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I hurriedly finished my work and delegated tasks to my peers. I also made sure that all my client sessions were in place before I left. I clocked out early so I could meet up with my friends outside. We were going to see the whale sharks (butanding in Tagalog or tuki in Bisaya) in Oslob, Cebu!

Whale Shark Sighting in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines
December 23, 2011

oslob cebu whaleshark
Butanding or Tuki Encounter
photo by Doi

I’m really lucky that my day job has a little flexibility when it comes to special requests whenever the need arises. So long as I don’t compromise the deliverables, then all is well.

We arrived at the South Bus Terminal station around 3:30am and the bus left after 15 minutes. It was only a 3-hour ride – a quick nap that wasn’t even enough since I didn’t have any rest.

whaleshark oslobEntrance to the resort in Cebu’s Tanawan, Oslob, for whale shark watching

Whale Sharks in Tan-awan, Oslob, Cebu, Philippines

We reached Tan-awan in Oslob and arrived at the resort where we could pay the fees so we could watch the whale sharks in Cebu. There’s no actual name of the resort, it was simply a sign that says Whale Shark Watching, The Ultimate Experience with the “Gentle Giants”.

A number of clients were already at the area and only a few meters from the shore, we could already see the whale sharks appearing from the surface!

cebu whaleshark
boats

After preparing our swimming gear and a bit of briefing, we hired one of the boats and headed to the area where the boatmen and whale sharks converged.

“Just wait and they’ll simply appear.” according to my guide. True enough, they did.tuki cebu

waiting to be fed
photo by Edgar

I immediately went into the water so I could swim with these beautiful creatures. I was excited when they came inches close. I could touch them if no one watched! Actually, nobody was really watching underwater and I could surely pat these whale sharks, but we were advised to stay clear a few feet away.

swim whaleshark

‘Gentle giants’ following a fisherman with shrimps

photo by Edgar

These whale shark sightings in Oslob have been around for quite some time already. There’s about 14 or 15 of them in their area which have grown to be the fishermen’s ‘pets’.

When Edwin shared this piece of information to us, I knew I had to see it for myself. I had a trip to Legazpi that was cancelled since I had other commitments. I was planning to go to Donsol in Sorsogon to see the whalesharks but I didn’t realize that they also exist here in Cebu! What’s even nicer was that you don’t have to go searching for them as they’ll normally appear right away!

pat whaleshark

Look but don’t touch!
photo by Doi

After 40 minutes or so, we finished our swim and headed back to shore. I didn’t realize how exhausted I was, I had to take my rash guard off because I had difficulty breathing. A small bottled water would’ve sufficed to replenish some energy.

oslob whaleshark

Edcel’s close encounter with the Tuki
photo by Doi

It’s incredible to witness the relationship formed between these creatures and the fishermen which was evident with the way they interacted with each other. It was a surreal experience and I’m glad to have done this before the year ended.

I was told by my boatman that these creatures suddenly appeared and kept bugging them for food. Here’s an awesome photo set online showing how beautiful this close encounter with whale sharks in Oslob are: In the shallows: The never-before-seen moment fishermen feed shrimp to giant whale sharks by HAND

whaleshark cebu

whalesharks as big as 27 feet

photo by Doi

NOTE: We were advised that the fishermen and caretakers are working on implementing policies to protect these whale sharks as this attraction is gaining more popularity. Soon enough, this will become a major destination in Cebu with all the media attention it’s getting. The boatmen are careful in making sure they take good care of the creatures but there are circumstances that we cannot prevent. “The process of feeding (the butandings) is altering the natural process of the ecosystem and our presence near them is giving them stress so they might die.” A friend who dives said. The situation their now is very alarming…”

For added information, here’s an article by Elson Aca about the whale shark activity in Tan-awan Oslob: Grooming a Disaster?

whale shark instructions

Instructions when swimming with the butandings

Whale Shark Code of Conduct

Gathering more information online, 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

These whale sharks are prone to hitting the small boats where the fishermen are feeding them and they tend to hurt themselves when doing so. Stay still if the whale shark approaches you and be careful you don’t bump into them. As much as I was hyped to touch these creatures, I didn’t do so. Let’s all practice discipline and help each other safeguard these animals so please follow instructions.

Whale Shark Video in Oslob, Cebu

Here’s a video of these whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu edited by yours truly.

Thanks to Doi and Edgar for the photos & video!

