Crossing over

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Friday, July 4, 2014


FORTY-EIGHT members from the Barracuda Swim Team recently joined a fun swim from Davao to Pakiputan Strait at the Island Garden City of Samal.

Organized by award-winning coach Vasit Venturillo, the swimmers braved 1.6 kilometers of wind, waves and current to reach their target goal, a fitting finish after weeks of training and preparation.

Meet six of these amazing swimmers: three dads and three kids who became each other’s swim buddies during this momentous father-child tandem swim!

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JIMMY YAP (age 40), businessman; likes watching TV series

KENN ULRICH YAP (age 10), Grade 5; likes reading, watching ‘Tom and Jerry’ and eating sweets

* How long have you been into sports?

Jimmy: I played badminton during my younger years, and only learned swimming in the summer of 2013. I joined the Novice Durianman Triathlon back in 2013 and a duathlon last summer. I am also planning to join a sprint triathlon this year.

Kenn: I started swimming at the age of 4 and have won several medals already. I have been swimming almost every day for 2 years. Last summer, I also joined the “Langoy Para sa Kabataan”.

* How did you prepare for your long-distance swim from Davao to Samal?

Jimmy: Our coach, Vasit Venturillo, really helped us prepare for the long-distance swim. We trained for about a month. We didn’t follow a special diet but we just avoided eating too much before our swim.

* Why did you decide to swim as a parent-child tandem?

Jimmy: It’s like a graduation event for swimmers. You must cross at least once. It’s every swimmer’s dream to cross. At first, we were both nervous. Ulrich was very silent that morning. As for me, I just had a positive mind and hoped that there were no sharks in the water and the current would not be very strong.

* Who or what inspired you to finish the swim?

Jimmy: Our goal was to finish the swim. There was no turning back, thanks to our swim buddies who kept us safe and continuously shouted, “Pull, pull, pull…Lapit na!”.

* What were the important lessons/values that you learned from the training and the actual swim itself?

Jimmy: In swimming, you have to be relaxed, take out all the problems in your head and concentrate going to the other side. You don’t have to rush, just focus and don’t stop learning.

* How do you apply these values you learned in other areas of your life?

Jimmy: We always take things one at a time, slowly but surely. Don’t rush because you might lose focus and fail. Ulrich is a consistent honor student and really sets his goals this early. As for me, I’ve been in my business for 18 years and I haven’t stopped learning. There is always something new.

* How did you support each other as a parent-child team?

Jimmy: I give words of encouragement and always act as a role model for Ulrich. But, this time, it’s the other way around, I only crossed the ‘channel’ because my son was crossing!

* What is your advice for younger kids/parents who also wish to challenge themselves and do a long-distance swim?

Jimmy: First, learn how to swim properly. Get a coach. Second, have a group of family or friends who are also into the sports or encourage them to go into swimming. Third, enjoy and don’t stop swimming.

* When is your next swim/sports event?

Jimmy: Ulrich will definitely join an interschool competition if there is one. I may be joining the Petron Blazeman this August 2014.

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Lafayette Alvarez Lim (age 40), businessman

Matthaeus Henricus Ho Lim (age 7), Grade 2; loves swimming, playing Minecraft, Lego and dinosaurs

* How long have you been into sports?

Yet: I started swimming sometime in my elementary days during the summer. I was with the Blue Marlin Swimming Club. I had joined only one freestyle competition where I was 4th place.

Matt: When I was younger, I played a little soccer during one summer. I started swimming under Coach Vasit Venturillo's Barracuda Swim Team in the summer of 2013. I also joined an Aquathlon last March 16. My first swimming competition was last May 25 where I won first place in my age category for novices in all 4 events.

* How did you prepare for your long-distance swim from Davao to Samal?

Yet: I did not!!! Hahaha! But I did go island hopping 2 days before and tried to practice my swimming. I haven't been swimming regularly for a long time.

