In the Philippines, any child who lives nearby the sea knows how to swim without proper training. The reason about it is that since their houses are just near to the shore, every day or shall I say whenever it is possible, we would tend to go to the sea and swim. Even the small ones, like two or three years old are brave enough to face the waters.
Some had learned it just by themselves but most of us have been taught by one of the children who were with us swimming in that area. I had learn it because of jealousy. I wanted to swim to a bit deeper so I have to learn the art of holding my breath and swim down below and go to a much deeper area of the sea. My siblings are all boys so I have to cope up.
We have to learn how to float then stretching the hands and the person teaching us would place his hands under our chest and we would start kicking, slowly the one training us would take out his hands but would still be alert once we would seem to get ourselves drowned, he could get us up again. Drinking seawater is part of the learning process though and it will take us years to master the art of being able to float and swim.
Have you had any formal swimming lessons?