How to Get There

  1. Ride a bus going to Oslob at the South Bus Terminal. You can get to the bus station from your hotel in Cebu or anywhere in the city. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Go inside the resort and then pay the fees.

Tip: Go there before 4pm, before it gets dark. Best to drop by on would be weekdays when there’s not much people around.

Expenses:

Air conditioned bus Fare from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Tan-awan, Oslob: 156 Php

Entrance Fee: 100 Php

Boat Fee for 40 minutes: 200 Php per person

Snorkelling Gear with Flippers: 100 Php

Bus back to Cebu City: 156 Php

*Fees may change soon when stricter regulations are implemented.

UPDATE: It’s sad to hear this news about 2 whale sharks in Oslob that were injured by a spear and a motorboat, definitely an accident waiting to happen. Hope everything’s well, please read through the article and follow rules when you visit the town to watch these creatures. Here’s the article by Cebu Daily News for reference: 2 Whale Sharks Injured by Spear and Motor Boat

UPDATE April 01, 2012: Just saw photos online of people playing with these whale sharks. It has not been confirmed if this is in Oslob or a nearby town or somewhere else. I thought of sharing them here so that people will become aware how NOT to act when swimming with these butandings. Photos taken from Facebook. Faces have been blurred.

Do not attempt to touch, ride, or chase these Whale Sharks.

whale shark sighting oslob

These whale sharks are also not surfboards!

whaleshark abuse

UPDATE as of April 02, 2012: According to a resource I’ve read, the two photos above were taken in Boljoon, a nearby municipality of Oslob. Again, regardless of the place, this should not be happening. Click here to read more of the blog post: Whale Shark (Butanding) maltreatment in Boljoon and Oslob by Mark Maranga.


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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


108 comments… add one

  • oh wow. i didn't know there were also in cebu! they're on my bucket list for 2012. cool! and yeah, they should regulate tourist activity with these creatures. but yes, very cool!

  • I envy you all! Hehe mukhang 'Gentle Giants' nga sila. I don't think na matatakot ako to play with them kung sakali :D
    I appreciate the reminder you wrote in this post, Ed. Medyo nakakatakot nga na maging major tourist destination ang Oslob, pero kung maging responsible visitors tayong lahat magiging ok naman :D Be a responsible visitor, ika nga :D
    Upload the video na dali!!!! :D

  • ito na naman, may reason na naman bumalik ng Cebu, kung sakaling bigla ako tupakin at bumili ng ticket papunta dyan, samahan nyo naman ulit ako…pero puro dagat ang aatupagin ko hahaha….

  • @Paul: Didn't know as well! Drop by Cebu one of these days! 

    @Micamyx: We all need to be reminded to also be aware of the consequences. Part of my way to help out kahit papaano sa responsableng turismo. :D The video is up na!

    @Jerome: Dami ngang reason to go back! hehe. sure, sasamahan ka namin! at para naman magamit natin underwater camera mo! hehe :D

  • Wow , i need to experience this activity . Swimming together with tuki ! Never thought we have whaleshark here in Cebu . I though sa sorsogon lang … Thanks for posting Ed :)
     

  • waaah…lami na kaayo anha diha.
    Happy New Year Ed! :)

  • really good to have a thriving site for whale shark viewing in Cebu. this will be a great add to Cebu's popularity in other countries. best thing is that fishermen are already setting up policies on handling tourists to optimize experience with the idea of protecting the whale sharks. i didn't know that there are already about 14-15 in that area.

  • I think ang 27ft ang nagfollow sa boat. Imagine if nagtantrums siya kay wala lawgi, tuwad ang boat ahaha

  • trezha

    hi! how much is the all expenses for the trip per head?is there any place to stay with if we prefr overnyt?

  • @Montana: I thought so too! That's why I was really excited to see them up close in our own backyard! :D

    @nathalie: agi na diri nath! happy new year!

    @dong ho: Yes, I hope they have stricter policies next time for everyone to see these creatures without harming them. :D Yep, crazy that there's about 14 or so! We only saw about 5 and the best part is that they're the ones who come to us. Not the other way around.

    @The Wandering Couple: Grabe ang 27 feet! hahaha. saonz. luoys sad sa isda magtantrums. haha

    @trezha: hi, I provided the breakdown of expenses (minus the trip back to Cebu) total would be around 700 all in all. not too sure if there's a place to stay at the actual resort. they have cottages though.

