I have been thinking of writing about our quick trip to Oslob, Cebu for the Whale Shark Watching. Only had the time now. So here it is. Oslob Whale Shark Watching Adventure!
Well, it's on my list of things I wanted to do, so I decided to go even with the limited time that I have for the trip. I was initially invited by my friend, but I declined given the flight I have booked to return to the city is on the same day. And it's midday! My flight is set at 1:15 P.M.
But, with much prodding (naks, kala mo naman pinilit talaga), I decided to go, because I will be with people who have booked the same flight, and have the guts to go there. The estimated time from Lahug, Cebu City is 3 hours.
I was told we can travel the night before the whale shark watching, that was a Saturday. And then at 5:30 in the morning, we will have the whale shark encounter then go back to the City. So we will have time. But we decided to cut costs. So we stayed at the hotel, which was already paid for the night's stay on Saturday, and decided to travel at dawn around 2:00 AM.
That's how it looked like. Really early. But the sleepiness didn't bother us anyway. Let's go! We said.
By 2:30 A.M. the bus from Cebu South Bound Terminal went off to Oslob. And it took us only 3 hours approximately from the terminal to the destination. We were there as early as 5:30 to 6:00 AM. We were just on time. So we figured, if the whale shark encounter is for 2 hours, we'll leave by 8:00 AM. We're still on time back to the city at 11:00 AM.
By 7:00 AM we boarded the small boat towards the station where we'll have the orientation. There are things to remember for the encounter. There are penalties (supposedly) imposed for violations. And we were informed of the precautions we would have to take while the encounter is on going. All I could remember right now though is that we are not allowed to touch the whale sharks, I think we were also told not to get too close to the whale shark, around 1 meter away from the whale shark.
Then we were told, we are ready for the encounter!
We did have the encounter! This is where I realised, and as one of my new found friend was joking. Expectation vs. Reality happens. We've seen a lot of great pictures taken with the whale shark, from friends, from posts on Facebook, etc. And we were expecting we could have the same pictures for us. but when we get there to take those pictures, it proved difficult to achieve.
The whale shark is not gonna wait for you to have your perfect pose, so you'll just have to keep posing for the camera as it approaches you. And most of the time, the camera don't capture you're supposedly beautifully posed picture. Haha! I can just laugh remembering the experience. So to share a few. This is what I've got.
That's the whale shark. No! not the one with the bubbles, the one at my back! haha My fourth attempt at the shot with the whale shark.
Then it's on my feet now, it doesn't seem to like the camera with me on the picture.
The this is when I gave up taking underwater pictures, and told the cameraman, to just take a picture of me with this whale shark at my side. I was a bit scared here though, I hit its side with my feet while swimming because I was moving away from it. Haha Was tired this time. Too many failed attempts jus to take the picture! So that's it! My swim with the whale shark! My encounter. Still part of the adventure. And well, it's not what I expected, but at least I know, how hard it is, to take a perfect picture with the whale sharks. Haha
Because we have made some arrangements we kind of saved from the charges. We only paid for the P550 unlimited shots of the underwater camera provided to us by the place where we registered. Plus the charge for the boat of 500 per person. So we paid each around P610. Inclusive of unlimited shots for underwater camera, transfer of files to another storage device or CD. Plus the boat and life jacket. Not bad for an adventure with a whale shark.
So, we're done with the encounter. We're back in the shore. Still smiling. After all the struggles to take the picture. We had this one decent picture.
And our only decent picture is this, thanks adventure buddies Maam Mitch and Sir Renz!
And of course we managed to pose (fake) for this. Haha!
And of course these, as a consolation. And proof that we were there! haha another decent picture of us. haha
Still, I am happy to strike out one item on my bucket list! But wait! There's more to this adventure! Just a little bit more! Haha!
We were able to board the bus back to Lahug, Cebu City from Oslob by around 8:30AM approximately. Calculating, we're safe. We'll arrive at Lahug by 11:30 and we will be on time for the time for check-in which is 45 minutes before the flight. We were smiling, thinking that we had the adventure. And yes! We're still on time, so far.
Then one hour passed, and we're still travelling. Still relaxed. Then another hour passed, still on the road. Keeping calm. Another hour passed, we're still on the road. Travelling. Now watching our wristwatches, it seems to have sped up its ticking. Then it's really 11:45, then it turned 12:00 nn. And we can't seem to get nearer to Lahug. Congestions on the street are getting heavier. We started to worry, just a little bit. I was so optimistic.
Then, we reached the hotel at 12:10 PM. We rushed to our hotel room, took our things. Then asked the cab to bring us as quick as possible to the airport! Good thing the driver of the cab knows the quick way as we arrived there 20 minutes after. Which means we are there by 12:30PM. Boarding time, according to our web check in details is 12:40. But we haven't checked in yet, the things needed for baggage check in. When we get to the airport, there was a heavy congestion of passengers falling in line for the check in. What's horrifying is there's no counter to accept our luggages anymore. Meaning the counters have closed for check in.
We approached a crew of the airline, and wow! God is great, after a couple of words of frustrating statements, she conceded and agreed to check us in. Just as we received our boarding passes, the announcement for our flights boarding was called. Happy us! Look at our face as we boarded the plane!
One fun ADVENTURE indeed! The faces of the adventurer! (Lakwatsero's Lakwatsera! Laagan!) Haha
For the costing concern here's the rough estimate (DIY):
Bus from south bound terminal to oslob - P125 to P175/pax (sorry I forgot the exact amount) same amount going back to south bound terminal to oslob.
Then the P610/pax for the whale shark encounter.
Total cost of P785/pax. This was within out budget of around P1,500. Very well within the budget. 🙂