Early on this year (January 2015), my friends and I went on to visit Cebu and cross-out one of the things in our bucket list – swim with the whale sharks! And so off we went to south Cebu Island to watch and swim and experience how it is like to be with the gentle gianst. And Lo! It was such an amazing experience, they are a spectacular sight to behold.
One can find the whale shark experience just off-shore from a beach in the small fishing village on Tan-awan, Oslob in southern Cebu. I wasn’t sure as to how many they were but I am guessing you can see up to 6 or more whale sharks. When one goes for an interaction, the fishermen/boatmen split the whale sharks into groups and feed them brine shrimp (their natural food) from small fishing boats. The fishermen feed the whale sharks as early as 6:00am to 1:00pm and lead them in front of visitors who can be sure of getting a close-up encounter with several whale sharks.
Whale Shark Code of Conduct (An orientation is done before one can go swim with the mammals).
Here’s the whale shark code of conduct that everyone should be aware of when swimming with these animals. (Source – WhaleSharkProject.org)
- Do not attempt to touch, ride, or chase a Whale Shark
- Do not restrict normal movement or behavior of the Shark
- Maintain a minimum distance of 3 meters from the Whale Shark
- Do not undertake flash photography
- Do not use underwater motorized diver propulsions
How to Get There
Ride a bus going to Oslob at the South Bus Terminal. The bus station is located at Natalio Bacalso Avenue in Cebu. Advise the conductor to drop you off at the Barangay Hall in Tan-awan. It’s about a 3-hour ride.
Walk a few steps back from the barangay hall and look for a blue gate with the ‘Whale Shark Watching’ sign just beside the road. Go inside the resort and then pay the fees.
Air conditioned bus Fare from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Tan-awan, Oslob: Php180 (as of Jan2015)
Whale Shark Interaction Fee – Php 500