UPDATE & Additional Info: Thanks for the email feedback and enquiries. For swimming with the whale sharks, foreigners are charge Php1000 for a close encounter with the Butandings, diving for 3o minutes that includes the boat rental, snorkel and fins. While for Filipinos, we pay half of what they charge from the foreigners. Others find it unfair yeah but that’s what they have as per their Local Ordinance. For other tourist sites in the area, there’s a nearby falls, renting a tricycle (tuktuk) would cost around Php50 and I think 5-6 people can accommodate. In the neighboring towns on the way back to Cebu city proper, there are beautiful old churches that you could visit. There’s a mountain in Oslob but I don’t think it’s wise to go for trek if there’s no local guide to go with you.
By the way, before you go swimming with the whale shark, they give 5 – 10 minutes briefing on what and what not to do during the encounter with these lovely creatures. Have a great time and enjoy!!!
This piece is for my Vietnamese friends who are visiting Cebu very soon. Apologies for late posting!
I have visited Cebu mainly to take my mother for a small treat on her birthday. At the same time meet former Cebu based colleagues/ friends. Another is to revisit the community we have resettled that was once displaced during the construction of dam/ reservoir in Carcar, one of those few sub-projects I was involved in before I move working overseas.
No fix itinerary. Thought just want to bring my mother to Sto Nino Cathedral and for her to witness Sinulog festival. Unfortunately, the festival was just held the day before we arrive. Not knowing what to see and do for 5 days. Thought we could make a quick visit to Bohol, since it’s only a 45-minute ferry ride from Cebu to Tagbilaran. But whoa ferry fare and van rental is way too expensive now! I will be over-budget ;-). Oh how I miss traveling those days on a work related business coz seeing the best of the place we are visiting is always part of our official business :-P.
Luckily, in the countryside of Cebu, they have a long week celebration of Sinulog so my mother was able to witness. We were caught by traffic though on our way back to the city because the procession was held at the national road.
I can’t remember exactly how we end up to be in Oslob diving with Butanding :-D. Thought it was recommended by some tourists we met at the guesthouse. Unprepared as I am, I didn’t even have a swim wear as I din’t foresee we will be at the beach.Butanding is a Filipino term for whale shark or Rhincodon typus. It is a slow moving filter feeding shark and is considered the largest among fish species.
Going to Oslob from Cebu city would take around 4 hours. There are comfortable coach, air-conditioned with free wi-fi on board. Aircon bus costs Php156/ pax, Php123 for senior citizen and non aircon is Php130/ pax. From the guesthouse to the bus terminal, cab costs Php75 with entrance fee of Php10.
I recommend Gael’s post, on what to do in Cebu. Here’s the link:- http://www.thepinaysolobackpacker.com/2013/04/25/a-guide-to-old-cebu-walking-tour/
Likewise, for an alternative post about whaleshark in Oslob, Kate, a native of Cebu wrote about it:- http://ksyu.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/whale-shark-attack-in-the-philippines/
Here are few Cebuano phrases to get by:-
Maayong buntag – Good day!
Palihug – Please
Dagsan Salamat – Thank you very much!
Hantod sunod natong pagkita – Till we meet again!
Pag amping – Take care! 🙂