Also, you can dive into a swimming pool near you. If you're in Metro Manila, and don't have the time (or budget) to schedule a trip to Baguio or the Pagsanjan Falls, these natatoriums are only a drive or two away.
Ace Water Spa
Address 1: 399 Del Monte Ave. cor. Banaue St., SFDM, Quezon City
Address 2: United St. cor. Brixton St. (near Pioneer), Pasig City
Opening Hours: 6:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. (Monday – Thursday), 6:00 A.M. – 11:00 P.M. (Friday – Saturday), 6:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. (Sunday)
Entrance Fee (valid for 4 hours): Adults – Php550.00, Kids (4 ft. and below) – Php 250.00
At Php550 per 4-hour session, Ace Water Spa is one of the more expensive swimming pools in Metro Manila. Still, the fee is worth it, as it already covers the use of lockers, basic toiletries (except towels), lapping pools, hydrotherapy massage pools, herbal pools, and other facilities you don't normally find in places like these. In case you forget your bathing suit and towel (the only things not provided by the facility), you can buy them at a nearby swim shop.
Makati Aqua Sports Arena (MASA)
Address: J.P. Rizal Extn., West Rembo (beside Makati Park), Makati City
Opening Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. (Tuesday – Friday), 9:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M. (Saturday), 8:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M. (Sunday)
Entrance Fee: Php50 for Makati residents, Php150 for non-Makati residents (as of Aug. 2013)
Despite being non-exclusive, MASA is considered one of the best swimming pools in Metro Manila. The waters are consistently clean, the lanes for lap swimmers are clearly marked with ropes, and the changing facilities are spacious and well-maintained. For a fee that's roughly US$3 at most, you'll feel like you're getting much more than you paid for.
Marikina Sports Park
Address: Sumulong Hwy cor. Shoe Ave., Brgy. Sto. Niño, Marikina City
Opening Hours: 6:00 A.M. – 12:00 A.M.
Entrance Fee: See rates per facility
Marikina may not be the most prestigious location in Metro Manila, but you wouldn't know it from the way the Marikina Sports Park looks. Also known as the Marikina Sports Complex and Marikina Sports Center, the park provides clean changing areas, tiled shower rooms, and color-coded seats for competitive swimming events. Its 50-meter 9-lane pool has Greco-Roman style rostrums at the starting blocks, lending it an authentic Olympic feel.
Philippine Army Wellness Center (Philippine Army Gym)
Address: Lawton Ave. cor. Bayani Rd., Taguig City
Opening Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. (Tuesday and Thursday)
Entrance Fee: Php100 for daytime use, Php150 for nighttime use
Being a military facility, the Philippine Army Gym (as it's more commonly known) is unsurprisingly well-kept. It houses — among other facilities — a 50-meter pool that soldiers use to practice dragon boat racing, synchronized swimming, and underwater hockey. Although it's open to military personnel and civilian employees throughout the week, the pool is only open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
PhilSports Complex (ULTRA)
Address: Augustin 1 Bldg., Meralco Ave., Pasig City
Opening Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M., 1:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M. (Tuesday – Sunday)
Entrance Fee: Php60 (as of Oct. 2016)
This pool is considered one of the best in Metro Manila, and for good reason. Aside from having a quiet and peaceful location, the PhilSports Complex's 50-meter pool boasts of 10 lanes, depths of up to 8 feet, and a celebrity swimmer or two.
The best time to visit the pool is on Tuesdays and weekends, since it's cleanest during those days. However, there's a shortage of good lockers for some reason, so be sure to get there as early as you can. Because the pool is outdoors, it's best to visit it only during good weather.
RAVE of Pasig
Address: F. Legaspi Ave., Maybunga, Pasig City
Opening Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 A.M. (Monday – Sunday)
Entrance Fee: See RAVE brochure
Formerly known as the "Rainforest Park," RAVE more than covers your swimming needs. Aside from the two adult pools, two kiddie pools, and one mini-Olympic pool, RAVE offers educational tours, rapid rides, activity areas for kids, wall climbing facilities, obstacle courses, and more. Considering its wide array of facilities, RAVE attracts large crowds during the summer, so if you want to drop by, make sure you drop by ASAP.
When it comes to keeping cool during the summer, the Philippines has more than one way to skin a cat (or rather, the heat). Check out these pools for yourself, see if they're worth the hype, and help us add more must-visit swimming pools in Metro Manila in the comments below.