I had never done cliff diving and freediving at the same time. This is because first and foremost, I never thought that I’ll try cliff diving, ever. But my favorite swimming school in Manila gave me the opportunity to experience it. Before summer bid farewell last May, Swim Central conducted its first Open Water Exposure event.
Swim Central’s Open Water Exposure (OWE) Event
Swim Central is more than just your regular swimming school in town. Greatly advocating for the young adults to enjoy water related activities, they are actually organizing events for their students to put into practice what they learned. Two years ago, I never imagined that I’d try scuba diving. But guess what, I did it with Swim Central’s Introductory Dive .
Swim Central’s open water exposure was offered to students (including former ones) involving cliff diving, freediving, and open water swimming. It was held at the beautiful Tali Beach in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Tali Beach, Batangas
Batangas has been a popular destination for weekend getaways because of its proximity from Manila. It’s the usual venue for family and corporate getaways as it is a favorite location for divers, too. Interestingly, there is this more secluded Tali Beach in case you want to enjoy Batangas less the crowd.
Tali Beach is consists of privately owned rest houses. Since it’s a private property, you need to have a contact person before going to the place. They have a very strict security and you need an endorsement letter from your contact person to be allowed entry. It is recommended to bring a vehicle. The entire place is huge and houses are far from the main gate and the beaches.
Swim Central rented a house for the open water exposure event. When I got to see the place, I would say it’s really good for private escapes – vacation with family or friends. It felt like you just went in your home province for a short break.
Tali Beach actually has three main beach areas, one of which is suitable for cliff diving.
For our first activity, we tried cliff diving. There was this towering cliff and as I would call, the mini cliff. All of us tried jumping in the mini cliff for several times. Diving from the towering cliff is optional for students to try. Some from our group tried it together with Swim Central coaches.
For this instance, I was meant to jump from the mini cliff as my heart was not prepared yet for a more extreme stuff, hehe. Our friendly coaches were waiting for us in the waters, monitoring each and every student.
I maybe absolutely scared at first but I had so much fun. Everybody was encouraging, from the energetic coaches to my fellow participants, even if most of us only met for the first time.
After our fabulous lunch, we prepared ourselves for the next activity, freediving. Coach Mark gave a short discussion about freediving. We practiced breathing with a partner, too. Afterwards, we headed immediately to the beach for some practical application.
We were divided into several batches to try free immersion. Free immersion is a freediving discipline where one dives under water by pulling a rope to descend and ascend.
Practice Open Water Swimming
Of course we swam a lot during the open water exposure event. I know there are a lot of people like me who are a bit paranoid to swim out there in the open waters. All coaches were guiding and looking after us participants non-stop – lending tips and help as needed. They even encourage us to swim, swim, and swim to make the most out of the event.
Over the years, Swim Central offered more than just affordable swimming lessons. With the numerous water activities they organized that I was able to participate in, I had seen their genuine support and passion to push students to learn and apply what they had learned.
They also always made sure safety of participants in all occasions. You will definitely get more than your money’s worth – you will gain (or enhance) a life skill and you will improve your self-confidence. More so, Swim Central has always been like a family – that even if you’re just starting your swimming journey, you’d feel that you belong.
P.S. Follow their page to get updated with their events like the Open Water Exposure.
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