‘Pinoy Aquaman’ to cross 16-km Sarangani channel on Sunday

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/08 May) — Triathlete-lawyer Ingemar P. Macarine will attempt another first in swimming history on Sunday: cross a 16-kilometer channel in Sarangani Bay.

The “Pinoy Aquaman” said he will swim from Kamanga in Maasim town to Tango in Glan, one of the bay’s narrowest points.

Macarine, 38, president of Surigao Runners Club, felt confident he can achieve the feat of being the first person to cross the bay.

“I trained hard for this,” adding he had to immerse in the pool for three hours every practice that happened thrice a week.

Macarine’s swim on Sunday would be his 12th in open water swim and sixth in marathon swimming.

“I’m quite excited, hoping for the best performance this Sunday,” he told MindaNews on Friday.

The Surigao-born and raised former varsity swimmer of Silliman University said he ended his tapper training early morning Friday.

Like his previous feats, Macarine’s swim on Sunday is part of his lifetime advocacy for clean seas, environmental tourism, and climate change awareness.

Every year, Sarangani Bay hosts the longest open water five-man relay swimming competition in the country.

The Swim-across-the-Bay competition is a brainchild of former Sarangani provincial agriculture chief and marine biologist Giuseppe Chew who now lives abroad.

Chew told Macarine that no one has dared to cross the Saranggani Bay by swimming solo.

Chew said Sarangani Bay, the deepest bay in the Philippines can possibly be conquered with human prowess. He added the bay was mentioned in Pigafetta’s epic journal of Magellan’s expedition.

Macarine said he never encountered a shark in all his previous open water outings.

He was hoping for a good weather on Sunday even if typhoon Dodong had entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday.

He said that aside from the bad weather, strong currents might affect his swim.

“I was told that the current in the area is strong,” Macarine said.

On Saturday, Macarine and Edwin Dela Cruz, his navigator, will study the current in the bay.

Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon said the provincial government is now planning activities that will promote environmental protection.

“This time the environmental protection through long-distance swimming will be staged this Sunday  and will be performed  by environmental lawyer and triathlete Atty. Ingemar ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ Macarine to intentionally promote clean seas, environmental tourism and climate change awareness,” he said in a statement today.

Macarine’s swim on Sunday is sponsored by the Provincial Government of Sarangani.

An environmental lawyer by profession, Macarine is the first person to swim nonstop the 12.8-km Surigao Channel from Hikdop Island to Surigao City, the 7-km Babuyan Channel in Cagayan Valley in Northern Luzon, and the 10.5-km Hinatuan Passage in Claver, Surigao del Norte.

He is also the first person to cross the 13.4-km stretch from Balicasag Island to Panglao Island in Bohol, and the first Filipino to swim the 2.8-km channel from Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco City in the US.

He attempted to swim from San Ricardo, Southern Leyte to Surigao City in May last year but had to stop after 23 km due to strong currents that made it difficult for him to stay on course.

On April 12 last Month, Macarine conquered the 20 kilometer crossing Tañon Strait from Bantayan Island to San Remegio town in northern Cebu.

He said the Saranggani swim also serves as a prelude to his two open water swim in the US.

Macarine will swim in the San Francisco Bay (from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge) in California, United States by May 22, 2015 with a distance of 10 kilometers and in cold temperature.

On June 9, 2015 he will swim the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, USA with a distance of seven kilometers. (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)