Triathlete Ingemar Macarine triumphantly emerged from the waters some 5 hours and 55 minutes after he swam the shark-infested Sarangani Bay to become the first man ever to cross the 12.95 kilometer channel – solo.
It was also the first ever solo swim attempt ever at the treacherous Sarangani Bay.
The exploit further added to the long list of Macarine’s conquests which included crossing Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco City, California, USA and a failed attempt as the first Filipino to ever to cross Visayas and Mindanao by swimming unaided.
Although the bay has been conquered before during the annual marathon Swim Across the Bay event of the Sarangani festival, this came through a 5-man team open relay and in a competition participated by accomplished amateur swimmers.
Macarine’s time was more than one hour off the course record but no less extraordinary.
He took off in Tinoto in Maasim and swam across the bay to supposedly reach Tango in Glan. But strong and shifting currents drifted him off course.
“There were shifts in current and they were strong. He ended up in Sumbang Point, Taluya village instead of Tango, Glan,” said Michelle Solon, wife of Sarangani Gov. Steve Solon.
He was watched by several spectators who rode motorized bancas.
“Conquered Sarangani Bay by swimming 12.95KM in 5Hours and 55minutes,” Macarine said in his Facebook account.
Macarine’s long-busting feat served as opening spectacle for the 2015 Sarangani Bay Festival which now enters in 9th year.
He thanked Sarangani Gov. Steve Solon for sponsoring his exploit.
“(The) swim is to promote tourism in Sarangani Bay and for clean seas and beaches,” Macarine added.
Macarine is a lawyer and works as election officer of Tubigon in Bohol.
(Photos below were from the 2014 Sarangani Bay Festival taken by Edwin Espejo)
The Sarangani Bay Festival is billed as Mindanao’s biggest beach party and has attracted thousands of beach and party goers.
Last year, more than 20,000 visitors partied from dusk to dawn that regularly features popular performing bands and artists from Manila.
The main festival events are held in Gumasa, Glan where some of the finest white sand beaches are often compared to the world-famous Boracay in Caticlan, Aklan.
The festival, now popularly known as Sarbay Fest, is happening this weekend May 15-16.
The local government of Sarangani is pushing for a clean Sarbay Fest this year after beach goers left behind heaps of garbage in 2014.