It was about 2 years ago when I saw someone posted on social media a very clear photo of a butanding (whale shark) in the background. And I thought, this can not be in Donsol. I’ve been to Donsol back in 2011 and watched and swam with the butanding but it was not very visible, the water was dark and unclear. But the photo I’ve seen 2 years ago was different. And that’s when I get to know the place called Oslob.
I’ve got no plans to go to Oslob until we booked a flight to Cebu for Sinulog and I ended up booking a flight back to Manila 6 days after to save airfare cost (Airfare for Ceb – Mnl after Sinulog is pretty expensive). So after the Sinulog weekend, we still have 3 days to spare in Cebu so I thought of what else to do in the Queen City of the South. We have a lot of options actually. There is Bantayan, Moalboal, Malapascua. But I decided to go to Oslob.
Since it was my first time in Cebu, moreover in Oslob, I did a thorough research about the place.
Here are some tips and guide on how to go around Oslob.
HOW TO GET TO OSLOB
- From Cebu City, go to South Cebu Terminal.
- Upon getting to the Terminal, go straight to door 8 (or look at the signages if in case it changes)
- Ride Bato-Oslob bus and just ask to be dropped off at Tan-Awan. But mostly, the conductors already know where you’re going if you have big bags with you.
- The fare for one way is 155.
- Travel time is 3 – 4 hrs. This depends on the time you’ll leave Cebu City. It is advisable to leave early in the morning to avoid traffic and to make sure you reach Oslob on time for the whale watching, which is only from 7am – 12nn.
We left Cebu City at 5:10 in the morning and arrived Oslob at 8:10am. The conductor will announce once you get to Tan-Awan and drop you off at one of the resorts. We were dropped off at MB Sunrise Resort.
I think Ceres Bus Liner and MB Sunrise have some kind of agreement wherein their passengers will be dropped off at their resort. (I am just assuming this, because I noticed all Ceres Buses stop at their resort to drop their passengers). I’ve read there are other resorts around. But I like MB Sunrise’s service. They have accommodating people and complete gears and all you need.
ABOUT MB SUNRISE
- You can leave your things with them. They have a cabinet, just right behind the front desk. Your things are secured because there is always a person in the front desk.
- You don’t have an underwater camera? No worries! They have an underwater camera for rent (yes, they have GoPro!) for P550.00.
- They have an entrance fee of P100.00
- Whale shark watching costs P500. If you will only stay on the boat, you have to pay P300. (But why will you stay in the boat?)
- They also offer a ride to Tumalog Falls. No fee. But you have to pay P20 for the entrance to the falls.
- They also have a restaurant and rooms if you want to stay for overnight.
ABOUT WHALE SHARK WATCHING
- Whale shark watching is only from 7am to 12nn.
- Whale shark interaction is only for 30 mins.
- You will need to attend a 5 minute orientation before interacting with the whale sharks.
- Here are some important reminders:
- Do not wear sunblock. If you do, you will be asked to wash again.
- No flash photography
- Do not touch the whale sharks
- Maintain a couple of feet away from the whale sharks.
I was so excited and scared at the same time before we get to the whale sharks. When we get to the boat, I thought we are the only people getting in. It turns out, one boat should carry at least 6-7 persons
The spot where we have to go down the water is just a few meters away from the shore. I thought we’ll go through the middle of the sea (just like in Donsol), but it’s just near the shore, you can still see the resort from the sea.
Since I don’t know how to swim, I make sure to stay by the boat, and I kept on holding on to the kawayan. The water is clear and the whale sharks are really visible. They are so many!!! At first, I panic everytime they get near the boat. But I realized they’re harmless and they will just pass you by. It’s actually hard to capture them on camera.
Here are some of the photos I took.
- All in all it was such a fun experience. I like it better than my experience in Donsol.
- The 30 minute interaction was bitin. We actually want to do a second round, but we instead went to Tumalog Falls.
- It is also nice that they only have a time window for whale shark watching. From what I understood, the sharks are roaming free in the sea, but they come by during the early morning hours. At least, they don’t hold them captive.
- I highly recommend this activity! Just make sure to follow the rules imposed. We don’t want to hurt another creature just for our enjoyment. This is one activity checked off of my bucketlist!
After the whale shark activity, we had lunch and rested for awhile before getting to another adventure: Tumalog Falls!