Still #7 on Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Beaches of the World, the blinding white sand of Boracay’s rather unimaginative-but-literally-named White Beach is the home patrol of Red Cross Boracay’s Lifeguards.
A little-known fact is that Blood Red has been the official supplier of UPF50+ rash guards and waterproof dry bags for nearly two years now. Constant exposure to the sun (and its reflection on the powder white sand) requires serious sun protection and our hard-wearing, quick-drying rash guards are perfect for the job. Our dry bags, considered an essential item in their gear list, are used to stash radios, mobile phones, first aid kids and other necessary items while they are on patrol.
Contrary to popular thought, it isn’t always summer over there.
Boracay’s low and slow season happens between June and November, when the monsoon season comes.
Wetter days don’t mean zero tourists, though, and the Boracay Lifeguards still have to stay on their toes and keep their eyes peeled on the beach. However, they do have a bit more down time during the low season to enjoy a few games of basketball and have more of the beach to themselves—in between duty exercises.
Keeping fit is one of their top priorities, a valuable asset when one’s job involves physically saving lives. The training and exercises are also complemented with training sessions for BLS-CPR, First Aid and the improvement swimming of skills. No rest for the wicked, even in paradise!
We asked them a few questions about what being a Boracay lifeguard is like–
Why would I want to be a lifeguard?
Lifeguarding is a complex job, but I don’t think it as a job because I enjoy it.
It’s fulfilling and perfect job where one of the requirement is to stay fit. If you want to help in an exciting way, this is the best job to be in with.
Plus, one of the world’s best beaches is on our watch. Every day.
What “makes” a good lifeguard?
A lifeguard should be physically and mentally fit, skillful, ready and calm in any situation.
This is maintained by training every day and not taking each day for granted.
Knowledge on how to rescue people and how to treat them in times of emergency are vital.
We need to be skilled in first aid, basic life support- CPR, and the swimming expertise follows.
What is the best part of the Job?
When you save a life and help others, it is fulfilling.
We enjoy doing all the training, helping tourists, and hearing them appreciate our work.
We get to meet a lot of people from different places around the world, and maintain friendships with them.
And seeing some sexy girls!!!
Compiled interview with Jeson M. Cayubit, Wendill B. Reloj, Jamilone T. Maminggen, Beny U. Tapar, Haymel G. Pigos, Jan Angelico T. Flores, Gilbert Dugang, Kent Rodaste, Mervin Tapuz, Anthony G. Ordas, Ancela Barrientos, Kaine Dior Condez. Edited for clarity.
What are your roles and duties as a lifeguard?
Lifeguarding is ensuring the safety of swimmers and preventing an accident before it happens, as well as facilitating all the roles of beach management to keep the beach safe for everybody.
What is a regular day for you?
A day in the life of a lifeguard involves training in the morning, scanning the beach, and educating swimmers on swimming safely.
We are always ready and alert for any incident and always on the move around the patrol area.
Some days can be more stressful and challenging and exciting…and very hot.
What is the worse part of the job?
Going on duty even during extreme weather conditions, and injuries, such as when I got injured while searching for a swimmer, and a huge wave smashed my body against sharp-edged rocks.
Another time, I tried to save a drowning victim and almost caused myself to drown as well. Rescuing and reviving a drowning victim, not fun. Worse, when someone was found floating (and was already dead).
Also, when we tell the swimmers about where to swim safe, and some of them do not listen, and we even get insulted by the occasional tourist.