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

Related Stories

Meet Sheryan, an environmental advocate and a graduate of Eco-tourism. For her, we can only sincerely assert our culture and identity if we learn to protect the environment that sustains . . . Read More

Who would’ve thought that I could graduate after all the discouraging words I got from people around me. The whole time I was studying, I keep asking myself why. I failed a subject once and from . . . Read More

Of the many collections I have in our home, these medals are my favorite. These medals represent the achievements of my children in Math, English, and Madrasa while they were in elementary. They may . . . Read More

At the peak of the Marawi siege, I heard a lot of stories from my Muslim brothers and sisters that they were called different names. People were pointing fingers and shouting that Muslims are . . . Read More

It did not stop when my first husband died. My four other children followed. They all died from sickness. Now, I have one husband and five children left. Here I am, standing strong and striving . . . Read More

I was hesitant to apply for work after graduation. My cousin got rejected countless times on various jobs because of our religion. This disheartened me. I doubted if Iloilo was the right place for me . . . Read More