “Every time I move my right shoulder, maglaguto (there’s a cracking sound).”
Last week, the lawyer visited an orthopedist in Cebu City to have his right shoulder examined.
The physician told him to stop if he felt pain during his swim.
On December 30 last year Macarine swam from Basul Island in Barangay Lipata to Surigao City, a distance of 4.28 km, in two hours.
Last February, 23, 2014, the former varsity swimmer at Siliman University swam from Hikdop Island to Surigao City, and clocked 3:38 for the 12.82-km swim.
He became the first person to achieve the feat that even experienced local fishermen thought was impossible.
Macarine also swam from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco in California, USA last April 7, 2014, and crossed the 2.85-km span in one hour and two minutes. At the time, the sea water temperature there was 54 degrees Fahrenheit.
He claimed to be the only Filipino to have swum from Alcatraz to San Francisco.
If successful, he would be the first man to have swum from Visayas to Mindanao via Surigao Strait.
“I will just try this one. I think I can make it, I can do it,” he told MindaNews in an interview on Tuesday afternoon. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)