Beach, sun and sand — the perfect combination of these elements makes Boracay a world-famous beach destination. And if the beach is not enough, Boracay boasts of endless activities to occupy each precious second tourists spend on the island-paradise. Diving and parasailing are only a few of these activities, some of which you could see in our post on why we still love Boracay. But don’t you know that you can live your childhood dream of becoming a mermaid?
And, should you want to become a mermaid, you don’t have to deal with Ursula, or lose your voice (c’mon now, don’t tell us you haven’t watched Ariel in The Little Mermaid?). Just go to the impressive-sounding Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy in Boracay and pay P700 for 30 minutes of pictorials. BYOC, bring your own camera. Better still, take the 2-hour mermaid swimming lesson for P1,500.
That is, if you have enough patience to search for the Mermaid Academy. When we started looking for the Academy, we were sure only of three things. First, there’s such a venue called the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy (we assumed it’s a school, with rooms or training facilities). Second, it’s a place where guests, for a fee, can train to become mermaids or rent a mermaid costume. Third, it’s found in Boracay’s Station 2.
After asking for directions from almost half of the people on the island, we finally found the Academy (ok, ok, we only asked the tourist police stationed at D’Mall). We started at the Boracay Regency and, after getting tired from hours of hiking along the beach towards Station 2, stopped at the Real Coffee to grab its fabled Calamansi Muffin (fine, the leisurely walk on the sand was only about 15 minutes because the Regency, the Real Coffee and the Mermaid Academy are all located in Station 2).
The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy is really not an academy. It simply piggybacks on the establishment called the FishEye Divers. You’ll have a better chance of finding the Mermaid Academy by using FishEye Divers as the reference point. Or simply look out to the see and search for the single point where the paraw, which is the name of that ubiquitous Boracay sailboat, converge and pick up passengers. That’s where the sirena or mermaids are found.
The training ground is the open Boracay sea, starting from the beachfront where people are walking by. People will ogle, first with crumpled eyebrows signifying puzzlement, subsequently breaking into a smile with a full realization of seeing a mermaid. Others would ask permission to take photos. One thing is certain — the smile always comes through. And it’s fun. So why wouldn’t you want to become a mermaid when visiting Boracay?