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About Swimming / Pool in Philippines

Being very near the equator has caused the Philippines to be sunny and hot on most days of the year. Foreigners visiting the Philippines have noted that the heat in the country can be unbearable, and they often wonder how Filipinos can manage to survive. While cases of heat stroke and other heat-related diseases do strike from time to time, it appears that Pinoys have gotten used to it. Some can walk long distances under the scorching heat of the sun, while others prepare by arming themselves with umbrellas, hats, bottles of cold water, sunglasses, extra clothes, and small towels.

Filipinos have also found various ways in dealing with the heat. Some business experts claimed that one of the reasons why Pinoys go to malls is to cool off in the airconditioned areas. Affordable cold treats are also popular all over the country like the sweet drink samalamig, the so-called “dirty” ice cream, and halo-halo. And then, there are the swimming pools.

In the old days, having access to swimming pools is considered a luxury. The upper class would have them in their very own homes as well as in country clubs and high-end hotels. It was also common for some people who have swimming pools in their houses to have it rented out for vacationers. Today, more and more establishments have made them available to the public at affordable rates or even for free.

Where to swim in the Philippines?

Popular among kids and even adults, swimming pools are plenty in the country. Numerous resorts have included it in their list of amenities. There are resorts that feature single pools and offer it as their biggest attraction. Entrance fees are often very affordable, and there are private rooms or small cottages that can be rented for the day or overnight. You can expect these establishments to be crowded as well. For a more exciting experience, you have to check out the waterparks in the Philippines. These establishments are wide and come complete with gigantic slides, waterfalls, fountains, and playgrounds. Some of them include accommodations and in-house restaurants as well. Another prime choice would be the resorts along beaches that have swimming pools. This allows guests to have a refreshing swim after getting sandy and dry at the beach.

Resorts are often located in the provinces away from the metro, but if you are looking for a swimming pool within the city, your best bet would be boutique hotels. Aside from being affordable, these establishments usually already include access to their swimming pools when you check in. The prestigious 5-star hotels also have their own pools if you can afford them, but the ones at the boutique hotels are quite comparable when it comes to quality and exclusivity.

Sports centers are also great choices for those who want a relaxing dip in the city. If you are a competitive swimmer looking for a place to train, these places come highly recommended. The pools are usually big enough to accommodate those who want to swim numerous laps. Their pools have also been provided with springboards and lane ropes.

Finally, there are some night clubs in the country that also have their own pools. This is recommended for groups of friends who want to feel refreshed after a night of partying.

Not all pools are the same

There are numerous kinds of swimming pools, and you can find them all over the country. A lot of them are located outdoors but there are also others that are indoors, especially in the more exclusive establishments. Most of the swimming pools that are open to the public are rectangular and are around 50 meters in length or more. Some of them have kiddie or paddling pools for children to use. These pools are smaller, shallower, and are rectangular or even circular in shape. Like the kiddie pools, public pools can also come if various shapes, depending on the theme of the establishment. Sometimes, their shapes are also intended to complement its surroundings.

At sports complexes, competition pools are the ones that are mostly available. They are 50 meters in length, which is the standard Olympic size. Another type of competition pool is the diving pool, which is used for platform diving. They are very deep at 15 to 18 feet and come with platforms that are as high as 33 feet.

Infinity pools are scenic swimming pools that appear to be stretching endlessly. It can be found in some resorts or luxurious homes and are complemented with some stunning surrounding views of an ocean, mountain ranges, and many more. Meanwhile, lap pools are popular among swimmers and fitness enthusiasts. Unlike the Olympic-size pool, lap pools are narrower and are designed to accommodate only a few number of swimmers. They can be found in some homes and even in hotels.

Dress for the occasion

A lot of establishments with swimming pools enforce strict rules when it comes to what you need to wear. Not everyone is aware that wearing the wrong kind of attire could cause inconvenience for others and even damage to the pool itself. Wearing cotton, for example, can damage the pool because the material could break down while in the water. The fibers from the cotton can then cause clogging when it gets stuck in the filter of the pool. Cotton can also absorb some of the chemicals in the water that are needed to maintain its balance. Any imbalance may cause the water to get cloudy.

