Learning to swim
was just a matter of time for most of us, given the enticing
environment we were in. I don't remember the sunken pontoon barges
behind our quarters as just a rich fishing ground and mussel farm, but
also a swimming venue were family and friends would gather on
occasions. It was particularly very inviting to take a dip, or frolic
in the waters covering the pontoon barges during high tides, and most
especially while it was raining. Everybody in the house, joined by
neighbors, would descend on the pontoon barges on occasions like these,
to have fun while the rain continuously kept on falling.
already good swimmers would be swimming farther out of the pontoons.
Some would be content just sitting or lying on their bellies in the
shallow water, while others, including myself, would descend farther to
the side of the barge to practice the leg movements of swimming while
holding on to the pontoon's edge. Then to learn how to float, we did
the swim crawl, simulating the way a dog swims, going back and forth
by the barge's side, always staying close so we can readily cling to
the edge if we began to sink. This was the method I followed in learning to swim, at the age of ten, with no professional trainer.
I would later refine my swimming skills at the base swimming pool, where it was safer learning how to swim
in different styles, doing underwater swimming, and honing my diving
skills. When I was already an accomplished swimmer, I would join
neighbors and friends in open water swims, diving from the sea wall and
swimming to the second sunken pontoon barge.
My swimming experience would come in very handy later on in my P.E. swimming classes in college.
[RPS Rajah Soliman Capsizes Off Bataan]