Matt: Aside from my weekly swimming classes, on the week of the event I trained every day, swimming 2 sets of 60 laps each at Linmar's pool. I also was with Papa during the island hopping and swam with him from the boat to the nearest beach and back.

* Why did you decide to swim as a parent-child tandem?

Yet: When Coach Vasit mentioned about it, I thought it was a great idea, but Matt was a little worried of things like sharks and corrals. I first offered to accompany him on a boat and later said I will swim with him, but he was still not convinced. Eventually, I told him to think it over and he later on agreed. Now the pressure was on me because I haven't been swimming regularly for a long time and had never swam that long a distance before.

* Were there any fears of swimming in the deep waters at first and if yes, how did you overcome this fear?

Matt: Papa told me to not think of the things I was afraid of and that he will swim with me. So, after thinking about it, I agreed.

* Who or what inspired you to finish the cross channel?

Yet: Initially it was to encourage Matt to go for it, but after he agreed I actually was excited about doing it also.

Matt: Pops and Mom! Achie Angeli, not so much!

* What were the important lessons/values that you learned from the training and the actual swim itself?

Yet: I was worried because I don't exercise, but I guess my healthy eating kept me in good condition because it wasn't as difficult as I had imagined. Also, the thought of finishing it with my son was a major happy thought for me, and it was fulfilling.

Matt: The training was really hard but I was happy when I finished crossing the ‘channel’.

* How do you apply these values you learned in other areas of your life?

Yet: I guess this is kind of a crown for my many years of sacrifice of eating healthy. I do it as an investment for my future health. This event turned out to be an early reward.

Matt: It made me want to awesomely swim some more and do a long-distance swim again.

* How did you support each other as a parent-child team?

Yet: Actually Matt was assigned a buddy as was required, so I swam behind them. During the times he stopped to rest, I just encouraged him to keep going.

* What is your advice for younger kids/parents who also wish to challenge themselves and do a long-distance swim?

Yet: You have to be sure you're healthy enough and have enough swimming experience or training to do it. After that, the main hurdle will really be swimming against the waves and the current. The depth of the water should not be an issue, you just keep swimming. It would be a truly memorable experience and an awesome challenge to do it together with your kid. Of course, it is best to do it together with those who have experience doing it.

* When is your next swim/sports event?

Yet: On June 28 at the Kadagayaan Festival Invitational Swim Meet at the Tagum Sports Complex. This will be Matt's 2nd and last competition as a novice. After this, he will already be considered an amateur. (Note from Mom-About-Town: Last June 28, Matt won first place in three events: butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke; and second place for freestyle. Great job, Matt!)

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Patrick David L. Lim (age 43), financial advisor, frustrated chef, and triathlete

Karla Catherine P. Lim (age 14), Grade 8; loves swimming, badminton, wakeboarding, and biking

* How long have you been into sports?

Patrick: I’ve been into triathlon since February 2013.

Karla: I started formal swimming lessons when I was 9 years old in 2009 2010 only. Then I stopped after 1 year. I joined again this summer 2014 under Coach Haroon Cali of Holiday Gym.

* How did you prepare for your long-distance swim from Davao to Samal?

Karla: Actually, I was back swimming the whole of 2014 summer to prepare for the school swimming varsity, not to prepare for any long-distance swim. When Daddy told me that Coach Haroon invited me to join the ‘cross channel’ swim, I asked Dad if he will join us. When he said he will swim with me, I agreed to join. That was 1 week before the activity. Dad prepared me 2 days before the actual day. We did non-stop long-distance swimming in the pool.

* Why did you decide to swim as a parent-child tandem?

Karla: My dad told me that my swimming coach, Haroon Cali, invited me to join the ‘cross channel’ activity and I wanted to join and swim with my dad.

Patrick: It’s actually my third time to do a long-distance swim, as part of triathlon training. I always shared my experiences with my children and they were always excited to hear my stories. Now that it was Karla’s opportunity to experience it, I knew that ‘crossing the channel’ would be a priceless and significant experience for her. I also felt that her confidence level would be higher if she knows that I will be swimming beside her.

