“Pinoy Aquaman” to cross heavily-silted channel in Surigao

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/31 Dec) – Lawyer tri-athlete Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine will attempt another record-setting feat on January 2 by crossing the 10-kilometer Hinatuan Passage in Surigao del Norte.

Macarine says he is doing this as part of his advocacy for clean water and the protection of marine resources.

The swim will start from the tourist spot of Bucas Grande island and finish in the heavily-silted bay in Claver town in Surigao del Norte.

Claver hosts several mining companies which are extract mineral ore, mostly nickel, and ship them to China and Japan.

“We can’t deny the fact that large part of this area is heavily-silted due to mining operations and part of marine resources in this area had ruined what could have been the perpetual source of livelihood among residents especially the fisher folk, the majority dwellers,” he said.

Macarine hopes he could finish the swim as he expects turbulent current which could either drag him back or bring him a little bit faster.

Unafraid of sharks, Macarine just shrugged off warnings of fisherfolk he conversed with as he studied the current in the area in the past three days.

“I don’t care if sharks will be around, I’ll be happy swimming with them,” he said.

Junjun Migullas, a pumpboat operator from Bucas Grande who frequently traverses the passage is excited.

“I haven’t heard anyone who’d dare swim this far,” he told MindaNews.

“He is legendary because I’ve seen him on the news that he has done several island to island swims. He is amazing and I like his cause, too,” he said.

A former swimming varsity during his college days at Siliman University in Dumaguete City, Macarine, said he expects to finish this swim in three hours.

Macarine said this was supposed to be a yearend swim originally schedule on December 30 but he postponed it to January 2 due to Typhoon Seniang.

Macarine is the first-man who swam Basul Island in Surigao to mainland Surigao City, a distance of 4.28 kilometers, on December 31, 2013.

Earlier this year, Macarine swam 12.82 kilometers from Hikdop Island in Surigao Channel to Surigao City.

Last April he also swam from the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary to Aquatic Park in San Francisco, a span of nearly three kilometers, in one hour and two minutes, the lone Filipino to have swam in that area.

The 38-year-old lawyer, president of the Surigao Runners Club, an advocate of healthy lifestyle and tourism, also swam the treacherous Surigao Strait from San Recardo, Southern Leyte to Surigao City; Babuyan Channel in Cagayan and also Balicasag Island to Panglao Island in Bohol.

Fellow athletes and triathletes wish the best for Macarine, the president of Surigao Runners Club.

Atty. John Cubillan, a triathlete also from Surigao said he wishes the best for his friend.

Val Regan Matias III, another triathlete said this would be a good start of the year for Macarine.

“He sets records in this field and that’s pretty cool when you think that it’s not just marathon swimming but it’s about the marine environment,” he said.

Claver town Mayor Eddie Gokiangkee is supporting Macarine’s swim by providing boats for the support staff and the some members of the media, who will cover this event.

Gokiangkee earlier said his town has been severely damaged by the rampant mining operations.

Worst, he said, some mining companies do not even pay taxes to the local government. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)