Oslob Adventure Part 1 (Swimming with Whale Sharks)

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My friends and I visited Oslob yesterday. I’m actually still sore from all the diving and swimming, so I can’t really go out. I think I might even have the flu. Still, despite the post- travel physical stress, I’d have to say the whole experience was totally worth it!

In fact, we might all go ahead and do it again soon!

We planned for the trip two weeks ago, and we got so excited we kept counting the days to the actual trip! Jimma, Myra and Jennie have all been to Oslob before but only Jimma’s been to the whale shark diving/swimming. So, we all went right ahead and planned our budget to include the whale shark diving, a trip to Sumilon Island, and a visit to Tumalog Falls. We planned our trip around a Php 2000 budget and brought only the essentials. Rain or shine, we are going to fulfill our Oslob itinerary and fit them all in our 2k budget!

On the way
We all woke up at 1 am to repack, wash, and prepare. By 2:30, we set off to the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Since we don’t know how expensive the food in Oslob could be, we bought breakfast as take-out at the 7-11 right across the terminal.

Then, we went off to the terminal and took an air-conditioned bus to Tan-awan, Oslob. The bus ride lasted for four hours, so we took this time to get some much-needed shuteye.

Expenses:
Water – Php 10
Mexican Wrap – Php 50
Bus ride – Php 155
Snacks Myra bought the night before – P60

MB’s Beach Resort
By 7:30 AM, we arrived at Tan-awan, Oslob where we took a cottage at MB’s beach resort. Here, we made arrangements to:

(1) Swim with the whalesharks – Php 500; and to
(2) Go to Sumilon Island
– Banca – Php 325 each (Php 1500 % 4)

They offered to have us ride a car to Tumalog Falls for Php 150 each, but we thought it best (at the time) to just walk from the resort to the falls.

We also had to pay for the cottage (Php 100) and the resort entrance fee (Php 100).

We then chilled for a bit at the resort to have breakfast and appreciate the view. I ordered coffee which cost only Php 25, then we all went on to take photos.

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We didn’t take a lot of photos. We have to save up on batteries since we have a whole day right ahead of us. At this point, powerbanks are super handy.
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After breakfast, we headed off to the whale shark diving. At the government-owned resort (just a few meters away from MB’s), we received instructions on how to act around the whale sharks.
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Since the whale sharks are protected by the government, we are only given 30 minutes to interact with the whale sharks. Among the reminders that one has to keep in mind is to not wear sunblock when swimming with the whale sharks and to avoid touching them.
Anyone who intentionally touches the whale shark has to pay a fee of around Php 1000, although it has to be made clear that this only applies when someone intended to touch them. The whale sharks could get too close and we are recommended to swim away from them, although a light brushing with them would be inevitable. The sunblock provision is to provide a safe swimming environment for the whale sharks. The chemicals used in sunblocks could be harmful to the whale sharks, especially since they are filter feeders.

After the orientation, we got ready to wear the lifejackets then we went on our banca to finally meet the wonderful gentle giants.

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It’s Tuki peeking out of the water!

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The divers who guided us were very helpful & informative during our short swim with the whale sharks. Best of all, they knew how to operate a gopro, so there’s no problem with having underwater photos. We managed to enjoy the dive as well as the photos right after.

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It was the most exhausting yet exciting 30 minutes of my life (so far).

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They’re so beautiful. I can’t believe we got to swim so close! The whole time, I kept thinking, “Omg! This is an actual whale shark.

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These are the same whale sharks I keep reading about in the encyclopedia and now I’m swimming with them.”

I’m so happy. I finally scratched that off my bucketlist!

xoxo Sheree

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