  • Your pink flippers FTW! Haha! Astig ulit ng video Ed! Congrats to you and Doi for capturing those precious moments.

  • wow nakakainggit . pero parang nakakatakot ang laki kasi.

  • ganda nung song! ganda nung vid! gusto ko din gawin yan sa susunod!!!! !    =)

  • @Drew: haha! didn't mention the pink flippers na cause it would be too long of an entry already. haha. thanks to doi for the camera! will buy my own na dapat next year! hehe

    @chin: nakakatakot when you think about it but they're really gentle creatures! pangarap ko toh sa Donsol. :D

    @ian: thanks ian! drop by Cebu uli! :)

  • Logann

    Hoist unsa nga camera gigamit ni doi?saba unta ka oi para kuyog ming cindy…

  • trezha

    okay then,thank u so much for ur time! :)

  • @Logann: haha. Ixus ra ni na Camera point and shoot – nipalit sya ug kanang 150 pesos na digipac or aquapac man ata toh sa JB sports sa SM. Pero ang kanang mas klaro na camera kay kanang Canon na D10 (waterproof). mubalik nya ko na mas arang-arang na camera kay hasul kaayo ang katung digipac. heheh

    @trezha: no prob! :D

  • Oh how awesome… Sana nga ma-limit tourist activities to protect these creatures. And love the Jack Johnson scoring :)

  • James

    We are going there next week! I’m so excited!!! :p

  • @gayE: thanks for watching the video. hopefully they'll act on it fast. :D

    @James: enjoy! :D

  • Mc

    I did the encounter in Donsol, though the experience was really incredible, you cant help but be sad how touristy the place was and most of the rules were not followed strictly. For one whaleshark, you have to compete with other about 30 tourists to swim with them. Good to know there are sightings in Oslob, and definitely will be on the list if i will be back in Cebu. 

  • amazing ang mura lang, compared sa butanding watching sa donsol!
    puntahan ko yan sa Feb, at least sana andun pa sila =)

  • @Mc: Yeah, we just need to have stricter rules cause sometimes we can get caught up with our emotions because we're so near these beautiful creatures. Thanks for dropping by! :D

    @chyng: yep, mura pa ngayon, sana ganun pa rin ka mura next year. :D

  • Di ko alam ito ah! I suppose this one in Cebu has less tourists than Donsol. Is there a particular season for watching these whale sharks there?

  • AJ

    That was a sexy close encounter! <3 Truly a magical moment. Brings tears to my eyes.
    Now ko lang nalaman na meron din pala nito sa Cebu. I salute you for observing the rules even though you wanted to touch them. I hope everyone is as disciplined as you. 
    A blessed new year to you Soloflighter. WordPress came up with a year-end post for me and mentioned you. Thanks for supporting my little blog. That's what makes you the blogstar that you are. I can't begin to express my appreciation. A tight hug na lang when I see you (naku lagot ako kay Robx, hehe).

  • rainier

    may alam ka po ba na murang lodging sa oslob.. kahit homestay lang.. 2 kami.. balak namin puntahan yan next week eh.. dumaguete kami manggaling..

  • fall

    ka gwapo nimo solofighted ui. cadol ta beh
     

  • @The Nomadic Pinoy: Dennis, sabi raw naging resident whale sharks na ang mga butanding so walang season. Sana nga di sila aalis. :D

    @AJ: Thanks AJ! Returning the favor lang as you've been generous din with your comments! Wala nanag blogstar2x lol. natatawa pa rin ako. hahaha!

    @rainier: sorry, not sure if meron sa Oslob but there are nearby towns like in Dalaguete or you can also head for Moalboal! :D

    @fall: ataka, abi nako kinsa. Ikaw man diay na Sato! Hapit nako madelete imo comment! simang kaayo. haha

  • fall

    digto ko pag sabado cel. sayang walay underwater cum. har har

  • @fall: haha. amaw, pagchur dira woi. maSpam ta sa imo comment, dili bya ni FB. free for all. hehe. maayo. balik nya ko ngadto siguro next year. tanawun lang ni.

  • fall

    balik pd ko kanang dili na balod. paita's balod ui mka matay

  • Nina Llaneta

    I've been to Donsol for the whale shark but from your picture, it's way better! great photos btw! :) goodluck!
     

  • SUPER ED!!! Hanep!

  • Camille Jade Nayon

    will be going there soon….thanks for the info and the pics….

