Filipino ‘Aqua­man’ in ac­tion

Lawyer and triath­lete Inge­mar Macarine makes a splash, by fo­cus­ing on peace and hope in Min­danao.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - People - By LEO UDTOHAN

EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL lawyer and triath­lete Inge­mar Macarine, dubbed the “Pi­noy (Filipino) Aqua­man,” has re­sponded to the siege in Marawi City in Min­danao, the Philip­pines, in the way he knows best – swim­ming for peace.

Macarine, 41, has been swim­ming to cre­ate aware­ness of the need to keep the seas and all of the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment clean. But his re­cent swim was fo­cused on peace and hope in Min­danao.

“I am sad­dened by the on­go­ing war in Marawi City. It is sad to think that fel­low Filipinos are killing each other in Marawi. This swim is my hum­ble con­tri­bu­tion to pro­mote peace,” he said.

The armed con­flict in Marawi started on May 23 when a com­bined team of mil­i­tary and po­lice op­er­a­tives raided a sus­pected hide­out of Abu Sayyaf leader Is­nil­ion Hapi­lon and Maute lead­ers. The death toll in the Marawi City siege has reached 175.

Macarine started his swim at 6am from the town of Guin­siliban, Camiguin Is­land to Balin­goan town in Misamis Ori­en­tal.

“The swim started from Guin­siliban Port, Camiguin Is­land. Our orig­i­nal land­ing point was Balin­goan Port, but I was car­ried away by the strong cur­rent,” he said.

Macarine, who bat­tled strong cur­rent and waves and few jel­ly­fish along the way, com­pleted the 23km in­stead of the 12km swim in seven hours and 47 min­utes.

“It was a dif­fi­cult swim be­cause of the un­ex­pected strong cur­rent,” said Macarine.

“My tar­get was three to four hours. But it reached seven hours and 47 min­utes for 23km in­stead of the 12km dis­tance,” he said.

Macarine was joined by triathelete Gil­bert Grado, mu­nic­i­pal ac­coun­tant of Mam­ba­jao town in Camiguin, when they were at least three kilo­me­tres from the shores of Misamis Ori­en­tal.

Grado served as Macarine’s swim pacer for the last few kilo­me­tres while they were ap­proach­ing the Si­paka Point.

Macarine was drifted to coastal Barangay Calam­cam in Tal­isayan, a neighbouring town of the Balin­goan town of Misamis Ori­en­tal, the sup­posed land­ing point.

Grado, 39, said Macarine in­spired many to pur­sue open-swim­ming and pro­mote Camiguin Is­land.

“We are plan­ning to have wa­ter sports ad­ven­tures in Camiguin as we are in­spired by Pi­noy Aqua­man,” said Grado, who is or­gan­is­ing a triathlon event in Camiguin in Septem­ber.

Macarine is a na­tive of Placer, Suri­gao del Norte, and cur­rently the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions Of­fi­cer of Tu­bigon town, Bo­hol prov­ince.

He re­cently crossed the icy-cold wa­ter of Hud­son River in New York, the United States, in a 8.4km swim.

The cross­ing of Camiguin Is­land to main­land Min­danao is part of his prepa­ra­tion for his sec­ond at­tempt to cross the dan­ger­ous English Chan­nel be­tween Britain and France in Au­gust this year. He tried last year to plunge the chan­nel but was pre­vented by bad weather.

“This swim is very mem­o­rable for me be­cause I am from Min­danao. I was born and raised in Suri­gao del Norte,” he con­cluded. – Philip­pine Daily In­quirer/Asia News Net­work

— ANN

Macarine, 41, has been swim­ming to cre­ate aware­ness of the need to keep the seas and the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment clean. But his re­cent swim was fo­cused on peace and hope in Min­danao.

— Twit­ter

Macarine is an en­vi­ron­men­tal lawyer and triath­lete.

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