The ocean stirs the heart,
inspires the imagination
and brings eternal joy to the soul
Oslob has always been a miss for me. I have planned to see the whale sharks two times prior but bad weather always prevented me. For those of you who need a little orientation of the Philippines’ tropical climate, we always have typhoons from July onwards. We are blessed with crazy, hot summers complete with fiery sunsets but we also have to live with days of enormous rains and powerful winds.
So, it was with such delight when during the last week of November, the weather cooperated. Although there was a typhoon reported to make landfall on the same day we were supposed to travel to Oslob, the skies were clear and the sun was out.
Oslob is about 4 hours away from the center of Cebu and to get there you either have to drive your own vehicle or take the public bus at the South Bus terminal. We opted for the latter.
The whale sharks have become very popular in the last couple of years and it is due to this reason that travelers are advised to travel in the afternoon and stay in one of the local resorts so that by the following morning they would be lining up early to swim with the majestic sea creatures.
So we took the advice and after checking in at one of the local resorts, we spent the rest of the afternoon just having fun at the beach and enjoying the local food, which is mainly barbecued chicken, pork, isaw, helmet, adidas and puso.
Although tourists flock to Oslob and the neighboring towns for the pristine beaches and picturesque sunsets, the food choices are very limited and are priced exorbitantly. Locals tend to overprice everything because most of the tourists are foreigners.
That did not dampen my spirits though. i may have spent two time the amount than I normally would for our meal, i did not mind. To me, it was a small price to pay for the adventure i would have the following morning.
Oslob Whale Shark Watching Rates
Whale watching (in the boat only) – Locals (Php300), Foreigners (Php 600)
Snorkeling with gear – Locals (Php500), Foreigners (Php 1000)
Scuba diving excluding gear – Locals (Php1000), Foreigners (Php 1,500)
After registration, we were then rushed off to the briefing area where we were told that sunblock is a major no-no as it it contains products, which can be toxic to the whale sharks or butanding in local dialect. Touching the whale sharks is also strictly prohibited.
Being in the boat and finally getting in the water, up close and personal to the whale sharks was such a memorable experience and the 30 minutes I spent with them was way too short. I would have loved to stay longer but I do not want to deprive the other guests their turn. I do hope that the local fishermen and residents will find a way not only to make a living but also to protect the awesome whale sharks.