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),
SAVE THE “GENTLE GIANTS”!
That's my call. That's my plea.