Woke up early morning for our cab to come pick us up for the most exciting part of our trip.
We were heading to Oslob for Whale Shark watching!
So stoked! Despite the gloomy weather we've been having for the past days we were very very excited for this activity, rain or shine.
It was a long bumpy 3-hour ride to Oslob from central Cebu. Explains why we had to leave before the sunrise.
The weather turned out okay as it was still morning, a bit gloomy but all good. Eventhough we were there kinda early to begin with, I could see kayaks out in the ocean with people/tourists on them already. Couldn't really see much from shore so I waited patiently for our turn. The entrance fee was bout RM100 per person and they had an option of renting GoPros for your dive/snorkel later on for RM30-50.
We were given a brief talk of the Dos and Don'ts before heading out to the ocean.
Some tips I would love to share with you guys :
1. Don't wear any body cream/sun screen/perfume/deodorant before Whale Shark watching. The chemicals in these products are bad for the Whale Sharks.
2. Bring snacks and isotonic drinks along with you as the bay area is pretty much dead. 3 hours car ride to, about an hour or less (depending on the crowd) of waiting plus another 3 hour car ride back to Cebu will make you very very hungry and thirsty.
3. Bring extra clothes to change after swimming, you can shower there at proper shower stalls but bring a towel, body gel, shampoo etc.
4. Bring an underwater camera (trust me it'll be very worth it) or just rent it from them but your pictures will be burned into a CD.
5. DO NOT TOUCH THE SHARKS. Just don't even if they come up close to you, let the current drift you away or swim away. You will be risking its health by touching them. So please don't touch them.
So we finally headed out in a kayak to the spot where all the Whale Shark is. Can you see its mouth in the picture above? It's the black thing on the left of the pink kayak and yes that is only its mouth. The men were feeding them tiny shrimps to attract them. And once we were in the middle the clock starts ticking. RM100 will get you an hour of snorkelling with these magnificent giants.
Here's another picture of it. Like I said, it was a gloomy week in the Philippines and there wasn't any sun to reflect on picture the view I had there.
Look at how big it is!
I got quite scared at first whenever one of it would approach my kayak. But then I realized they were harmless as they only feast on planktons as they are filter feeders.Their skin is marked with pale beige spots and stripes which were unique to one another. The whale shark does not pose any significant harm to humans. Infact, these ones are so used to seeing humans! :D
This is what happens when you think that an iPhone camera would actually take great photos underwater -.-
Ah, I regretted not renting the camera after that. I thought my iPhone would do the trick and boy was I wrong BIG TIME. So bring a good underwater camera as you really want this in your picture album. The reaction I got when I posted it online was, "woah you're so lucky!", etc etc. Cause most divers would only come across a whale shark by luck and here at Oslob they're every where. There were about 4-7 whale shark at once around us.
It was crazy! Coming up so close with these huge giants was unimaginable. That gut feeling you get of thrill, excitement and blessing. Every time they opened their mouth I freaked out, it was so huge it probably wouldn't have an issue swallowing me whole. Everytime I turned around there was one behind me.
Watch video HERE.ONE GREAT MEMORY :D
It was such a fun and nice experience I definitely won't forget. I was supposed to just snorkel but the life jacket got really annoying as whenever the wave comes in I get pushed away, further from the site and further from my kayak I just gave up and took it off. Swam like I normally would without a lifejacket and a snorkel. Kept the mask on so I could see underwater of course. It was much nicer exploring that way! I could control where I wanted to go and I could also go deeper into the water. But please please please, don't try to attempt what I did if you're a moderate/average swimmer or worse yet, if you can't swim. You'll probably drown as it is deep! or you'll end up being swept away by the currents.
We headed back to the city just in time for a late lunch at the mall.
One thing like I've said, the mall is huge, and pretty, no joke.
We decided to have lunch at Hukad for an authentic Filipino meal.
The place was packed. We had to wait 20mins for a table even after peak hour.
Nevertheless we were in a chill mood that day so we went for a walk around the park in the mall and went back there after 20mins for our table.
The waitress took our order and also suggested us dishes we should try out.
You could tell it was going to be a great meal from the aromas that the kitchen was emitting!
Some of the dishes we ordered. Grilled fish, soup, chicken in what looks almost similar to green curry but very different taste.
and this drink reminds me of a traffic light which mom ordered for herself hahah.
oh and pork ribs! :D
After a very satisfying meal, we headed back to the room for a nap.
Headed out for dinner later on at night. This time we went for western cuisine. And of all the western cuisine, my dad chose Australian lol.
It was surprisingly very good. We ordered the set dinner so every meal came with an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Oh and it was worth the price too especially when you choose steak, knuckle or all that. I forgotten what's this restaurants name but it's above Starbucks so I'm pretty sure if you went looking for it you would find it as it's not like there's a tons of Australian restaurant there.
Did a light shopping spree (nothing much to buy though) then retreated back to the room early as all of us were pretty knackered.
You can check out the other parts of my vacation here :
Part One - http://www.stephanielim.net/2014/04/cebu-pt-i.html
Part Two - http://www.stephanielim.net/2014/05/cebu-pt-ii.html