Whether you’re training or trying to get away from the oppressive heat, here are the public swimming pools available to you
You don’t need us to tell you that it is really, really hot this summer. You live in the Philippines, and you already know that.
So our coping mechanism this season, like many summers before it, is to submerge ourselves in cool waters. But not everyone has the privilege of living in a condo complex with its own pool or an exclusive neighborhood with a clubhouse—your best option is either to go to a resort (which isn’t always practical) or seeking out a public access pool.
Here are your best options both inside the metro and areas near it when it comes to public swimming pools:
Makati Aqua Sports Arena
JP Rizal Extension, West Rembo, Makati
Fee: P50 for Makati residents, P150 for non-residents
This might be outside the famous Makati CBD, but don’t let its address fool you—the Makati Aqua Sports Arena is the real deal, and many people both from Makati and elsewhere consider it the best place to take a dip. The facilities are great, well-maintained, and definitely spacious, especially for athletes as it boasts an Olympic-sized pool that caters to them and people who just want to have fun in the water.
Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub
Fee: P250 for two hours
Southies don’t have to make the trip all the way to the urban jungle of Manila to enjoy a good pool—Ayala brought a great one right to them. Just get on Daang Hari and find your way to Imus, Cavite for the Vermosa Sports Hub, which has a full Olympic-sized swimming pool. Just note, though, that the sports hub lives up to its name, as it’s a preferred training spot for athletes—so you may need to adjust accordingly if you’re only looking for somewhere you can hang out. A bonus: There’s also a track oval, football field, and bike trail.
Ace Water Spa
339 Del Monte Avenue, SFDM, Quezon City; United St. cor. Brixton St., Pasig City
Fee: P600 for adults, P300 for kids for four hours
One of the pricier options on this list, but for good reason—Ace Water Spa is a jewel of pool facilities in the city. They have spacious pools for both adults and children as well as actual spa amenities such as herbal pools, jet massages, and bubble beds and pools. There’s also a wet and dry sauna for added relaxation. Getting into Ace Water Spa requires a reservation, however, so you won’t be able to go on an impulsive swimming trip.
Marikina Sports Center
24 Sumulong Highway, Marikina
Fee: P50 per head
This is one of the best options around the metro simply for its really affordable entrance fee to its Olympic-sized pool. The Marikina Sports Center’s swimming pool is open to all, though for those who want to avoid crowds and seriously train on clear lanes, this may not be an ideal choice. It is the easiest way to cool off, though, if you live close or are willing to make the trip to Marikina.
Rizal Memorial Sports Complex
M. Adriatico St., Malate, Manila
Fee: P60 per head
The historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is no doubt an all-time great option, especially for athletes who want to hone their skills and people who want to learn how to swim or swim better. The nearly century-old arena, which has seen all manner of legends set foot in it, is still very much well-maintained—it wouldn’t be a proper sports complex if it didn’t have a nice Olympic-sized pool. The only obstacle is there is a bit of a process to access it: You have to write a letter addressed to the executive director of the Philippine Sports Commission requesting to use the facilities and why. They normally will grant your request right away, but it is just a slight hassle.