Hi folks. I have a lot of things happened to me lately, as in. So many firsts, and I don’t even know what to begin to cover. Like, it was my first time to watch One OK Rock Live! I’ll make an another Life Lately link-up about it. But now I am itching to get my fingers to work on what happened last January.
I’ve always wanted to go to Cebu. Swimming with the Whale Sharks is one of my bucketlists and it’s my to-go places. So when I found out that the venue of the wedding we’re going to organize is there, I was totally ecstatic!
Thankfully the weather cooperated.
It was past one in the afternoon when we touched down at Mactan Airport. There was a white SUV waiting for us and drop us off at Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob. It’s roughly a 3-hour ride.
The people of Brgy. Tan-awan,Oslob are so genuine and hospitable.
This place is so dazzling. Everything is beautiful and peaceful and I loved every second I spent there. No wonder why our clients chose to held their wedding to this place.
After our successful event, on the next day, we got a chance to explore and enjoy the beauty of Oslob.
LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN!
The ideal time for whale-watching is early in the morning, around seven in the morning.
And there was a short orientation at the briefing center on rules for interaction with the Whale sharks. When we got there, the person in charge of orientation was still working on a current batch so we had to wait for a while before we finally got settled in.
Rules when interacting with the whale sharks:
1). No camera flashes
2). No feeding of whale sharks by unauthorized personnel.
3). Do not touch, ride or chase the whale sharks
4). Do not create splash when entering the water.
5). Do not wear sunscreen if you are going to enter the water.
6). Maintain a minimum distance of 5m from the head, 6m from the tail (this differs from the 2m from the head, and 5m from the tail stated in the ordinance).
Whale sharks are nice and gentle creatures but always keep in mind that they were born wild. Just for safety precaution.
After the orientation we paid 500 php. The staff assisted us and issued life vests and snorkel gears. Then, the guy there directed us to our assigned banca. The boatman / marshal will brought us to the site, which is about 1 minute away.
I huddled excitedly in the banca boat as we paddled half a dozen yards from the shore.
Honestly speaking, I don’t know how to swim. So I was clinging on to the boat but my friend, Nikka pulled me to the water, hahahaha. So I would stay there. And Nigel guided me to swim. He also able to get a decent shot since he didn’t have any problems staying underwater–unlike me. Most all photos on this post were taken by him. Hahahaha. Massive thanks,bud.
Everyone’s jaw dropped in awe–we all felt humbled by seeing these amazing huge mammals.
It was scary at the start but it was a once in a lifetime thrill to be able to see them up close! It was a breath-taking, heart-thumping, once in a lifetime experience!
Swimming with the whale sharks is one of those memories that will stay with me forever.
Now, about the not-so-nice things, It’s great to have had swamp with whale sharks but I feel bad for the creatures since it really gets crowded; I can’t imagine how distracted they are with the boats floating around, and the people swimming with them. And some people even try to touch them!
I just hope that the management is mindful enough to prioritize the welfare of these whale sharks. Also I believed it should have to implement a fair and sustainable set of rules and regulations in Oslob. Because even if there’s a briefing before you do the actual interaction, no one checks if the tourists follows the instructions once they were in the water. Like, some tourists stayed too close and even deliberately touched the whale sharks; There were measures that are currently in place but it can actually be more effective, if implemented properly.
Note: Some of our photos would appear as if we’re too close to the whale sharks, but I assure you, we followed the recommended distance from hence the whale sharks appearing smaller than they really are.
To top it off, by night, we made tambay on the shore. Best feeling, I tell you! Feeling the refreshing wind blowing across your face, spending the night in a lively, relaxing place. It’s definitely one of the great tourist spots in the Philippines. Also there is a ton of other destinations in Cebu that are worth to visit.
There are still so many places left to explore.
Definitely coming back for more!