Let’s just start off by saying, it’s not everyday you get to swim with the largest fish in the sea! Now now, I’ve had that debate with a cousin of mine and these whale sharks are the “largest known extant fish species”. So yes, they are indeed, fish – but can I add, humongous fish! With a length of 12.65 m, you’d think these creatures could take you down but they are known to be “gentle giants”.
It was rise and shine before dawn to head over to Sibulan Port in Dumaguete to catch the first ship that’d get us across to Cebu at 6:00AM sharp. The ride was about half an hour and you had the option to stay in your car or head up to the seating area.
A family friend recommended that we head over to Aaron’s Beach Resort located at Tan-awan, Oslob– barely 20 minutes from the port. I must say, their package was rather inclusive!
- Entrance fee: PHP100
- Whale shark watching (just on the boat): PHP300
- Swimming with the whale sharks: PHP500
- Photography package (Underwater camera – no worries, the boatmen will be taking your photos so just take in the experience!): PHP500
- Digital CD for the photos: PHP50
This all included snorkelling gear, a life vest, basic shower facilities at the resort and a cottage for use (best to bring some food if you make use of this!).
Whale sharks – otherwise known as, butandings to us Filipinos, are typically found in warm oceans. That, including oceans in the Philippines. They have very large mouths, but only feed on small – and when I say small, I mean – small! plankton. Swimming with the whale sharks wasn’t typically opened to the public until a couple of years ago when boatmen began feeding them. I mean who wouldn’t say no to food!? So I guess they just kept coming back and the municipality of Oslob created a tourist spot out of it. What’s nice about these butandings are how tame they are – especially considering their size!
I recall accidentally kicking it…But because of how “gentle” they are, they generally don’t react to minimal or unintentional movements from us humans. It really was an experience. It might seem scary, but I must say there is nothing scary about these fish at all! Or maybe I was just too focused on taking photos I didn’t take much notice of them! It really is worth it to go swimming with them – especially once you go underwater and go face to face with these creatures!
Whale shark watching is an experience not to be missed if you’re ever nearby in Cebu or Dumaguete. Oslob Whale Shark Watching is located at Tan-awan, Oslob, Cebu. For more information, visit http://www.oslobwhalesharks.com/.
Visit Aaron’s Beach Resort! For more information, head over to http://www.aaronbeachresort.com/.