What do you look forward to in a race? Is it a way to challenge your limits? Is it your way to immerse and socialize with the community? Is it your way to appreciate nature in its raw and pristine form?
Lake Maragang’s open water swim is a little bit of everything. It’s a challenging 1.5 or 3 kilometers distance around the lake. The event was also an appreciation of the raw natural beauty of the lake, which also came with a 5-kilometer roller coaster habal ride from Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur. Then, it was a great way to feel the local hospitality, the delicacies and the presence of key dignitaries of the region during the event.
Open Water Swim
Over 100 swimmers dared to swim the 1.5 and 3 kilometer distance around the murky waters of Lake Maragang. While the ZamPen’s open water swim is a competitive race, the organizers were able to make it a fun, festive and friendly race environment that had participants ranging from kids to seniors. The 3-kilometers swimmers had to do two loops around the lake while the 1.5-kilometers swimmer had to complete one loop around the lake. While there were heavy rains before the race, this did not deter participants from starting and eventually finishing the race. There was also premium on safety with buoys place for each swimmer as a way to identify the participants in the race. One advantage of having the swim leg in a lake is that you can see all the participants in the lake. At the end of the race, everybody had a sense of accomplishment and a happy experience joining the race.
A Beautiful Adventure
Even before the race, it was an exciting ascent already via habal ride on rolling ascending single track paved roads along cliffs and ridges. You got to admire the driving skill of the riders over the climbs and curves in the road. It was a roller coaster adventure from Tigbao to Lake Maragang at around 750 meters above sea level (MASL). The reward of that intense ride was the majestic Lake Maragang. I just love how calming lakes are especially Lake Maragang, which is a heart shaped lake and is such a scenic delight. I even took the trails surrounding the lake was another beautiful adventure for us. It was raw trails which is heavily forested. It was an up and down, slip and slide adventure in the trails. We also got see various insects like centipedes, moths and even the scary wasp plus occasional peeks of the lake from various vantage points.
Cold Weather, Warm People, Great Food
Lake Maragang had a micro climate and its mostly cool at its elevation of 750 MASL. I really welcomed the cold weather coming from mostly tropical weather in Metro Manila. While it’s been cool at the lake, it felt warm how we felt the local hospitality from us enjoying the local delicacies to their signature local wine collection. We also felt secure the whole time with ample security in the area and also seeing local dignitaries during the event including the Municipal Mayor of Tigbao, Hon. Eleazar Carcallas, DOT’s regional director Dara Cataluna and USEC Myra Valderoza-Abubacar. They were also one with the participants in the event including the presentation of Finisher Medals, awarding of top finishers and of course, enjoying the food during the event.
About ZamPen Open Water Swim Circuit
Lake Maragang is the third leg of the ZamPen Openwater Swim Circuit held last April 30, 2023. The first two circuits were held at Onse Islas (11 Islands) in the City of Flowers in Zamboanga City last February 12, 2023 and Buluan Island in Zamboanga, Sibugay last March 19, 2023. The next will be held in Dakak Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte on May 28, 2023.
If you haven’t been to the Zamboanga Peninsula, this is your chance to experience its colorful mix of old and new culture and breathtaking views. You’ll get to tour around the region while enjoying an exciting open water adventure.
For more information about the ZamPen Open Water Swim Circuit, follow their facebook page: ZamPen Open Water Swim Circuit 2023.
The Zamboanga Peninsula Open Water Swim Circuit is a project of the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, Zamboanga Open Water Swimming Club, Inc, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Support is also provided by the Local Government Units (LGU) of the City Government of Zamboanga, the Provincial Government of Zamboanga Sibugay, the Municipality of Tigbao Zamboanga del Sur, and the City Government of Dapitan Zamboanga del Norte.