KICK-OFF. DOT Regional Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez and Mayor Maria Gina Lizares lead the ribbon-cutting as the International Open Water Swim Circuit - Sipalay Leg kicks off, Feb. 17.
KICK-OFF. DOT Regional Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez and Mayor Maria Gina Lizares lead the ribbon-cutting as the International Open Water Swim Circuit - Sipalay Leg kicks off, Feb. 17. SIPALAY PIO PHOTO

Int’l Open Water Swim Circuit in Sipalay a ‘standout’

A total of 146 participants from various categories race to the finish as the International Open Water Swim Circuit - Sipalay Leg officials opened over the weekend.

“It was a standout!” said Sipalay City Mayor Maria Gina Lizares adding that the world-class swimmer participating in the circuit’s first leg look forward to the southern Negros Occidental city to host the event again next year.

Lizares added, “All the participants loved it and want to return next year.”

Organized by the Department of Tourism Region VI and Zamboanga Open Water Swimming Club, Inc. together with the Local Government Unit of Sipalay City the event kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 17 at the Punta Ballo Beach, Brgy. 4, Sipalay City.

Lizares, DOT Regional Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez, and councilor Claudio Bacatan led the ribbon cutting of the Tourism and Cultural Fair.

On the Sunday race day, Feb. 18, the 146 swimmers Campomanes Beach, Brgy. Maricalum, Sipalay City.

The participants competed in five age categories between 12 and 50 years old in the1.5-kilometer, 3-kilometer and the 5-kilometer categories.

“The Int’l Open Water Swim Circuit - Sipalay Leg is a smashing succes!” Lizares quoted Cheryl Decena, Negros Occ. Provincial Tourism Officer.

She also congratulated all organizers, partners, tourists, and locals for the all-out support to the LGU in hosting the first leg of the swim circuit.

The second leg will be held in Sicogon Island in Carles, Iloilo on April 14; the third leg in Taklong Island in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras on June 30; and the last will be in Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan on Sept. 22.

During the preliminaries on Saturday, the Zamboanga Open Water Swimming Club, Inc. briefed the participants on the rules and guidelines before entering the water on the next day.

Sef Carandang of Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. and Roderico Bolo of Sipalay LGU also touched on the Green advocacy talks.*

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