Out of the different life skills you can learn during summer vacation, knowing how to swim could be the one to save you in a pinch.
Over Holy Week 2023, a total of 72 people including 23 minors and three senior citizens have died from drowning, the Philippine National Police reported.
While other circumstances could have factored into these tragic cases including location, drug and alcohol consumption, and lack of close supervision—it must be emphasized that being equipped with proper swimming skills might ultimately make the difference between life and death in an unpredictable situation.
A National Institutes of Health study found that participating in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88% drowning risk reduction in children aged one to four.
"This is the only sport that can actually save lives and can also reduce the risk of drowning among older individuals. Swimming is not an instinctive skill for humans. We can not survive in water unless we are taught how to swim. All adults and children should learn to swim," the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) posted on its website.
The NDPA said that equally important as swimming lessons is proper water safety education since even children who have been taught are technically not "drown-proofed" as "nothing will ever eliminate the risk."
Here are places in Manila teaching swimming lessons for first-timers, kids and adults alike, to learn how to swim safely.
Aqualogic Swim Co.—Inclusive for different stages of child development and autism
Headed by Ria Mackay, Aqualogic Swim Co. has five swimming programs that aim to provide an "enjoyable experience" in a "fun environment."
Its five programs include Aqua Babes (infant/toddler swimming program for ages six months to 35 months), Aqua Tots (pre-school learn-to-swim for age 3 years), Aqua Kids (for ages four to 14 years), Aqua Tech (stroke efficiency program for adults for ages 15 years and above), and Aqua PALS (persons with autism learning to swim program for ages 3 and above).
Bert Lozada Swim School—Widely accessible and ideal for athletes
The Bert Lozada Swim School (BLSS) believes that "competitive swimmers are taught that proper form or technique has to be learned first before we think of swimming fast and winning all the medals...There are no shortcuts to achieving total independence or success in the water."
It formally opened in 40 venues nationwide on April 11. Aside from Metro Manila locations, BLSS is also available in Bacolod, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Ilocos, Laguna, and Pangasinan.
“Our WeSwim Summer 2023 programs aim to motivate and inspire everyone, regardless of age, shape, status, or ability level in appreciating this vital safety skill and healthy activity in a secure and fitting environment under the supervision of competent coaches,” said BLSS chief operations officer Angelo Lozada.
Aside from the usual swimming lessons catered to different ages, BLSS offers programs for PE, varsity, and swim teams. Among the proudest alumni is 2016 Miss Earth Air Michelle Gomez of Colombia.
Customers may refer to and direct their frequently asked questions here.
Swim Central—Adult-oriented and perfect for travel enthusiasts
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Swim Central offers a basic swimming program exclusively for adults, open for beginners with zero knowledge of the sport. Aside from this, it teaches survival swimming (targeted toward travel enthusiasts), private classes, and freediving classes.
"We’ll help you conquer your fears in deep waters. Because it’s never too late to learn to swim even as an adult. Kaya mo 'yan," Swim Central posted on social media.