* Were there any fears of swimming in the deep waters at first and if yes, how did you overcome this fear?

Karla: Yes. When I jumped in the water, the first thing I did was to look what was underneath me. It was all dark blue or dark green, and it was scary. I overcame my fear because I know my Dad and another swim buddy was swimming beside me all the time.

* Did you follow a special diet during your training?

Patrick: I use to weigh 185 lbs. for more than 10 years since I got sick of typhoid fever in 2010. Then I decided to lose weight. Since August 2010, I started my no-rice-during-lunch-and-dinner diet (no cheat at all), and regularly go to the gym. In 2012, I weighed 165 lbs. and decided to get into triathlon. I maintained my no-rice-during-lunch-and-dinner diet up to the present.

Karla: No, I did not follow any special diet. I eat everything.

* Who or what inspired you to finish the long-distance swim?

Karla: Dad was always beside me or in front of me, coaching me. He was always talking to me, letting me know how many meters or minutes to go. I really wanted to finish it because I know I can do it, and I want to prove to myself that I can conquer my fear of not reaching the shore, and also to make my family happy for me.

* What were the important lessons/values that you learned from the training and the actual long-distance swim itself?

Karla: I realized that constant practice and listening to our coach will make ‘crossing the channel’ easy for me. I also learned that I should not be scared of trying things I have not done before, and overcoming fear of something we cannot see like what was underneath me. I also learned that we should put a lot of petroleum jelly because there are a lot of jellyfish in the sea.

* How do you apply these values you learned in other areas of your life?

Karla: I should not be afraid of trying new things and conquering our fears as long as we are guided by our coaches/teachers. Proper and constant practice will help us a lot in whatever we do.

* How did you support each other as a parent-child team?

Patrick: I have always supported the choice of sport or hobbies of my children. In the same token, I get myself involved in their choice if I can do it. In this particular event, it was Karla who got herself involved in my sport. So I made it a point to support her, from practice to actual swim, from start to finish.

Karla: We swam side by side, finished together, and cheered for each other.

* What is your advice for younger kids/parents who also wish to challenge themselves and do the cross channel swim?

Patrick: Parents should support the choice of hobby or sport of your children. When teaching them or guiding them, we should also practice what we teach them so they may see for themselves. We should always walk our talk.

Karla: We should not be afraid of trying new things like ‘crossing the channel’, for as long as we allow ourselves to be guided by our coaches and teachers. We should always learn the proper way and constant practice will bring us to the shore.

* When is your next swim/sports event?

Karla: I have no idea yet, but I will be joining the swimming team of my school.

E-mail the author at mom.about.town.dvo@gmail.com. Visit www.momabouttowndavao.blogspot.com.

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Calling all aspiring writers and young illustrators! It's competition time once again!

Eye Level reaches out to the world in discovering new breed of writers and literary talents with the annual Eye Level Literature Awards.

Now on its 22nd year, the contest aims to promote the love of reading to kids of all cultures, regardless of boundaries and nations through finding story tellers of written and visual language.

Contest Categories

1. Illustrated Category (Children)

a. Kindergarten: drawing with short story

Any kindergarten students enrolled in a private school both Eye Level and non-Eye Level students.

b. Elementary: drawing with short story narrative about “My Dream”

Any elementary school students (Grade 1 – Grade 6) enrolled in a private school (both Eye Level and non-Eye Level students)

2. Short Story Category (Adults)

- Filipino Citizen, 18 years old and above.
- The theme is open and free to the desire of the author/artist provided that it is suitable to readers ages 12 and below.
- The entry must be an original work of the author/artist, written in English and contains significant moral values.

For the detailed mechanics of the competition, please feel free to visit www.myeyelevel.com.

You may call Eye Level (E.nopi) Davao Jacinto Ext. Center at 300-2134.

Submission of entries is from July 1- August 31, 2014 only.

So what are you waiting for? Join now and spread the word to your friends and colleagues!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 05, 2014.

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