Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Swimming with the Whale Sharks at Oslob, Cebu

When I booked our tickets going to Dumaguete, Oslob was not on my lists to explore.  It was originally Dumaguete-Siquijor-Apo Island.  But my friends who went to Dumaguete said that waves going to Apo Island was really huge that I have to replace Apo Island with the equally exciting place.  And when I looked at the map, I learned that crossing Southern Cebu is less than an hour ferry ride away from Sibulan port in Negros Oriental. 

at Sibulan Port, Negros Oriental


ferry fare crossing Cebu Php45




Upon reaching Li-loan, Cebu, bus ride to Tan-awan, Oslob will only take around 15 minutes and AC bus fare at Php30 only.


Tito Arthur who is based in Cebu City had to travel for three long hours going to Tan-awan, Oslob just to see us. 

picture with Tito Arthur

excited kami!!!




there are several resorts offering whale shark swimming and watching, I just don't know how much they are charging for this... just go directly to the briefing center for the regular charge



We stayed at the whale watching area from 8 am to 2pm.  We noticed that there are only 3 Filipino groups who went whale shark watching during the day.  There are more foreign tourists visitors than locals.  When they visit Cebu, they may not be aware that there are more interesting places in the southern part of the province.  Whale shark watching is so much fun!!!  I actually forgot all the stressful things in my life.  Being with them will make you smile and laugh all the time.  I don't know why but I found it so enjoyable that we are going back here in November this year.  Booking confirmed, hehehe =)




some of our photos are owned by my uncle Arthur Ceniza <3

we are so ready!!!


If you do not own an underwater camera, don't worry they are for rent at Php500 only, and the more important thing, it will be the boatmen who will take your pictures with the whale sharks.  Sulit!!!

Before swimming with the gentle giants, one needs to attend the briefing.  No one is allowed to touch the whale sharks and worst riding them.  If you had already applied sunblock on your skin, one needs to shower before going to the water to avoid contaminating them. The whale sharks will bump you a lot of times because maybe they want to play with you but respect them, do not dare to touch them.  Whale shark watching and swimming only started in 2011, I am wondering how long will this lasts and what will be the effect of whale interactions with people.

It is also restricted using the flash of your camera, it may distract them.  Let us follow this instruction for the giants safety.  Discipline is a must!
 


 


Whale shark watching is from 8 am until 1 pm only.  So be sure to be at Tan-awan, Oslob really really early.  Swimming with the whale sharks only costs Php500 for local tourists (Php1,000 for foreign tourists) and Php300 if you will only view the whale sharks.  It is a must experience to jump into the water and experience butandings bumping into you a lot of times.  I screamed a lot when they got nearer.  I guess there are 10 whale sharks during our visit.  It was so surreal!!! I never imagined being with these creatures and being so close to them.  And if you happen to get hungry after the swim, no worries, the food at the briefing center is so affordable and so delicious too. 




big waves at whale watching area

awww!!! so sweet <3  <3 <3 hahaha !!!

the friendly butanding at our back
It was only the two of us who wants to swim, but Joshua was so jealous that he jumped into the water to experience the whale sharks.  The kids also enjoyed although the three of them just got contented viewing the whale sharks so close to them. 




butanding's food =)





Whale sharks are spotted in Tan-awan, Oslob which is 10 km away from the center of the town. It started last September 2011 and become a tourist attraction and popular all over the world. Local fishermen’s interact with the whale sharks by feeding them by hand while tourists find it entertaining.



kuya binitawan mo ako, i don't know how to swim, hahaha =)


may favorite shot <3

with 2 whale sharks so near us... ang galing ng cameraman namin ah, may effect pa yung shot nya...sulit na sulit ang Php500 rental sa underwater camera =)








foreign tourists enjoying the view

affordable food can be bought inside the briefing center

souvenir shirts, keychains and necklaces can be bought here
 
peace!!!



with Tito Arthur


Sumilon Island at the background

Boatmen are offering boat ride going to Sumilon Island at Php2,000 good for 10 persons.  It is a good offer already.... considering the amazing beauty of the island.  In November we are including Sumilon in our trip.
Sumilon Island is a 24-hectare coral island off the coast of Bancogon, Oslob, Cebu. The island hosts the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort which developed the island into an eco-friendly haven for those who want to get away from the stress of city living.

The Island of Sumilon is located in the southeastern tip of the Municipality of Oslob in the province of Cebu. The island has an area of 24 hectares and has clear waters with varying aquamarine hues and white sand beaches in different areas of the island.

It is the first marine protected area in the Philippines and was created as a marine sanctuary in 1974 under the guidance of the Siliman University Marine Reserve of Dumaguete City in the nearby province of Negros Oriental.

The island is famous throughout the country and internationally for the exceptional beauty of its dive sites. Sumilon has four major dive sites, which are Garden Eel Plaza, Nikki’s Wall, Coral Landscape and Julie’s Rock. The island’s diving sites are famous for their superb visibility, stunning reefs and abundance of varied tropical marine species that provide an ideal and memorable dive. There are occasional sightings of black tip sharks during dives. A popular attraction in Sumilon Island is its sandbar because of its changing shapes and shifting locations around the island depending on the season. Other places of interest in the island are a natural lagoon teeming with high mangroves and natural caves used by fishermen to seek refuge during storms, and a pristine lake. On the south portion of the island, a lighthouse rests on a protected tree park and beside it is a “Baluarte”, a historical watchtower built as part of a warning system to thwart slavers and marauders in the 19th century.

Besides diving, you can also go bird watching, do beach picnics with the family, fishing, hiking, island tours, paddling and trekking. Located in the island is the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort, a private beach resort that provides excellent amenities and facilities for tourists and guests.The Island of Sumilon is located off the southeast coast of the Municipality of Oslob, Cebu, and is under the administration of Oslob. The island is about 125 kilometers from Cebu City and separated from the mainland by the Cebu Strait. It is also close to Dumaguete City in the nearby island province of Negros Oriental.

To get to Oslob, you can ride a public bus or a V-hire van from the Cebu South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. The estimated travel time from the city to Oslob is about three hours. The three-hour land trip to Oslob from Cebu City is a scenic ride through the southern coastal towns with fantastic views of the ocean.

From the port of Oslob, there are pump boats or small fast constructs that will bring you to the island. Another route to Sumilon Island is via Dumaguete City since it is also close to the island.





Enrique Gil also finds whale shark encounter enjoyable

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8 comments:

  1. Great post, we also visited the whale sharks in the Philippines if you want to check that out!

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  6. hi!would like to ask if from Oslob, makakasakay ba ng bus to Lilo-an? kasi yung route sana namin is Oslob-Dumaguete. thank you.

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