SAN JUAN, Siquijor (MindaNews/20 April) — Endurance swimmer and environmental lawyer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine did another first in his Dumaguete City to Siquijor swim, breaking his longest personal record in his open-water swimming carrier.
Bucking strong currents, Macarine crossed Tañon Strait from Silliman Beach in Dumaguete to Barangay Tambisan in this town covering a total distance of 24.65 kilometers in 11 hours and 21 minutes.
Macarine’s swim today is his longest since going into open water swimming sport on December 31, 2013 breaking his longest record during the Visayas-Mindanao swim in 2014 which was 23 kilometers.
“We endured strong currents midway and big waves too,” Macarine told MindaNews on Wednesday.
Macarine, 40, a marine conservation advocate, embarked on his swims to raise awareness on marine environment, climate change and tourism.
In this Dumaguete-Siquijor swim, his 27th open water swim, he is hoping to help in the campaign to urge voters to register.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has opened voter registration in connection with the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October.
Macarine himself is the municipal election officer in Tubigon in Bohol.
Macarine, who hails from Placer, Surigao del Norte said the swim on Wednesday was the toughest.
“I never expected that this would last for more than 10 hours. I was surprised to know that it went through that long,” he said.
Macarine’s average speed is 3 kilometers per hour. He reached 3.5 kilometers in his first hour of swim.
The former varsity swimmer of Silliman University was in euphoria after he reached the port of Tambisan.
Applause and cheers from the crowd greeted the Pinoy Aquaman when he set foot on the port’s concrete stairs and raised his hands in triumph.
Among the people who cheered him at Tambisan Port were Comelec-7 Regional Director Atty. Rafael B. Olaño, Siquijor Election Supervisor Atty. Jerome G. Brillantes, Bohol Election Supervisor Eliseo Labaria, and Negros Oriental Election Supervisor Atty. Eddie Aba.
In April last year, Macarine swam a 14-km stretch along Tañon Strait, from neighboring Dauin town to Apo Island.
Last Sunday, he swam seven km around Britania Islands, a group of islands in San Agustin town in Surigao del Sur.
All these were in preparation for his biggest goal this year — to cross the English Channel in mid-August.
Just like in his previous open water marathons, Macarine followed the Marathon Swimming Federation Rules and performed solo swimming without floating aid or help from any human or sea vessel.
His swimming prowess and endurance amazed several people.
“Ordinary people like us can’t do the same like what Macarine did today,” said Dr. Mark Anthony Aranas of Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital who was the head of the medical team for Macarine’s swim on Wednesday. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)