Sunday – Tuesday
May 31, 2015 to June 2, 2015
I have officially completed the primary objective of my life. When I was a kid, I visited a museum that had a whale shark installation. Since that day, I’ve always been fascinated by the world’s biggest fish. So when I found out that it was possible to swim alongside these giants, I immediately placed it on my bucket list.
Well, that item has been finally checked off.
The hardest part about going to Cebu is….going to Cebu. You really have to wait for promos in order to save on the airfare. Good thing that for this trip, my mom paid for the expenses! Hooray!
We arrived Sunday morning at the Mactan airport, from there, we took a cab ride to the South Bus Station where we had breakfast at a nearby 7eleven. It was interesting to note that Cebu looked pretty much like Manila except there were no flyovers, the buildings weren’t as tall, the sky was still so blue and the rivers were also pretty clean.
We took a shuttle from South Bus Station to Simala Church, a famous destination where people have pilgrimages to every 13th day of the month. When we arrived there, I was astounded. It was the biggest church I have ever seen and it wasn’t even close to being completed. There were a lot of people and it was pretty hot. We prayed for a while and then it was back to the highway for lunch.
After lunching at a roadside karinderya, we waited for the bus to Oslob. It was about 2 hours of travel on the bus until we arrived at the beautiful Germaroze, a hotel that a friend recommended to me. The place looked like a house refurnished to look like a hotel. It was really cozy and they have decent wifi. The best part was the view of the sea just outside. It’s also just a short walk away from bakeries, stores, and eateries in Oslob.
What I like about Cebu outside the city is that you look to your left and you see the wonderful beaches, and you look to your right and you have a good view of the mountains. Truly, this is an outdoor junkie’s paradise.
We settled down and went to bed asap because we were going to wake up early for the Whale Shark watching! We already made arrangements with the hotel staff and they told us that at 06:00 in the morning, a tricycle was going to pick us up and give us the Oslob tour! This includes the Whale Shark Watching and a trip to Tumalog Falls!
The next morning, I fixed up quickly because I know that this was the day that I was going to meet with my Whale Shark Friends! The whole trike ride to the Whale Shark Watching venue, I was smiling! Hooray!
Upon arriving, we immediately listened to the orientation. The girl in charge explained all the rules, I was barely listening but here are the most important things:
- Don’t touch the whale sharks (Maintain at least a 4m distance)
- Don’t use flash photography
- Don’t use sunscreen as it has chemicals that can harm the sharks
After that, it was off to the boats! The registration fee already included the life vests and a snorkel. When we arrived at the deep end of the beach, I can already see the giants under the water. When I first saw their fins, I was ecstatic. It was amazing! I was already shaking with excitement as I took off my life vest and put on my snorkel. I dived in the water and boom!
Mother. Fucking. Whale Sharks.
I just can’t describe how majestic and awesome these creatures are. I know that I’m probably making a big (heh) deal out of this. But they are so amazing. I’m running out of words to describe the experience. Scary and exciting at the same time.
It was only for 30 minutes, but that was the best 30 minutes of my year so far. The water was clear, the sights were good, and everything was just perfect. The conditions were just right for me to enjoy the morning.
When the 3o minutes were over, I felt so spent. But I was so happy that I was finally able to do something on my bucket list. We rinsed off and got back to the trike for the trip to the next destination: Tumalog Falls!
The way to the falls is up a mountain, but after reaching the entrance, it’s a steep downhill walk to the falls itself. Some people hire motorcycles to bring them back and forth, but we just walked anyways. The falls were also another sight to behold. I’ve seen lots of waterfalls before, but this just seems so out of their league. It was so tall it couldn’t fit inside a camera. And the water was so cold and clean as well. We had a lot of fun wading, although you have to be careful because there are uneven rocks that you have step on underwater.
it’s so awe-inspiring that this was made by nature. It’s hard not to believe in a supernatural designer when you’re in the presence of such an amazing masterpiece. There were also shallow caves that you can take pictures in. My favorite part was standing right underneath the waterfalls because it sort of massages you with the cold water!
After enjoying the falls, it was a tough climb back up the steep uphill to the entrance of the falls. Boarding the tricycle again, it was time for lunch!
It was not included in the itinerary, but the tricycle driver also took us to the Oslob ruins, a minor destination where you can get more pictures. The ruins where built during the Spanish-American era and were made of seastone. It was a very historical place.
After that, we had a quick breakfast and it was back to Germaroze to pack up. After the Oslob trip, we caught a bus back to Cebu proper to meet with my mom’s friends. We stayed at Hotel Elizabeth which was a really classy hotel. However their wifi was shit. But they had a breakfast buffet so that kinda made it up for it. We only stayed a night so it was okay.
Here is the summary of expenses once you get to Cebu:
- P200 – Estimated fare of taxi from Mactan airport to South Station
- P100 – Per head fare of shuttle to Simala Church
- P20 – Per head fare of tricycle from Simala Church to Highway
- P75 – Per head fare of bus from Simala to Germaroze, Oslob
- P250 – Per head fare of the Tricycle tour (Whale shark watching, Tumalog Falls, Ruins)
- P500 – Per head fee for Whale Shark Watching and Swimming
- P300 – if you won’t swim and just stay on the boat
- P20 – Per head entrance fee to Tumalog Falls
- P145 – Per head fare of bus from Germaroze, Oslob to Cebu
I highly encourage everyone to do this at least once in their lifetime. And even if you don’t want to swim with the Whale Sharks (boo), I recommend you visit Cebu because there are so many beautiful places to go to! I will definitely be back here to explore the other attractions (Malapascua, Kawasan Falls, etc.) in this beautiful island! Woooo!
Thank you Lord, and mama, for making this trip possible. +