In tagalog, we call this Butanding. Down South of Cebu, Philippines there is a town called Oslob. Every day from 6am – 1pm a dozens of whalesharks swim near the ocean shore. They don’t eat humans, they eat planktons and small shrimps.
The water seems shallow, but believe me, that is deep. Maybe more than 20feet.
These are my folks.
Tips on going to this trip:
- From Cebu City, it’s 2-3 hours drive. We rented a car and used GPS to be able to control our own schedule and for convenience sake (but I think you can also take a bus for php 75 for a one way trip)
- If you’re coming from the City I suggest that you leave early! They say…early bird catches the worm. You leave early, you skip the traffic in Cebu. You get there earlier, you save time! And of course if you swim early in the morning, you get the Vitamin D since they don’t allow you to use Sunblock.
- It gets crowded there, especially on weekends. A lot of tourist! So choose the best time to go there wisely!
Price of the encounter:
From the shore, you can already see them for free. However, if you want to have close encounter with these creatures, they offer a boat ride.
- Oslob Citizens – P50 ($1)
- Filipinos – P500 ($10)
- Foreigners – P1000 ($20)
This also includes the rent of the life vest and goggles. Just 30 minutes per group is usually the time allotment for the swim to be able to accommodate more tourists. However, believe me, that’s more than enough time already. It gets tiring to take photos after a awhile. And the water for some weird reason, is extra salty in that area.
- If you don’t have underwater camera, you may also rent there (with free photographer) for P500. However, I suggest that you bring your USB because they charge P50 for the CD.
- There is bathroom wherein you can take a shower after the encounter! However, do not expect a resort kind. It’s not a resort!
My boyfriend calls it the Avatar Falls.
My brother calls it the magic falls. Coz it feels magical swimming there.
There is a hike of 20-30minutes depending on your hike speed. The road is steep I tell you, however if you’re lazy like me. Or if you want to save time, you can rent a motorcycle ride for Php 50 (two way) to make the travel time 5 minutes.
The water is cold, fresh and clean. Really amazing. A highly recommended place to visit.
Photos do not have filter. And was taken using an iPhone 5.