When I get to cebu, the first thing that came to my mind was to visit a place where the whale shark can be seen. It’s a top list of my itinerary since I will be travelling far from Cebu City to Oslob and after this would be in Crown Regency for Skywalk experience and Tops. I was very excited because not just to dive with the whale sharks and to see them being fed but to take “selfie” closer for the first time. Isn’t it exciting?
The whale shark locally known as “Butanding” or “Suki” is located in the Southern Part of Cebu of Barangay Tan-awan, Oslob. Many local and international tourists visited the small town in oslob to dive and get closer with the harmless friendly giant creature and it’s actually one of the top tourist destinations in Cebu.
To get there, you need to travel early in the morning and it takes 3-5 hours from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Brgy. Tan-awan, Oslob. The bus terminal is located in N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu. Usually, you can ride Yellow Ceres aircon Bus bound to Oslob with 155 pesos fare. I recommend you to travel around 2:30 in the morning to avoid traffic in getting out to the city then to reach around 5:30 in the morning which they usually starts by 6:00 am. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with the place, ask or brief in advance the Bus Conductor to drop you off at the Brgy. Tan-awan.
They dropped me at the MB Sunrise View. It’s a common resort where you pay your entrance fee for whale shark watching, diving, trip to Sumilon Island and Tumanog falls. Someone will assist you and they will organize your day trip either you go to Tumalog Falls after whale shark or in Sumilon Island. There were many foreigners like Koreans and Americans who visited the said place. Since I am a solo bag packer I decided to just only watch for whale shark and visit Tumanog Falls as my main targets.
Whale Shark Watching Cost:
- 500 pesos for local tourist (Regular rate snorkeling)
- 1500 pesos for foreign (Regular rate snorkeling)
- 300 pesos for local tourist (without snorkel- who would stay only on the boat)
- 500 pesos for foreign tourist (without and snorkel- who would stay only on the boat)
- 1500 pesos (Regular rate for diving)
After paying, we proceeded to the briefing area and they will convey you to go there by riding a multicab.
In the briefing they will explain some rules and guidelines about interacting with the whale sharks.
Whale Shark Interaction Guidelines
- Do not touch the shark. It could react violently or swim away, leading to a shorter interaction.
- No more than 6 tourists per shark
- Do not throw trash in the water. The shark may accidentally swallow it.
- Keep a minimum distance of 4 meters from the shark. (Approximately one shark body length)
- No flash photography – whale sharks are very sensitive to light.
- No feeding from tourist boats
After a short briefing then it’s time for the most awaited part. I’m with the couple who also wants to watch the whale shark live. We rode a boat up to the part of the sea which is just few meters away from the seashore. Take note, whale shark watching starts from 6:00 am until 12:00 noon so much better if you go there earlier.
It was a great and amazing experience diving with the whale shark. The coolest part is when you dive as if you are trying to ride with the whale shark. They look like a janitor fish because of their colors. As a first timer, It was exciting when I saw their big mouths being fed by the fisher man. I saw their huge body and tails surrounded by the small fishes. I was worried that time when the whale shark is about to approach me but actually they will not going to bump you but they will avoid you instead as if nothing’s happen.
They are very friendly. I had fun. The fishermen took some pictures using go pro because it’s part of the package. I think you need to pay around 150 for unlimited shots. I seized the moment because I know it will take only for 30 minutes.. I tried not wearing my snorkel and my life vest to get closer to the whale shark though it’s very deep and we should know how to swim. We forgot to take videos that time and I supposed to upload it on my instagram and youtube account because we are busy enjoying in taking pictures.
All I can say is wow. So guys come and get fascinated with the friendly sea creatures in Oslob as once in a lifetime experience because everything is worth it. Promise! I still have 2 must-visit places in Oslob that I’m going to share soon.