Oslob Cebu: Whale Shark Watching
After a roller coaster-like ride on a habal-habal we stopped at the side of the highway where we alighted earlier. We waited for a Ceres bus to pass by. Minutes of waiting with all our bulky baggages we hopped on to a crowded non-aircon Ceres bus bound to Bato via Oslob. We were all a bit drained but that didn’t stop us to visit Oslob Cebu.
Oslob Cebu is one of the top traveller destination on a Southern Cebu itinerary. Oslob Cebu boasts so many scenic spots and activities. One can never go wrong with Oslob Cebu when it comes to being one with the nature. This blog is dedicated mainly for its whale shark activity.
An hour journey from Badian to Bato terminal felt a bit lengthy because out of exhaustion. I saw some signage of other falls (like Dao Falls, Aguinid Falls) of each town we passed by. Then I took a quick nap and it felt like I slept the whole day. We then alighted at Ceres’ Bato terminal to transfer to another bus bound Bato-Oslob.
Journey Freaks’ tip: If you’re looking for a quick grab of food and drinks there’s a stall right across the Bato terminal.
Another countless seaside road journey and after roughly 1 and a half hour of travel we were able to get to Brgy. Looc in Oslob Cebu. Whale shark interaction is actually located in Brgy. Tan-awan. We wanted to be away to a touristy place for a quieter place. We made a reservation to a one of a kind accommodation via AirBnB . (Read our Tum’s Resort review here)
It was a long day for all of us and badly needed some rest for the next day’s adventure. We woke up around 5:30 in the morning to get to the area early. Since Oslob Cebu is located near the sea, we were greeted by a beautiful song of the waves. It was one perfect morning in Oslob Cebu. I was in awe of the view, the smell of fresh air, everything was beautifully made. We then changed into our swimming gears and grabbed some carbs for the whale shark interaction. Since we stayed at a different barangay (Brgy. Looc) we had to flag down a tricycle going to the whale shark briefing area in Brgy. Tan-awan. It was a quick ride going to the whale shark area. The moment we walked down into the briefing area we saw a long queue of people waiting for their turn. It was pretty chaotic scene.
Whale shark interaction in Brgy. Tan-awan is a must-try in a Southern Cebu itinerary. A 30-minutes interaction with the gentle giants will surely be the longest 30-minutes of your life. Before the actual interaction, a seminar is indeed required for the safety of the travellers and the whale sharks as well. The seminar only lasted around 5 minutes.
If you’re up for a closer interaction, I suggest you to go for snorkelling with a staggering amount of PHP500/30 minutes. The fee already includes a snorkeling gear (but I suggest you bring your own for hygienic purposes) and a life vest. If you’re kind of scared to have a closer interaction and just want to see the gentle giants from the boat, a fee of PHP300 should still be paid. Some say that the price was a bit expensive considering it only lasts for half an hour. But hey, it’s a rare thing activity so who am I to complain?
So after some queuing, paying and some little talking, it was about time for whale shark interaction!
The boatman brought us as to where the whale sharks are usually swarming. A few moments of waiting then the boatman gave us the go signal. We were instructed to give a 4m distance away from the whale sharks. Locals of Oslob Cebu calls the whale shark, tuki. Moments later, one whale shark came to our side and I was astounded as to how big it is. A really beautiful gentle creature. The whale shark was following a small boat that throws them their food (planktons). I thought there was only one whale shark in the area but to my surprise I saw another gentle giant below me. I think there were 6 whale sharks the time we were there. I saw a particular whale shark which is really massive compared to others. I was speechless. I was amazed.
I’ve never thought in my life that I would swim with the whale sharks that closer. I believe that it is a blessing for everyone in Oslob Cebu (Brgy. Tan-awan) because to be honest they totally deserve it. I remembered when our tricycle driver shared that the boatmen in Tan-awan were former fishermen. He said that their incomes were doubled because of the booming tourism. I personally felt their genuine hospitality they gave to every visitor. I just hope that they remain responsible and caring with the gentle giants.
We went back to Tum’s Resort, had a little rest and packed our things.
Overall, our Oslob Cebu Whale shark interaction experience was great. Although there were some downers, I believe there’s always a room for improvement. To be honest, I’m thankful to experience this one of a kind activity. It made me one with nature. I’m looking forward to go back and explore more of Oslob Cebu. Till next time, Southern Cebu! (Watch our Cebu-Bohol tour video)
Other facilities at Whale shark interaction:
- Shower areas
- Souvenir stalls
- Parking area
- Camera rental stalls – You can rent underwater camera
- Swimming gear rental stalls
- Food stalls
What are your thoughts with Oslob Cebu whale shark watching activity? Share it with us!
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