Can you swim to save your life?

Posted at 05/28/2012 7:26 PM | Updated as of 05/28/2012 7:27 PM
A BLSS instructor teaches basic water safety skills to out-of-school youth from Pasig.

MANILA, Philippines – Swimming is more than the usual breaststroke or freestyle – it has been dubbed by many as the only subject in school that can save a person’s life.

And that statement may be true, especially with around 40,000 drowning-related incidents and deaths occurring every year in the Philippines, according to the Bert Lozada Swim School (BLSS), which claims to be the country’s pioneer swimming institution.

These incidents, it said, are brought about by either natural disasters or accidents in beaches and swimming pools.

Of the number, 15% involve children.

“Equipping one’s self with the swimming skill is essential in the prevention of drowning and in preparing for safe aquatic recreational activities and natural calamities,” said Anthony Lozada, president of BLSS.

To address the high incidence of drowning in the country, BLSS launched a campaign called “Swimming is a life skill,” where students can learn how to swim to save their lives as well as others’.

Indigent youth in local communities, for instance, are taught how to be safe in the water during a flood, and to bring themselves and others to safety.

Swim programs are also held in over 40 locations in Metro Manila and in the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Nueva Vizcaya. There are also lessons for infants, adults, beginners to competitive swimmers, and those who want triathlon-specific training.

Lozada believes that learning how to swim is not just about specific techniques, but about being confident in the water.

“[Swimming] is actually about being comfortable and confident in the water,” he said. “One is never really too old nor too young to learn how to swim and befriend the water. No matter what age or size, everyone can reap the countless benefits swimming has to offer.”

For more information about the lessons offered by BLSS, visit www.bertlozadaswimschool.com or call (02) 563-5532.