Whale Shark watching: Waking up in the wee hours of the morning has to have a good payoff for me. The trade off with sleep deprivation has to come with a very heavy price; like someone’s head being severed with a serrated spoon or the experience of being able to swim with the gentlest of all giants in the ocean.
Oslob in Cebu is very well known for their whale shark watching activity. The major draw in is that the tourists are guaranteed to see a whale shark at any time of the year. Although the best time to be there is December to January as the waters are quite still and serene.
From Cebu City, it takes about 3 hours to get to Oslob. We had to leave the hotel at around 4 in the morning to get to Oslob at 7. The whale watching is only until 10:30 in the morning ergo, the odd wake up time. One can opt to get a place in Oslob instead if you prefer to wake at a more decent time. We booked our tour with the Oslob Whale Sharks company and I have to say, I have no complaints at all. They were so nice and accommodating and very efficient.
The drive to Oslob was a treat in itself. The scenery was so beautiful and serene. The kids didn’t even complain at all. Our driver was awesome as well, making sure we were comfy and stopped when we needed a bathroom break. Once in Oslob, we were taken to have a quick bite for breakfast. I loved the authentic Chokolate and the sticky rice! Breakfast of whale watching champions! Then we had a brief lecture on what to do and what not to do:
1. Don’t touch the whale sharks. Always keep at least 4 meters between you and the fish. Truth be told though, the fishes are so used to humans that they’re the ones breaking the rules!
2. Do not use flash photography. The whale sharks are very sensitive to light. If one does not have an underwater camera, you can rent one at the kiosk for a small fee. They’ll even download the photos and vids on a CD for you to keep. You can opt to buy an SD card or a USB stick if you prefer.
3. You only have 30 minutes of interaction with the whale sharks so make sure you make the most out of it.
The whole experience was indescribable! There’s nothing like being face to face with these beautiful creatures to make you change your perspective in life. Even my mother, who couldn’t swim to save herself, braved the open sea and dove in to see these beauties up close.
You can get to Oslob by flying to Cebu via Air Asia. They have new promos for the new year. Check out their website and book online for a better deal!