Visayas Travel Pt. 1 - Oslob, Cebu

12:46 AM

The Easter holidays - where everyone takes advantage of the extra long weekend (4 days) to travel with friends and family. To avoid the volume of tourists we would encounter (which undoubtedly results in having a person wander around your frame and taking time to remove them in Photoshop), we (family and I) decided to leave two days before the vacation started.

We went to Oslob, Cebu to Dumagete, then back to Cebu again and back to Dumagete to go to Bohol (and then back to Cebu for the airport). 

31 March 2015

Arrival in Cebu

We arrived quite early in Mactan International Airport. Our main destination is Oslob, which is in the southern tip of Cebu, and it takes 3 hours to get there from the airport.

We rented a private van, which I recommend if you want some privacy, legroom, and if there are a lot of you (oh yes, also if you have a lot of baggage). Though there are buses that go there (Ceres Bus) every 30 minutes, its a cheaper option if you don't mind taking time going there.

We got to Oslob at around 1pm and had lunch there, a fair bit of warning though, its almost in the middle of nowhere- so to be honest, there wasn't really much decent food there, just your plain grilled food and ala karinderya style of eatery. There are no convenience stores, groceries and even drugstores nearby either, so you better stock up on things you need.

An opportunity to swim with the whale sharks is what makes Oslob a famous destination. Though there has been a lot of talk if this is really a good practice or not. Though I'm not writing to say my opinion (I'm here to tell about travel experiences), I believe as long as its regulated and they aren't hurt (or hunted) then it maybe be a good alternative source of income to the little town of Oslob.

Swimming/Whale shark watching starts as early as 6am till 12pm; since we arrived late, we visited one of the falls in Oslob: Tumalog Falls.

To get there, you need to ride some motorcycle and another one at the entrance, it isn't expensive, you'll spend just around 150(4$). You may opt to walk as well, there's a lot of uphills and downhills. It'll probably take your time though (I estimate 45 to an hour walk from the whale watching place).

Me and my brother in a SINGLE motorcycle.

Tumalog Falls

Its a beautiful sight to see. It has a bit of LOTR feel actually. The water falls down onto these mushroom shaped IDK what they are, and unlike others, its not just one big pile of water coming down, instead, it feels like a rain shower. You can really see those individual drops being lit by the light from the canopy. It had this instant misty effect so I felt it was better to take a fast photo compared to a long exposure one.

The waterfall is actually really high. Like a building with 10 floors.

Its bath-able. As most waterfalls are in the country, the water is cold (but not ice-cold, don't worry about that), but hey, in other countries, its so cold you can't swim in it. On a side note, the water has a really pretty aqua color. 


01 April 2015

Swimming with whale sharks

The next day, we went to swim with the whale sharks. You pay 600 pax for 30 minutes of whale watching (includes the boat and snorkeling gear rental) though I don't how much it is to dive. You can pay another 500 pesos if you wish to rent an underwater camera, it comes with the guide to take pictures of you underwater.

Before you jump on the boat, you are required to listen to the briefing of do's and don'ts.
You should be 5-6m away from the whale shark (though I find that its not really followed).
You may not touch them (nobody does). If they approach you, they maybe expecting to get fed, but don't feed them. And, you can't swim wearing sunblocks/suntans or pretty much anything chemical related because they are doing what they can to provide a safe environment for the whale sharks, they will ask you to go shower it off before swimming with them.  

Getting fed.
 A word of warning, if you aren't confident with your swimming skills, then don't take off your lifejackets! you can still enjoy seeing them underwater without risking your life.

The guide took this shot.
Overall, I really enjoyed swimming with them, but its something I would only do once, since I had mixed feelings about baited whale sharks, I don't really know if its good or not for them. All over the place you'd see a lot of "save & protect the whale shark" merchandise, I just really hope they do effort to protect them.


To Dumagete City

a short visit

After we interacted with the whale shark, we went to Liloan Port to go to the nearby island city of Dumagete in Negros Province. To go to Liloan port, you just have to take a bus south, there's a bus every 30 minutes and it costs 12 pesos for the non-ac bus, 32 for the ac bus, and 50 if you ride a tricycle. We took the non-ac bus since its nice and windy anyway (and it was the one that came first). It takes 15-20 minutes from Oslob to get there.

Ferries are cheap (60 pesos per person including the port fee)  and will only take 20 minutes to get to Dumagete.

I'll continue this in another post! Will be posting in the following day.


02 April 2015

To Sumilon Island

Sumilon Island is just in-front of the whale shark watching place.  Just around 15-20 minutes by boat.
View of the island, from the boat.
What to do there? There is a small sandbar behind the island. White sand, blue skies and clear blue waters. You can also opt to go snorkeling to see some corals and fishes in a bit shallow water. You can rent gear, but if you lose it, you have to pay 1000 pesos, so don't lose it!


Underwater.
Its pretty, but to be honest, I found the ones in Palawan and Puerto Galera to be have more varieties of fishes and corals (more colorful ones) than the ones here. In Palawan, you'll literally swim with the fishes because there really is a lot there.

Anyways, just 3-5 minutes away from this area is the Sumilon Island Sand Bar. Its quite small (as most sandbars are to be honest) but its very pretty. White sand, blue skies and clear blue waters.





So that's the first part of my travel! Next up, Dumagete City!













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3 comments

  1. Great post! Do you already have your post for Dumaguete? :) Last year, me and my friends visited Cebu and we stayed at an affordable hostel and rented out a motorbike at book2wheel.com . It was so much fun and adventure being able to tour around Cebu. Besides, they offer a Cebu map that you can use so you can plot where you want to go next. I believe they also have motorbikes being rented out in Dumaguete. You may try from them.

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    1. Hi Larry, here's the post for Dumagete City, http://natsbloggin.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/visayas-travel-pt2-dumagete-city.html , quite a brief visit. But yeah I agree with you, it is fun in a motorbike when you're out in the countryside :). Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks!

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    2. Hi, Natassja. Thank you for giving out the link. I surely will visit and read it later on. :) I'm also trying to look for your Contact Form or email address. Where can I see your contact info.?

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