The town of Oslob in Cebu has been one of the most talked about provinces here in the Philippines. The coast is a scenic picture to admire especially during sunrise. But, Oslob is mainly popular with locals and foreigners alike with one main reason as of late, and that is to swim with the huge but friendly whalesharks.
From Cebu City, you have to take a bus to the town of Oslob for about 150php each. You can be dropped at any of the seaside resorts along the highway and rent out a boat that will take you where the whale shakrs reside (which is only 5 mins away from the docks), but since my friends from manila and new friends from cebu made a 2 day southern Cebu roadtrip, we headed to the town of Oslob after a night at Moal Boal.
Resort Entrance fees: 100php each
Boat/Gear Rental/Interaction with the Whaleshark: Local – 500php each
Foreign Tourist – 1500php each
( 300php each if you just want to watch and stay at the boat. But WHY would you do that? )
Whaleshark watching schedule: 7AM – 12noon
After getting registered and paying the fees, we we’re then guided by the resort attendant to the docks where our boat awaits us. The weather was at our side but the waves were a bit barmy. The boatmen asked us to wear life vests while we head to the dive spot. But before that, we first sailed to the orientation area which was also along the docks (I don’t know why they didn’t just have us walk since it was only 1 resort away from where we departed. HAHAHA! )
- Do not touch the whaleshark
- Be atleast 4m away from the whaleshark
- Do not use flash photography
- Avoid wearing Sunscreen/Lotion
- Be calm
A few reminders and introductions, we finally sailed to the dive spot. Took off my life vest and prepared my gear. Even just at the boat you can already see these amazing creatures of the sea. They we’re swimming around small fishing vessels as they we’re being fed by fishermen to keep the whalesharks in the area for tourists.
As soon as I jumped in the water the first thing I’ve noticed was how deep the area was. I knew then that it was going to be a wonderful experience. 1 of the critters which was a size of a tour bus was just swimming and feeding just infront of me, even while I scale the depth of the ocean, I can already see other whalesharks around the area. There was about 4-6 of them just swimming and feeding on fishes around. There was also a couple of scuba divers beneath us, and since I skin dive and joined them to get pictures and videos of these majestic creatures of the sea from underneath the depth of ocean.
A total of 30 mins are given to tourists to watch and swim with the whalesharks. Which was enough for everyone to enjoy.
Getting the privilege to experience swimming with these giants of the deep has been one of the most exciting adventures I have had so far. But one thing I didn’t like about it was how these gentle giants are kept from the open sea. I don’t know if they are released after the watching schedule, but still, the idea of it makes me mad. But with the experience, I still enjoyed the whole part of it.