Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Don't Know How to Swim? You Must Be Kidding!

"Let's go swimming, Babe", your bf may invite you. If you're a Filipina, 6 out of 10, you'd say, "but I don't know how to swim."

He'll surely shout, "Baloney, you don't know how to swim, your country is surrounded by waters, (and sometimes full of flood waters too). Your country is comprised of 7, 107 islands, has 47 rivers, has at least 24 famous beaches, and you have about 574,000 fishermen (one of which could be your relative) , surely you know how to swim,".........or maybe he'll just say, "Crap, we met by the river bank and you say you can't swim?", or worse, he might say, "learn how to swim now so you won't drown in flood waters."

Truth be told, we are modest people. If we hear the word "swim", we take that to mean, the Olympic crawl, or the breast stroke, side stroke, back stroke, butterfly stroke or the freestyle . Nobody told us that our dog paddle style is actually a swimming style as well. Foreigners find it ridiculous if they hear us say we don't know how to swim, we're too afraid to swim, etc. Actually, we fear that people would laugh at us if we don't swim as good as Michael Phelps or even our local Miguel Molina or Christine Jacobs.

Most of the time, we fear getting our skin dark too, so don't invite us to swim at noon time, it's counter productive to the bleach we applied to our skin .......joke! Lately, some of us use Glutathione to make our skin whiter, but that's beside the point, or that's another blog subject - why Filipinas like to have a whiter skin.

Learning how to swim is easy, it's supposed to come naturally, that's why babies learn to swim fast.

Isn't it that when we were in our mom's womb, we were on swim mode? I don't remember it myself, so just to be safe I learned how to swim at one of our country's finest swimming school, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

It's not that I don't know how to dog paddle, I am champion of that, especially making loud splashes and going down the bottom of the pool or river and not breathing for three seconds. So don't make a mistake of challenging me to a swim race, I will out swim you, by speed or distance, I kid you not.

Most of us could at least swim with pride across the swimming pool doing the crawl without breathing at all, and if nobody's looking we could actually dog paddle 'til the end of the swimming pool. Babies and young children who don't know any better do that without fear of being laughed at, "heheheeee, she swims like a dog," or "hahaha, the way she splashes the water, the pool will soon run out of water." That's a terrible thing to hear for fragile creatures like us. So we'll just say, "can't swim".

Do you know how to swim? If you have no practice swimming, or you're too scared to swim, the most practical thing to do is to have a swim coach. A local YMCA or YWCA will usually have one. If Pamela Anderson has time off her promotion of vegetarian food and if the price is right, I am sure she would teach you too. It would help a lot too if your YMCA or YWCA has a swimming pool.

Our first lesson from our swim instructor was to practice doing "bubbles", breathing-in above the water and breathing-out in the water, making bubbles. This is a great thing to do as it adds to your happiness to see and make bubbles under water. Added benefit of this exercise is to make you practice to breath out with your mouth under water and breath in with your nose over water, thus avoiding the bad habit of drinking as much pool water as you want, especially when you're thirsty. Next was holding on to the gutter while practicing the kicks, "not bending the legs from the knees, but kicking from the hips". When we learned this to perfection, we then swam across the pool with leg kicks only (or hip kicks?). The next lesson was to swim across with our hands, doing the crawl without the leg kicks. We isolated the movements to confirm our suspicion that one could actually swim and float using either hands only or feet only. The next lesson was practicing the coordination of breathing, crawling and the leg kicks. Sounds complicated but with enough practice, patience and hundred liters of swallowed pool water, you'll learn in time.

For those who already learned to float or to dog paddle, the internet has wealth of how to's on swimming. These two sites offer very good advise on doing the crawl, the first one even has a video:

Once you learn the crawl, you might like to show off with the butterfly stroke. Here's the best site on learning how to do the fly:

I did not include sites which teach the breast stroke because that's my most favorite stroke, and I feel that I should personally teach you how to do it. Plus there are gazillion ways how to breast stroke.

My ambition in life is to show off my thin butt while doing the flip turn. Flip turns are not allowed in a swimming race but it's so cool to look at them butts while swimmers do their lapping. Here's a good site to learn it:

Did I learn the flip turns through this site? Nah, my small nose gets so filled up with water; I also lose my sense of direction and swim towards the wall and bump my head......

I don't lose hope, though. As in anything and everything, practice makes perfect, practice makes perfect, practice makes perfect......

So tell me, how did you learn to swim?

Useful sites:

This will help you:

Review By
Lucie Melahn (Arlington, VA USA) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Total Immersion Swimming: Perpetual Motion Freestyle in Ten Lessons (DVD)
This DVD has completely transformed my swimming. I'm 42 years old, in decent shape but not an athlete. Back in October I took up swimming after a running injury. My first time out, I struggled to swim just a few laps, was gasping for air, and even panicked mid pool. Based on Internet recommendations, I got this DVD. Within two weeks I was swimming 30 minutes at a time without struggle. Now it's the end of January, and this evening I swam 1.25 miles with only a few stops, without struggle or fatigue. This DVD has completely transformed my swimming. It's the best $36 I ever spent. I went from hating swimming to loving it.

Online Job for All. Work from home computer.


  1. I busted out laughing when i read

    My ambition in life is to show off my thin butt while doing the flip turn. Flip turns are not allowed in a swimming race but it's so cool to look at them butts while swimmers do their lapping

    LOL that was too funny!

  2. Dokey says that your blog is funny, amusing, informative. Did I detect some subliminal message on the many ways to learn how to breast stroke???

  3. @ f1trey, I like your sense of humor, I heart you.

    @ Dokey, you're a fast one :P

  4. wow..what a beauty..all of them..and the lovely..nice site btw

  5. Hello :) First up, I want to say THANK you...a lovely, lovely THANK YOU, for following my writings on google! I really really appreciate it, a lot! :) You are always welcome on my blog! :) To read, and to comment. :)

    I agree, when I arrived in the Philippines, I was shocked at why all my little girlfriends didn't know how to swim! hahahahaha! I didn't take swimming lessons-ever-but when I got into the water, I kicked like heck and somehow managed to stay alive! And loved every minute of it, too!!! hahahahaha!

    cheers and love! :)

  6. LOL, Maria, what a great much fun! I love to swim and have been swimming since I child. For me, swimming comes as naturally as walking :)

    Loved your post, love your blog and I'm very happy to meet you! I see my friend Duta here too :) Thank you for visiting me and following too! I look forward to our friendship in the future!

  7. Thanks so much, dyeve. Thanks for following me too. I love the look of your blogs, and the translations are interesting and cute:)

  8. Hello Charity, you're so welcome and thanks for the welcome. Thanks for being here too.

    I love swimming, it's so relaxing. I don't care if my strokes are correct or it I look fat, just love swimming, lolz.

  9. Thanks so much, Kelly. I so enjoy your blog. Thanks for following my blog too. Yes, I look forward to our friendship.

    We're too shy to swim, many of us have hangups wearing swimsuit! Sheeesh!

  10. I love to swim and swim daily from April to October. It's a great way to keep in shape and fun, too. Love your sense of humor!

  11. hi....thanks for the's true because even I dont know how to swim. So shame that kids here in holland knows how to swim and as old as I am can't..hehehe...but hoping soon to have my lesson...anyway,hope you can visit my site too...thanks in advance...

  12. Thanks Marguerite. I swim at least once a week and loving every minute of it.

  13. You're welcome Jonnah. Swimming is a good exercise, just have to keep doing it :)


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