If you wear just any type of colored clothing, some of them may bleed when submerged in water. Aside from its obvious effects, it can also disrupt the water’s chemical balance. Additionally, some materials used for clothing are capable of carrying bacteria. When you swim in these clothes, you may bring contaminants in the water, which could make your fellow swimmers sick.

When picking out a swimwear, choose what is best for you. For males, swimming trunks are what are usually required, while females can wear one-piece bathing suits. Two-piece bathing suits or bikinis can be allowed, but they should not be indecent or too revealing. There are also some establishments that require swimming caps for all swimmers.

Aside from swimming trunks and bathing suits, boardshorts and rash guards can also be worn by both males and females.

For accessories, you can bring goggles, kickboards, and floaters for children. Bringing in of beach balls, inflatable toys, and other large objects may be allowed in waterparks, but not in the pools in sports complexes. If you wish to be sure, it is recommended to call first the establishment of your choice to confirm the items you may bring in the swimming pool.

Basic swimming lessons

For those who do not know how to swim, the first thing you need to remember is to refrain from swimming on your own. Make sure that you are always supervised or accompanied by someone who can assist you in case something bad happens.

Learning how to swim takes a lot of practice and patience. If you’re someone who feels uneasy when in the water, take your time to getting used to it. You need to be relaxed and comfortable so you can easily learn the basics.

The first thing that is taught in most swimming lessons is to breathe properly. Breathing in through your mouth while your head is above water and breathing out through your mouth or nose while underwater is something you need to master. You can do this by bubbling in the pool. This involves holding onto the pool gutter, inhaling and then lowering yourself into the water until your head is completely submerged followed by exhaling to form bubbles. Go up and repeat the process at least five to 10 times. This exercise may seem unusual, but it is an effective way for you to get used to proper breathing when learning swimming basics.

Once you’re comfortable with inhaling and exhaling, you will need a kickboard, which will allow you to assume the proper position while swimming. Kickboards are made of foam and its front is curved while the other end is squared-off. To use it, hold onto the curved part and rest your chest on top of the kickboard. Keep your legs straight and begin kicking. When you are kicking, the movement should primarily come from your hips, and not from your legs. If your knees bend every time you kick, you are doing it wrong. In addition, keep your toes pointed. If you need more work with kicking, you can practice at the gutter of the pool until you get the correct form.

When kicking while using the kickboard, you should move forward, but do not worry if you are moving slow. Focus on kicking first as speed will come once you have maintained proper posture and incorporate arm movements in the advanced lessons.

When you’re comfortable with using the kickboard, you move on to a more advanced exercise where you extend the kickboard in front of you. Hold onto to the back of the kickboard and keep your arms, elbows, and your whole body straight. When kicking, incorporate doing bubbles by inhaling and then moving your face down into the water and exhale. Focus on keeping your body straight and kicking properly and you should be able move smoothly along the water.

Lastly, try the exercise without the kickboard. Start by slowly gliding your body along the surface of the water. Put your arms in front of you, move your head down into the water and lift your legs. Keep your body straight and begin kicking. Take your time and focus on doing the movements correctly and keeping your body straight. When you’re confident, you can include breathing by moving your head to the right to inhale and exhaling into the water.

Common house rules in swimming pools

To have a fun-filled day at the swimming pool, you need to follow the rules and regulations set by the establishment. Different places have different rules, but most of them involve keeping the swimming pool and its surroundings clean and ensuring the safety of the swimmers.

That means no bringing of food or drinks near or the pool itself. Smoking is also not allowed, and no matter how tempting it could be for some, urinating while in the pool is also strictly prohibited. Additionally, aside from wearing the proper swimwear, swimmers are required to shower first before going into the pool. Those with skin diseases or open wounds are also not allowed to swim.

Finally, swimming is not allowed without the presence of a lifeguard. Moreover, running along the poolside, rough playing like pushing or jumping, and unsupervised diving is not allowed.