‘Little Merman’ completes Mactan Island swim

Published April 26, 2021, 5:36 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Mission accomplished.

LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Junard ‘Ahong’ Chan greets Cleevan Kayne Alegres who arrived at the Liberty Shrine after swimming around Mactan Island. (Lapu-Lapu City PIO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Open-water swimmer Cleevan Kayne Alegres made history Monday when he became the first person to swim around Mactan Island.

The 5’3” swimmer nicknamed “Little Merman” completed the lung-busting 42-kilometer swim in 17 hours, 37 minutes, and 35 seconds.

The 25-year-old Alegres, a native of Barangay Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, started swimming at 5 p.m. last Sunday at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan.

The circumnavigation was completed when the petite swimmer arrived at the Liberty Shrine at 10:37 a.m. Monday.

“I didn’t expect that I can finish the swim. I just kept on telling myself that I can finish the swim and never give up,” said Alegres.

Alegres made the feat more impressive as he finished the swim faster than his targeted time.

“The target was to finish the swim in 18 to 20 hours but the current was favorable that’s why I was able to finish it less than the targeted time frame,” said Alegre.

Algeres showed some cuts in his back and arms after hitting sea urchins and sea grasses during the swim.

“My tongue is also a bit sore due to the saltwater. It was also very hot while approaching the finish line,” said Alegres.

In the entire swim, Alegres only consumed two chocolate bars and a power bar.

“I ate one chocolate bar after 10 kilometers, then another one after 20 kilometers.

Another power bar in the next kilometers and the rest, I just had my hydration,” he said.
Upon arrival, Alegres was met by Lapu-Lapu Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan.

“I am happy and proud because of what Cleevan has achieved. It is an honor for us Oponganons to witness this extraordinary event,” said Chan.

The swim was part of Alegres’s advocacy to raise awareness on marine life conservation.
It was also one of the highlights of the 500th celebration of the Kadaugan sa Mactan.

Chan revealed that the City Council will pass a resolution awarding Alegres with a cash incentive of P100,000.

The Mactan Electric Company Inc. likewise awarded Alegres with P42,000.