The little Mermaid

My German friend
(well she lives there anyway)
posted the question:
“Are you the exskindiver because of your stint as an aquabelle? hahaha”
Lillian Rosales (Eder),
who gave up medicine to be a wammer,
can always be counted on for such nuggets of information.


It was a summer of inactivity and serious floundering
(a perk of being a teacher).
Elaine needed company to try out
for an underwater ballet show.
being the dedicated friend that I am,
I (together with another friend Jimmy Buencamino) agreed to go with her.

On the day of the auditions all three of us ended up trying out.
All three of us made it.
Elaine and Jim ended up having
more important things to do.
I didn't.

Laugh all you want, but being an aquabelle is not easy.
You must enjoy breathholding.
You must ignore your bursting lungs.
The air must be let out through your nose, very slowly so as not to
disrupt the water in front of your smiling face.
Forward motion methods of movement must be learned,
with the sculling motion of the arms, without the use of your legs.
Said legs have to be kept together at all times so as to give the very best mermaid impression.

This underwater ballet show, boasts of being
the only show of its kind in asia. (woohoo)
It is performed in the swimming pool of a hotel.
This pool has one huge glass window to allow viewing from a lower level restaurant
(Hotel disclaimer: use of hotel pool during off-show hrs. may result in you being the unexpected talent of a peep show. Adjusting and fiddling with privates not recommended)

Andrew Brown, a CNN correspondent, reported about this special show.
He asked, is it art or is it a sport?

At the time, I had no idea that this was a rather unique endeavor I had committed to.
(try googling underwater ballet and you will pull up sites like: erotic aquatics, cindy’s aqua routine, adriana’s liquid lagoon... you get the drift).

For the record, I only did one show.
(One show too many according to my father, who was mortified that his college educated daughter was moonlighting as a mermaid)
This hardly qualifies me as having been an aquabelle.

I still have my underwater ballet skills today.
I use them solely as entertainment for my children.
I can perform a perfect tuck, a clam, and a pike leading to a jackknife.
When my children don goggles to watch me…the bubbles from my nose come out in a controlled manner and I make sure that I have that big smile on my face.
Once again, there’s that education put to good use.

This is not me.


  1. Lillian Rosales-Eder8:30 AM

    calling me your german friend and wammer made peter not stop laughing. next time we are in manila, we will go and watch the show. wow, the only one is asia since 1967.

    bobbie, since you will be in manila too this jan, we should watch together.

    yes, chesca, i did remember you telling steve that your dad made you quit the show.

  2. Re: Aquabelle?
    Weeki Wachee Springs!! We went there this summer for
    our first family vacation.
    FYI - they had to cancel a show this summer, an
    alligator made it to the performance area.
    -paddy faustino

  3. chesca8:41 AM

    weeki wachi springs
    6131 commercial way,
    weeki wachi, fl 34606.
    "the Best Mermaid Show in America"
    note to self: keep address handy in case wamming career falls through.


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