The world has been a crazy playground and remained to be a very mysterious place. More things left unknown, species and places yet to be discovered, and some that has been discovered still remains a puzzle. I guess that’s what makes this life truly interesting and worth living, it is full of adventures and uncertainties.
To be able to experience the wonders of the world is truly a gift, and I will be forever grateful to that. Taking that leap of faith to make the first step requires a lot of commitment that you will never give up. This traveling and exploring things I believe is not just about going to places and escaping a stressful life, but also a self discovery and feeding one’s soul with pretty good stuff.
I know most of us wanted to see this gentle giants up close, and as a water person, I am not an exception. This side trip in Oslob Cebu was never part of our original plan. We intended to just have Bais and Dumaguete back to back tours for 2 days but since we found out that it’s very convenient to go there via Dumaguete, we grab that opportunity. Talk about spontaneity and flexibility!
GETTING TO OSLOB FROM DUMAGUETE
We woke up past 5 in the morning as we will begin our Oslob Adventure early. A town where sightings of whale sharks (aka butanding) were made in the past couple of years. To get there, we needed to ride a ferry from Sibulan port to Brgy. Liloan in Cebu, then ride a tricycle from Brgy. Liloan to Oslob proper. The ride was smooth and fast and after 30 minutes we found ourselves in Liloan Port. I can’t help but notice the clear water despite that this area has been used 24/7 by large vessels carrying passengers from anywhere. Fare is just Php 45.00
We hired a tricycle to take us to the whale watching site. As we moved towards the area, my heart is filled with excitement, finally, I am ticking one item in my bucket list. The drivers took us to a private resort with Php 100.00/head entrance. What???? We tried to haggle and finally settled at Php 50.00. The good thing about beingi in a private resort is you will be prioritized. There’s one area that doesn’t have any entrance fee but you will be placed in the waiting list on your whale shark encounter. After we settled our dues, we left our things inside the locker provided by the resort, yes, we put sunblocks to find out that it needs to be removed. (big sigh) The boatman guided us to the orientation area for the basic guidelines. The whalesharks have been Oslob’s main attraction that paved way for tourism to boost in this side of town.
30-MINUTES WHALE SHARK ENCOUNTER
After few minutes of waiting, we’re now ready to rock the boat to the whale shark sanctuary. Wohoo! A bit fearful since they are huge and any wrong move I will make might place myself in danger but I am very much excited to see these creatures up close. The boat man started to paddle and the 30-minutes encounter started. I told my friends, we were only given very limited time so this should not be wasted. Alas! All of us started to take the splash as these gentle creatures swimming everywhere. I have to be honest, I take all the courage I have before jumping in especially when I saw the whale sharks approaching. When I finally plunge in the water, it felt like I am in a humongous aquarium. The water was crystal clear, the visibility wickedly great. And right in front, below, to the right and left, and finally, behind, are the world’s biggest fish. Four, five, six—it was useless to even count. And they didn’t look like they were going anywhere else.The area for whale shark watching was no more than 20 meters from the shore, a swimmable distance.Though whale sharks have a gentle nature, we still felt a rush of panic when one of them comes up from behind and swims to our direction.
It’s tiring to swim, so I keep on clinging to the side of the boat. The fishermen continue feeding them and their mouth look like vacuum cleaners just taking all that was feed to them. They passed by our boat and we started screaming. During the orientation, they said we’re supposed to maintain 4 meters distance from the whale shark. However, they are really close and I even touch one of them with my foot. Slimy and hard, ewww… I couldn’t believe it. It was crazy and thrilling and I was surprise to see myself laughing like a lunatic. We were surrounded by whalesharks . I can’t keep the huge smile from my face especially when I tried to see the whale shark underwater again and again. They were breathtakingly gigantic, it’s my first time to see such enormous marine life.
For those who are planning to go on whale watching in Oslob please make sure to come here early. Whale Watching is from 7AM – 1230NN only and preferably weekdays, it’s less crowded.
Rate/Pax unless stated
|Ferry Boat to Liloan||Php 45.00|
|Tricycle Fare to Oslob (RT)||Php 200.00 (4 pax)|
|Swimming with the Whale Shark||Php 500.00|
|Resort Entrance||Php 50.00|
|Camera Rental||Php 500.00 (entire group use – 8 pax)|
|Ferry Boat to Dumaguete||Php 37.00|
Php 757.00 /person
Short but one of the most thrilling underwater experience I’ve ever had. Swimming with the whale shark was an experience of a life time; it’s a must try!