Mermaid Swimming Lessons Make A Splash In Manila

Category: Media & Culture / Jul 25, 2013 2:59PM EDT

Mermaid lessons are making a splash in the Philippines, with dozens of girls thrilled to be living out their underwater dreams.

The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy opened in Manila last May, attracting students of all ages.

"I think every girl wants to be a mermaid at one point in her life," Zada Ong, a 28-year-old businesswoman said.

The school was founded by two business owners on a resort island last year, the idea came from a Halloween costume search and later on evolved as a creative way to teach swimming to young children.

One of 10 coaches in the school's Manila branch, said mermaids are good role models for children.

"We have this notion that the mermaids are beautiful, are playful, are fun, and adventurous, and graceful. So that is what we want to impart to the kids also," said Arabelle Jimenez, who works as a public relations consultant for her day job.

For the price of 1,800 pesos ($41), anyone with basic swimming skills can join the two-hour pool sessions, and learn tips from coaches that include scuba divers, free divers and competitive swimmers.

The dream comes to life once the swimmer puts on the tail, made of plexi-glass and rubber, and the mermaid suit.

Once in it, students learn how to do dolphin kicks, bubble rings, hand stands, and blow kisses underwater.

The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy said it is open to male and female students.

Video Credit: Reuters