Maggie Wilson Tries Out "Mermaiding" In Boracay
Why swim and workout, when you can do mermaiding?
Born in the island of Boracay by the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy (PMSA), mermaiding is both an artistic expression and a whimsical way to keep fit. Finally, your mermaid dreams can come to life—thanks to a short course training and a pair of beautiful mermaid fins!
Now that Boracay is open again to the public, its beautiful and pristine beach is the perfect canvas for your mermaiding. Maggie Wilson and Marc Nelson visit Boracay for Beached and Maggie gets to try out mermaiding with the professional mermaid instructor, Pauline Evora.
At the core of mermaiding is a colorful set of mono fins, which are like diving flippers but both feet get into one big flipper. Each student gets to choose his or her own fins, and there are several courses to take from an introductory course to something more advanced.
An introductory course puts all the basic instructions and breathing exercises into a 90-minute class. After completing the course, you also get an Introduction to Mermaid Swimming (IMSIA) certification, which enables you to take the more advanced classes. The more advanced courses cover more challenging mermaid techniques and tricks, breath-holding, rescue exercises, and even a mermaid swimming instructor course.
Before the lesson starts, participants go through a stretching session because as Pauline puts it, it may look like a fun activity but it still is exercise. Mermaid swimming uses a lot of core, which makes for a great way to stay fit. It also helps advocate marine life and preservation since you become more aware of the coral life and damages up close.
For her introductory course, Maggie gets to learn four mermaiding moves in shallow waters. There’s the usual swimming breast stroke, plus a subtle dolphin kick, which is the most popular mermaid move. It’s basically the motion that comes to mind when thinking about mermaid swimming, where you keep your arms to your sides and you kick with your whole body.
The third is the back stroke, which should be pretty easy if you can relax and let your body float with the water. The fourth, called the fish stroke, is a bit more challenging because it requires you to swim sideways, which is not a normal way for swimming. Mastering this, however, is pretty useful since it lets you swim faster underwater because there is less drag on your body.
PMSA also has satellite locations in Cebu and Manila for those who want to learn mermaid swimming but to take the more advanced courses and for a real beach experience, you have to go to the main branch in Boracay.
Check out the PMSA website here for more information about their classes and mermaid tails, which are also for sale.
Catch more of Maggie and Marc’s Boracay escapade in Beached, airing on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD. Catch replays of Beached season 1, where Maggie and Marc check out the different beaches here in the country on Thursdays, 7 p.m.