Friday, March 25, 2011

Wet and Wild Workout

Wet and Wild Workout
Published MOD March 2011

Summer is the perfect time to hit the beach, and water sports are perfect tricks to shed off those unwanted bulges!

“In 2012, there will be 10 sailing events at the Olympics. Six men’s events, and four women’s events. Not many other sports can match that,” says Peter Capotosto of the Taal Lake Yacht Club. “It is more of a mind sport than a body sport, so it is perfect for Filipinos because we are not anatomically-disadvantaged from the start. Agility and tactics are much more important than height or weight.”

What to bring. Sailboats and kayaks that are for rent and relatively inexpensive, sailing lifevests that are different from most other lifevests, and sailing harnesses

Where to go. Taal Lake Yacht Club, a parasailing hotbed. Sailing classes are by appointment, year-round. It has Hobie catamaran Regattas every second Sunday of the month, and it’s less than an hour and a half from Makati. The club organizes regattas in other areas from November to April. Other common destinations are Punta Fuego, Tali Beach, Corregidor, Puerto Galera, Anilao, and Boracay.

For details. Taal Lake Yacht Club (website: or Puerta Galera Yacht Club (website:

“The latest craze is kitesurfing, where the sail is a parachute-like giant kite, high in the air, that you control while zooming along the top of the water on a wakeboard. Windsurfers and kiteboarders like lots of wind,” says Peter.

What to bring. Peter says the only gear you need that is “sailing-specific” is sailing gloves, and these are usually available at the club where you will learn to sail. He adds, “Your feet will get wet, so if you have diving booties, bring them. But any shoes that you don’t mind getting wet will do.” Sun protection is important, so cap, sunscreen, and sunglasses are highly recommended. Peter also advises to bring a couple of shoe laces. “The instructor will show you how to tie your cap and glasses so you won’t lose them,” he says.

Where to go. Boracay, and Pagudpud in Ilocos.

For details. Taal Lake Yacht Club (website: or Puerta Galera Yacht Club (website:

Says Paolo Soler of Philippine Surfing Academy, “Surfing is uniquely different from other sports since it is essentially non-competitive and better described as a lifestyle rather than a sport. It’s the most natural human recreational activity that requires no audience or point system.” He adds that although there are surfing competitions that involve scores and rules, free-surfing only needs the natural and invisible energy of waves that push water molecules to propel the surfer on a constantly moving environment. Being immersed in nature and invisible energy rewards the surfer with a blissful feeling usually referred to in surfer lingo as the feeling of being ‘stoked.’

What to bring. Sunblock, a lycra rash guard, board shorts, and a soft surfboard when taking your first lessons. To avoid unnecessary injury, Paolo advises to make sure to take your first surfing experience under the guidance of a qualified professional surfing instructor and use the safer versions of surfing equipment such as a soft surfboard.

Where to go. According to Paolo, the top beginner spots are Club Manila East, Taytay wavepools, Real, Quezon, San Juan, La Union, Zambales, and Baler, Aurora, while top intermediate to advanced level spots are Cloud 9, Siargao Island, ABCD Beach, Calicoan Island, and Cobra Reef, Baler. “All the rest are secrets,” he adds.

For details. Philippine Surfing Academy (Cell phone number: 09175827878; website:; e-mail:

Scuba Diving
Scuba (or self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) diving is one of the most, if not the most, relaxing water sports. “Nothing beats the freedom it offers, the feeling of flying in mid-water while scanning the contours of walls and canyons underwater,” says Scuba World’s Dale Uy. “If you have traveled around the world and you think you’ve seen everything, you’re wrong. It is a new world down there!”

What to bring. Tank, BCD or a bouyancy control compensator device, regulator, mask snorkel fins, wetsuit, and led weights.

Where to go. For Dale, the best dive spot here in the Philippines is still the Tubbataha Reef west of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. He also recommends the dive sites in Anilao, Batangas. His favorite is Twin Rocks, highlighted with the school of jacks which goes into a ball formation because of the massive volume—good for underwater photographers. “Anilao is also a haven for macro photographers,” Dale adds.

For details. Dale or Dexter of Scuba World Inc., which offers free introductory dives at any branch in Manila (phone numbers: (02) 8953551, 09175493650, or 09082123734).

White Water Rafting
River sports, specifically white water rafting, is not the usual water sport. “In this, you don’t need to be good in particular skills like swimming as long as you listen to the river guide and you cooperate with the crowd,” says Jessie Jhon Magkilat, operations manager of 1st Rafting Adventure. Water rafting is also a sport where the family or barkada can have bonding moments. Says Jessie, “During the water rafting, you have only two tasks: first, to paddle, and second, to relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery of the area.”

What to bring. Helmet, life vest, and paddle. These gears are usually provided by the company.

Where to go. Cagayan Valley, particularly in Tuguegarao, and Davao City. “But the best and pioneer companies for these water sports are located in Cagayan de Oro City,” says Jessie.

For details. 1st Rafting Adventure (phone numbers: (088) 8563514, (088) 8571270, 09173255544, or 09088849575; e-mail:; website:


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