Environmental lawyer and triathlete Ingemar Macarine almost abandoned his swim from Pamilacan Island to Panglao Island in Bohol province on Sunday because of shoulder pain after being in the water for almost two hours.
Macarine, who earned the moniker “Pinoy Aquaman” for setting records as the only Filipino who swims in several parts of the country and abroad in open-water swimming.
“All of a sudden I had a problem with my right shoulder,” Macarine said.
At first, he tried to raise his right hand while swimming, but there were times where he could hardly lift it out of the water.
“I was thinking of abandoning the swim because of the painful right shoulder,” he said.
But he didn’t stop.
He only stopped for some seconds to drink his energy drink. He was not allowed to touch the boat.
Macarine, 41, woke up early at 4 a.m. on Sunday to prepare for his swim.
He read Psalm 23 while his coach, Roel Catoto, applied sunblock on him.
He started his swim at 6:30 a.m. from Pamilacan Island, which is part of the municipality of Baclayon town, to Alona Beach in Panglao Island, a 15-killometer trip that would normally take four to six hours of continuous swimming.
It took Macarine six hours and 43 minutes.
He will now undergo medical examination of his right shoulder.
Macarine got into open-water swims as part of his lifetime advocacy for marine resource protection, environmental tourism and climate change awareness.
His attempt on Sunday was to promote cleaner seas and tourism in Panglao.
Panglao, a tourism jewel in the province of Bohol, is the home of the country’s white sandy beaches which dot the island coast. The fine white sands are often compared to the white beaches of Boracay.
“I hope the swim will encourage or inspire fellow Filipinos to take care of our marine environment,” he said.
The Pamilacan-Panglao swim was his 7th marathon swim in Bohol seas including the October 2013 Balicasag Swim, the 15-km Pamilacan-to-Baclayon swim in January 2015, the 16-km Bohol-to-Cebu swim in June 2016, the 17-km Bohol-to-Maasin City swim in November 2016, the 13-km Calape-to-Loon swim in May 2017, and the 18-km Cebu-to-Bohol swim in June 2017.
Macarine said that the swim was also a part of his preparation for his last and final attempt to conquer the English Channel, a swimming route considered as the “Mt. Everest” for open-water swimming in August 2018.