  • I am so f*** jealous right now! Why I did not do it when I was there :(

  • rainier

    alam mo ba kung anong oras available ang whale watching dun? :)
    buong maghapon ba?u

  • @fall: haha, balod diay ngadto? sayang. pero ok gyapon

    @Nina Llaneta: thanks, haven't been to Donsol. Come visit Cebu!

    @Christian: Super talaga, Christian. Thanks!

    @Camille Jade Nayon: No problem! 

    @crazy sexy fun traveler: Wasn't really aware how great this was. Come drop by the Philippines again! :D

  • Vince

    I have a question regarding sa P200 for boat. Pelay capacity nya? is this per person or per boat?
    Thanks! =)

  • @Vince: boat has capacity good for one person and there's another one good for two. Still, payment would be 200 per person.

  • rainier

    alam mo ba kung anong oras available ang whale watching dun? 
    buong maghapon ba?u

  • @rainier: the whale sharks are residing in the area so they're there most of the time. Unlike Donsol where they say it's seasonal. Also, best time would be during the day until 4pm when the sun is still up. Please check the article as I’ve added some more info. :D

  • pia

    edcel/… kuyaw na man kau ka dong.. cvg japun ka? u have accmplished much and im so happy and proud of you…
    =pia

  • hi ed! how long does it take to oslob from cebu terminal ? ^^

  • @pia: haha, yep, naa pa gyapon, pero hapit na mawala! haha. thanks pia! musta naman ka? :D

    @hana banana: hi hana, about 3 hours lang. it's in the article: "We arrived at the South Bus Terminal station around 3:30am and the bus left after 15 minutes. It was only a 3-hour ride – a quick nap that wasn’t even enough since I didn’t have any rest."  – thanks! :D

  • wow! bale naman nakong agi agi sa oslob..i didnt really know about that butanding watching..huwaw…ninduta ^_^ hello! 

  • Wow, that is a really cool experience.  Those things look so massive that to be that close to them would have been a truly remarkable sight.  This kind of reminds me of when I went swimming with sharks in Belize.  I got so close to them that I could touch them.  It was a great time.

  • Wow. that's an amazing coverage. I love how you documented your experience and I am green with envy. I hope to visit Cebu too. 

  • alfred

    AS TOURIST OR LOCALS… LETS ALL TAKE CARE OF OUR MARINE LIFE , HERE OR ABROAD… BE RESPONSIBLE…TAKE CARE OF THEM!!! GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS!!!

  • @sendo: it's ok, I don't get to discover a lot about Cebu even if I live here! thanks for leaving a comment! :)

    @Steve: Swimming with sharks is going to be a different experience I don't know if I can handle. — too many nightmares of Jaws movies. :D

    @Kumiko Mae: Thanks Kumiko!

    @alfred: Thank you for the tip. We should definitely not take them for granted. Hope the capslock is not busted! :D

  • raymond

    nice! thanks for the detailed info regarding this trip. can i share your site to my friends?

  • Hi! We're going tomorrow to Oslob for this, I have a few questions. Do we make a reservation before going? What time do they open? Any contact numbers? My contact in Oslob said they will be closed tomorrow, bummer! So we need to look for another way to see the gentle giants ASAP! HELP!

  • @raymond: no problem. let's also spread the awareness to practice caution when we interact with these whale sharks! :D

    @Timmy: Not sure if you can make reservations since we didn't. As for the time, there's no specified time. Probably when it's early in the morning when the sun is up -6am maybe? No contact number. When we were there, they're still working on the tourist regulations.

  • nev

    to dive with the sharks ring +63 933 415 9460

  • pay

    sir, would you know if there are nearby inn/resort where we can stay? thanks.

  • Not sure sir, but there are nearby places like Badian, or Moalboal where there are beaches and resorts.

  • mbfg

    there is a place in Southern leyte. where in the tourist activity of whaleshark inter-action is active, every day there are 2-5 tourist boat from nearby municipalities are coming for inter-action.. they are operating now for five years and you can stay in the place overnight thru  home stay program. there are also lounging house.. the place is son-ok Pintuyan Southern Leyte…. 

  • rsmarqui

    wat time po kayo pumunta ng laot sir, i mean yung nag feed ng whalesharks?

