SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique: The municipality of Culasi in this province will hold a swimming competition on the white sand beach of Malalison to boost its image as an ecotourism destination.
The three-kilometer individual swim race was suspended in 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic but will resume on March 4 and will be introducing a new category for the participants, according to Alma Sandig, Culasi Municipal Environment and Natural Resources officer, on Monday.
Sandig said they will introduce a local category or an exclusive swim for the town residents this year.
Since the start of the race in 2012, participants were clustered under an open category.
This year, both the local and open categories will cover a distance of three kilometers, starting from the island Barangay of Malalison to the town proper.
“Malalison is three kilometers away from the town proper and since we had been conducting swimming competition, there are a lot of tourists who come to visit the white sand beach,” Sandig said.
Sandig said those who want to join the swimming competition can register online or with the local government unit (LGU).
“Cash and medals are being prepared for the open and exclusive categories,” she said.
For the open category, first prize will be PHP10,000 cash, the second prize winner will get PHP7,000, and PHP5,000 for the third placer.
Further, PHP7,500 will go to the first placer, PHP5,000 for second, and PHP3,000 for the third runner up in the local category.
The swim meet is also a strategy to promote proper waste management at the beach, Sandig said, as a material recovery facility (MRF) has been installed in the area to complement the frequent conduct of information and education campaigns to train island residents on proper waste disposal to maintain the cleanliness of Malalison.
“The coastal water of Malalison is also safe for skin contact,” she assured, as they conduct frequent monitoring of the coliform count in the coastal waters to make sure that it is safe for swimmers.
Culasi is the first LGU in Antique in 2016 to prohibit single-use plastics among the vendors in their public market for dry goods.
The residents are instead encouraged to use paper bags or other indigenous containers to reduce the waste that they generate.
Source: Philippines News Agency