BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ!!
It’s around 9 AM and my friend Rian and I are just lying on our beds, figuring out how to get off it. The next 30 minutes were spent snoozing the alarm every 5 to 10 minutes and reaching out to the nearest Advil and bottle of water. Time to recover from last night’s party, have brunch by the shore, and get ready because next up on our Cebu Checklist, Whale Sharks in Oslob!
While most people would travel in the wee hours of the morning (starting at 3 AM) to hit the road en route to Oslob from Cebu City, we opted for the less stressful option—to take the mid-afternoon bus ride to Tan-awan, Oslob and spend the night there instead. All for a fresh morning swim with the gentle giants the next day!
Either way works but if you have a schedule to keep, a day trip to Oslob is possible and you should be back in Cebu City by nightfall — I honestly find this exhausting though.
OUR OSLOB PLAN:
Book a room for rent in one of Oslob’s beach houses/resorts. We picked Isyan Beach House which was located conveniently along the highway. The bus dropped us right in front of the house.
Dinner. 8 PM is already late for the locals; hence, most establishments are already closed by this time. BUT there’s a barbecue station in the town centre and they have lots of food choices up for grilling.
Experience Oslob Nightlife. You can walk around the ruins of the Cuartel at the heritage park or join in the fun in the perya (local fair) and play Bingo (If you can understand their dialect, Bisaya) and booth games. We ended up buying pellet guns in a toy booth and shooting each other in a dark alley. Bruise fest!!
Early Swim with Whale Sharks. 8 AM is a safe time to head over the registration area and sign up for the experience. The best time to swim with the whale sharks is from 7 to 9 AM and the interaction ends at 12:30 PM daily.
Rinse off at the Tumalog Falls. Go from salty to fresh water at the nearest waterfall from the whale sharks and let the gentle water massage you.. of course, right after you marvel at its beauty!
Catch the afternoon bus going back to Cebu City.
Ta-dah! Well-rested and absolutely stress-free!
Here are some TIPS and INFO you need to know about OSLOB and WHALE SHARKS:
The Bus Ride from Cebu City’s SOUTH TERMINAL going to Oslob. Php 145 per person in an air-conditioned bus and it takes 3-4 hours to get to Oslob. The bus will drop you off in front of your resort as long as it is along the highway.
Book A Room In Oslob. Unless you’re on a tour and you have a private car, you can leave your things there. If not, there’s nowhere to leave your things and you certainly don’t want your stuff to get wet on the boat. With a booked room, you won’t have to worry about your belongings—it’s safe and sound!
Habal-Habal and Tricycles. These are two ways of going around the city. Most of the locals here would offer a ride in their motorcycles (habal-habal) and even tour you around with it. They usually don’t have helmets to lend out though so if you’re all for safety, best to ride a tricycle.
Oslob to Cebu City. Buses can pick you up along the highway — you just have to wave to stop them. There are numerous buses that pass by every 10 minutes or so. To make sure that you have a seat in the bus though, best to head to the town centre and call dibs on seats. You don’t want to be standing up for 3-4 hours, trust me.
SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARK RULES:
Do not wear sunscreen. It can poison the whale sharks.
Do not touch the whale shark. Though they are generally harmless to humans, please keep a minimum distance of 4 feet as much as possible.
Keep your trash to yourself and never throw them in the water.
No flash photography. It’s very sunny and the water’s clear anyway so you’re sure to get that winning shot without the extra light. Besides, they’re also very sensitive to light.
Do not feed them especially from your boat! There are boatmen feeding them already with krill.
Respect the gentle giants and ENJOY!
Php 500 for Filipinos and Php 1,000 for Foreigners to swim with whale sharks.
Php 3,000 to dive with whale sharks.
Inclusive of snorkel and life jacket. Fins optional at Php 100 additional.
SHOULD YOU TAKE A TOUR? If you’re on a budget, you might want to follow our itinerary. If out of convenience, you can also book a tour though it’s very pricey at Php 6,000 for 1 pax and Php3,750 for 2 pax.
also known as the Mag-Ambak Falls or Toslob Falls, this beauty is another Oslob highlight located in Sitio Tumalog and this goes back to back with the whale shark experience. The way to the fall’s entrance is quite steep so it’s best that you hire a habal-habal (motorcycle) to bring you there for Php 80 and add another Php 20 for the entrance fee.
And there you have it — My DIY trip to OSLOB, CEBU! As soon as we arrived back in the city, we went straight to the airport to catch our evening flight. WHEW! It really is a must-see and I’m happy to have Oslob as the cherry on top of my Cebu trip!