AN ENVIRONMENTAL lawyer and triathlete dubbed as "Pinoy Aquaman" swam from the historic Limasawa Island from Padre Burgos town in Southern Leyte to commemorate the first Christian mass 496 years ago.
Ingemar Macarine endured big waves and strong current of Canigao Channel to finish his four-hour unassisted swim on Sunday, March 19, that signals the kick-off of the celebration of the first Catholic Mass in Asia.
Two boats from the Bantay Dagat and Coast Guard escorted Macarine in his 10.34-kilometer non-stop swim.
Macarine said that aside from promoting the 496th First Mass in Limasawa, another objective of swimming in an open sea is to make people aware of taking care of our seas and ocean.
“It is always my advocacy to promote clean seas and beaches and including marine resource protection and climate change awareness every time I swim,” Macarine said.
Macarine thanked the local officials of Southern Leyte province, Limasawa, and Padre Burgos for helping him achieve his goal.
“Thank you so much Governor Damian Mercado, Board Member Lee Uy, Mayor Nilo Petracorta, Vice Mayor Melchor Petracorta, Mayor Hermenegildo Culpa, Vice Mayor Freiche Poblete, Tourism Officer Nedgar Garvez, Philippine Coast Guard, Bantay Dagat, and my navigator Roel Catoto for the support,” he said.
Macarine was dubbed by various sportswriters in the country as “Pinoy Aquaman.” He is the founding president of Surigao Runners Club and a member of the Triathlon Bohol, Team Solomon Running, and Triathlon Surigao.
A lawyer by profession, Macarine is a native of Surigao, but is now based in the town of Tubigon, Bohol, where he is a practicing environmental lawyer and also currently the town’s election lawyer.
Previously, he swam from Basul Island to Surigao City in 2013 and from Hikdop Island to mainland Surigao City in 2014.
In the United States, he is the first Filipino to swim from Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco City, California on April 7, 2014.
He is the second man to conquer the Chesapeake Bay by swimming 8.1 kilometers from Bay Bridge Marina to Sandy Pointe Park Beach, Annapolis in Maryland.
One of his longest swims was 16.8 kilometers from Cabilao Island, Loon, Bohol to Argao, Cebu last June 12, 2016.
Limasawa is referred to as the site of the first Catholic mass in the Philippines officiated on Easter Sunday of March 31, 1521 by Father Pedro de Valderrama under the fleet of Ferdinand Magellan. (PNA)