When I was in third year high school, I braved to swim in the open sea, confident that I would survive it with my limited swimming skills. Unfortunately, I ran out of breath. I was lucky that there was a fisherman nearby who helped me get out of the water. I never dared to swim further from the shore after that incident. Every time we go on a beach trip, my friends would enjoy while I just stay there looking at them. I’m from Zamboanga and it’s so frustrating that there are amazing beaches there, a jeepney ride away and I can’t even swim. My parents are always worried that I won’t make it again. Last year, I decided that I should take swimming lessons. The timing was always a big challenge though because I’m still a student. But finally, here we are in the pool and I’m on my last day of the swimming class. I’ve learned a lot and during weekdays I sneak in some practice. These lessons helped me have a little bit more confidence and overcome my fear in the water.

- Qapwa

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