The plan was to go diving in Malapascua. But my mom insisted that we see the whale sharks instead. I am glad I consented.
Swimming with the whale sharks was one of the best experiences I had this year!
Things you need to know to make the most out of your Whale Shark experience:
- Oslob is around 4 hours away from Cebu City. Along with Whale Shark Watching, you could also visit some falls around the area. Sadly, due to the current El Nino, some of these bodies of water are drying out.
- Whale shark watching is only from 6am to 12nn in the morning. It costs Php500 for a 30-minute meet and greet with the whale sharks. This is inclusive of a set of goggles and snorkel (an awful one, though) and the boat ride to the whale shark site.
- We checked in Brumini Resort in Oslob. We booked 2 family rooms that can accommodate 6 people each. Bathroom is shared. The conditions for the family rooms are awful considering the steep price. There is a pool but there is not a lot of activities in Brumini Resort. The place was a bit boring as it was small and there was not a lot to see. The main attraction is Whale Shark watching. Now you could always say, it would also be an apt time to chill, relax, and enjoy the sea breeze. We surmise this might be so that they will not drive away the whale sharks due to the noise. A more economical way (that others seem to be doing) would be not to check in to a hotel but to go to Oslob early in the morning. The whale-watching activity will take less than 2 hours anyway so you would still have time to go back to Cebu City for lunch and sight seeing of other places.
- One could also go diving along the seas of Oslob in the morning or at night. Resorts would rent out diving gears for Php 2,200 to Php 3,500. So I guess, it is better to just bring your own gear if you already have.
And boy, was I a bad swimmer! I have already forgotten how to let my body sink. Nonetheless, I swam with not one, not two, but three big beautiful creatures who swam around me as capture in this video:
Good thing I was very careful not to touch be very near the whale shark as it could be harmful to the whale sharks, especially the microbes that we carry with our bodies that are different from those of the whale sharks and it causes them some infection. Read this post by the Sierra Madre divers to know more about the issue.
Looking back, it was a beautiful and one of a kind experience that I would do again if given the chance to. However, if swimming with these beautiful creatures mean destroying a naturally perfect balance of nature, then I would have just to channel my desires on other less obstructing hobbies such as diving (next project to do with my dad who I never knew had a diving instructor’s license!)