PANGLAO ISLAND, Bohol – To immortalize the Boholanos who had perished in last year's devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake and at the same time raise public awareness on climate change issues, a Bol-anon lawyer who happens to be theCommission on Election (Comelec) officer in Tubigon town is set to cruise two Bohol islands, in an 11-km, non-stop open sea swimmission that would land him in history books. Lawyer Ingemar Patiño Macarine, dubbed by Philippine TV channels as “Pinoy Aquaman” being the first and only Filipino who had crossed the seas between Visayas and Mindanao, will cross on Thursday starting at 5 a.m. the deep seas separating Balicasag Island, a world-famous diving spot, and Alona Beach in Panglao town.
The daring swim, first in Bohol's history, was originally scheduled on October 15, the first anniversary of the great earthquake that rocked Bohol last year, but Gov. Edgar M. Chatto had requested Macarine to move his swim date to October 16, when the Boholanos would have devoted Wednesday (Oct. 15) as the day of prayer and thanksgiving. Pres. Aquino, through Proclamation No. 887 dated Oct. 9, 2014,has declared Oct. 15, 2014 as a special non-working holiday for the province of Bohol, which he has made as the country's perfect model for disaster recovery due to the provincial officials' unrelenting determination to overcome adversities despite scarce resources. Macarine, a varsity swimmer at Silliman University during his college years, said that aside from his goalof raising public awareness on climate change issues and honoring those who died in last year's earthquake in Bohol through what was once thought as an impossible swim, he also wants to promote clean seas, environmental protection, and healthy lifestyle.
The Surigao-born Macarine, whose roots is from Duero town, was the first human to have swum from Basul Island to Surigao City (4.2kms in 2hours), in December 2013. Two months later, he conquered the seas between Hikdop Is land, an island in Surigao del Norte, and Surigao City (12.8kms in 3hours 38minutes), being the first person to have swum that area. In April 2014, Macarine became the first Filipino ever to have swum the almost unbearably cold seawater of Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco City, California, USA, a stretch of 2.7 kms that he finished in an hour. A month later after his Alcatraz adventure, Macarine, who finished his law degree from Arellano Law Foundation in 2003 and hurdled the bar the next year, became the first human who had attempted to swim from Visayas to Mindanao by swimming from San Ricardo, Southern Leyte to Surigao City. He noted that although the swim was unsuccessful due to strong currents that pulled him to Pacific Ocean, “I made a personal record of swimming 23kms in five and a half hours.”
Then in June 2014, or a month later, Macarine wrote history when he became the first man to conquer the Babuyan Channel by swimming from Palaui Island to Mainland Sta. Ana, Province of Cagayan (7.2 kms in 2 hours). Asked why he is often called “Pinoy Aquaman” by the national TV and on social media sites, Macarine replied: “Presently, I am the only Filipino who is consistently swimming in open waters in areas not yet swam. I consider myself as a pioneer in solo channel swimming in the Philippines.” A triathlete and marathon participants in races held here and abroad, Macarine has been officially registered to join the Eagleman Ironman, which includes a 1.9-km swim, 90-km bike and 21-km run, on June 14 next year, his 39th birthday, in Cambridge, Maryland, USA. The cable operator owner in Tubigon, Bohol, is also scheduled to solo swim the 4.4-mile Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, USA, in May next year.