July 25 - Mermaid swimming lessons gain popularity in Manila, with women and girls getting the chance to fulfill their underwater dreams. Tara Cleary reports.
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Like fish to water these wannabe mermaids are learning to swim like the mythical creatures.
And the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy is awash with eager pupils.
SOUNDBITE: Leann Evangelista, mermaid student, saying (English):
"I feel happy because I get to swim; I get to swim like a mermaid, because I wanted to be a mermaid since I was young."
SOUNDBITE: Zada Ong, mermaid student, saying (English):
"I think every girl wants to be a mermaid at one point in her life."
The idea for the school came from a Halloween costume search and later evolved as a creative way to teach children to swim.
One of the 10 coaches, Arabelle Jimenez, believes mermaids are good role models.
SOUNDBITE: Arabelle Jimenez, mermaid coach, saying (English):
"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."
Once the plexi-glass tail fin is inserted, students can practice how to do dolphin kicks, bubble rings and how to blow kisses.
Buts it's probably not as effortless as Jimenez makes it look.
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