March 7, 2012

Save the “Gentle Giants” in Oslob, Cebu

Let us save the "Gentle Giants", is a strong call that first sounded in my mind after our exhilarating whale-shark watching and swimming in Tan-awan, Oslob, Cebu, Philippines.

We left Cebu City at 5:30 in the morning and rode a bus (PhP 145) going to Oslob.

(Travel Tip: It is always best to travel early in the morning to the southern part of Cebu so you can avoid traffic from Cebu South Bus Terminal going through Cebu South.)

We arrived at Tan-awan, Oslob at 7:30 in the morning (exactly 2 hours travel time if there is no traffic).
We ate our breakfast at George Litson Manok and Restaurant where they served us with hot “tinola” and a fried chicken for only PhP 80.

After breakfast, we walked along the highway and we passed by this famous signboard. I said famous because when you Google whale-shark watching in Oslob, this signboard will always appear.

Then, in a distance, we saw a sign for the briefing area for the tourists. This is the place where you will get your tickets for the whale-shark watching.

We registered our names and got our ticket which costs PhP 320 each.

They will also require all the tourists to wear a life jacket for PhP 30.

We were then given a short orientation about our whale-shark watching experience.

And then, off we go!

Roy and I were so excited. We knew that this would be a great and awesome experience for both of us.

We boarded a small “banca” which can only accommodate two passengers and one fisherman.

There were many tourists, mostly Filipinos (group of friends or by families) who were so eager to see the whale-sharks. Many foreign tourists were there too.

And then, we saw the whale-sharks! Yes, there were two of them that appeared.

According to the local fishermen, whale-sharks were spotted in Tan-awan long time ago. Yet, they started opening it to tourists last September 2011.

As I carefully checked the whale-sharks, I have seen that they were at least 10 to 15 feet long. Not as big as we saw them in the television, yet big enough to amaze you and make you appreciate the greatness of the One who made the whale-sharks and all the creatures of the sea. I also noticed that there were always small fishes accompanying the whale-sharks.

I immediately jumped to the sea, and swam near the whale-sharks.

Roy also had a great time swimming with the whale-sharks. After swimming with the whale-sharks for maybe an hour, we were so exhausted. So, we decided to head back to shore.

We really had a wonderful time with the whale-sharks. We really made it so “sulit” that we were there in the sea for maybe an hour in the midst of the scorching heat of the sun.

And then, I began to ponder upon this experience. My heart was so glad to see these great creatures personally. Not to mention, this is one of my dreams to see and swim with the whale-sharks.

Yet, more than the great experience, my thoughts reached beyond what the tourists and travelers can literally see: the condition and safety of the whale-sharks.

Are they really safe? Are they really protected?

Though, we see them swim and follow a “banca” with a fisherman who feeds them, are they really in good condition?

All I can say is that, these whale-sharks give immeasurable and unforgettable memories to those who will come to see them. (I am a living witness to that. I experienced swimming with the whale-sharks and I am sure that I can’t forget this for the rest of my life.)

However, let’s also consider the condition and safety of these whale-sharks. They need to be protected, and their safety ensured.

This is a message that I’m sounding for all of us (tourists, government officials, and local fishermen),


That's my call. That's my plea.


  1. awesome.. I'm going to Oslob this coming Monday.. can't wait to see them.. :)

    1. Wow, i know you'll enjoy your trip there! Also visit the hot spring, Sumilon Island, and Tumalog Falls in Oslob...

  2. What a magical experience! I do hope this sudden boost in Oslob tourism doesn't harm the gentle giants.

    1. Yeah, you're right. I sensed that they are now trying to protect the whale-sharks.

  3. sana dumami pa sila diyan para pag pumunta ako masaya.. hihi.

    1. When are you coming here? I know you will have a great time!

  4. ok, so how can you start saving the gentle giants? hehe
    for me ha, as long as there are tourists like US who'll patronize this tour, these gentle giants "cant be saved" :)

    1. yeah, you're really right. as long as there are people who will go there, then this activity will still continue.

      For me, that was my first and the last.

      I just want to instill in the minds of the tourists and the people in Oslob that we need to protect them and not to exploit them.

  5. Phrem, I had a great time reading your post from top to bottom!! Maayo pa ka, naka-anha na!! :/ Nasuya ko sa hot tinola and fried chiken!! :/ Miss you and hope to see you when my schedule clears up. :)

    1. Tin, tnx for reading..hehehe..mgkita na lagi ta aron mkasabot na tag laag... tc!

    2. Labs, lets go there soon. When we have time that is. This Ephraim oh, cge invite laag but look, mas busy ug laag2x. Gowdness. :)) Labs, i jst hope noh out of all Ephraim's travel, he'll have the time to buy us his pasalubong. bwahahaha :))))

    3. Woiii, i always look forward to traveling with both of you!! And I am always willing to give you a pasalubong from Ormoc, the Cassava Cake... :P

      Laag na ta ninyo nah!!

  6. ayyayyay they are like puppets now.tsk

    1. Hi! Thanks for dropping by! Yeah, at first, it feels great to see them and then suddenly you'll realize that it's not nice seeing them like that. :(

  7. This is so bad! You claim to support the plea of "safe the whale sharks", yet you give your money to this sad busines. It is obvious they are not safe and not in good condition thanks to the tourism! Whale sharks are supposed to migrate, but the ones in oslob don't, which is changing the whole marine ecosystem of the area. If you really care about the oceans, maybe you could use your blog to ask people to stop financing this sad circus Oslob's become!