  • nakakaloka. Kamusta naman ang mga kapatid kong butanding? hehehe! Gusto ko na silang makita. Kaso wla sa 2012 list ko. Hindi naman ako nagmamadali. Nakakatakot yung boat. ang liit liit. Isang lunukan lang. hahaha!
    Nga pala, may nakita akong article nung isang araw tungkol dito. I just want to share lang kasi I'm sure makaka-relate kayo. hihihi! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2084508/The-touching-scenes-friendship-Filipino-fishermen-worlds-biggest-fish-man-nature.html

  • Seon

    May pinaparetahan po bang life vest itong resort na napuntahan nyo for Whale Shark Sighting? If meron po, how much din po?

  • KC Taguba

    WOW…copy-paste from my comment on Adja's wall..nice one Eds…

  • Kaye

    Hi! Pwede ba bata dun?

  • raphael

    do the whale sharks appear there seasonally? what is the best date & time to go there? my girlfriend and i is planning to go there for our vacation.

  • Carlos

    nice sir… so nice yung post na to…. if ever mag stay sa osbob for one night may maisuggest kba na resort na pwede mag stay mag over night? thanks

  • Aaron

    Thanks for this post, it's a nice guide.

  • jopher

    naka adto naman diay ka boang.mahal na guro ron no.

  • Hi. I was about to ask kung anung cam ang ginamet nyo..
    Then I read this –
    @Logann: haha. Ixus ra ni na Camera point and shoot – nipalit sya ug kanang 150 pesos na digipac or aquapac man ata toh sa JB sports sa SM. Pero ang kanang mas klaro na camera kay kanang Canon na D10 (waterproof). mubalik nya ko na mas arang-arang na camera kay hasul kaayo ang katung digipac. heheh
    OK lang po ba pa-translate sa Tagalog? Thanks.
    Kaya ba ng day tour lang?
     
    Thanks again..

    • @hazel: sure thing. Canon cameras yung ginamit. yung clear shots are taken using a waterproof Canon D10 (yung kay EAZYtraveler na watermark) while the the rest are using a normal Canon Ixus camera (nilagyan lang ng Aquapac case worth 150 pesos sa JB Sports ng SM Cebu). we were there for only 2 hours so kayang-kaya yung day tour.

  • will be here two weeks after~! cant wait for the next travel post :D

  • ube

    hi, thanks for the post…we are planning to go there this month…wud u know the bus schedules going to oslob? thanks…

  • bogs

    Hi, Nice article.. I've been wanting to go to Oslob but I can't seem to find any resorts I can stay at. Can you pls give me a contact num of the place where you stayed at?
     
    Thanks!

  • isay

    HI, can i know if its possible to go to Oslob cebu and then ride a bus straight to badian cebu?

  • Jay

    hi isay…im from cebu province..its possible to ride from oslob to badian..just ride a bus going to Bato. When u aryv in bato just wait for another bus going to badian. 8s much easy if u have a guide..

  • _boo_

    hi soloflightEd! very informative and interesting blog! based ako ngayon sa cebu and i planned to go tuki-watching with a friend from manila. her concern is ok pa daw going to oslob, considering after the natural disasters..  tsaka ask ko na din if it's ok that we don't have guides/reservations for the activity? thanks much for the assistance! this is very good for the promotion of Oslob! best wishes! :D

  • raymond

    Ed- it's me again raymond. Step1 on how to "Be Ed"- follow ur trips. this blog is so informative and helps promote tourism.
     Thank you so much for the info. I went there yesterday. Trip was so smooth. I just followed your post. Update on fees it is now 300 from 200. Apparently 100 is for the municipality. I hope it will not go to mayor. People in Oslob are so nice and accomodating. 

  • joy

    i really want to see the butandings =)

  • We'll be in Cebu this April…hopefully masingit sa sched to. ^^

  • jb

    hi. this is jb from Poblacion, Oslob. Please be careful of your fees to be collected by the authorized collector.

  • Erwin Javier

    hi this erwin from manila. how is possioble to get a ride from oslob back to cebu city again?bus ride?would you what time is the the last trip to the city?also what would be the ideal time to go to oslob to see the butanding?what other activities do you recomend in the area aside from butanding?we are ariviing cebu airport 10pm on a friday.

  • raymond

    Ed, i will answer this ha? heheh
    Erwin- it is best to go there early in the morning.be at the bus station by 4am. Wekdays  would be perfect since fewer people but since you will go there on sat (i assume) be there early. travel time in the morning is 2-2 1/2 hrs due to few stops. going back would be longer due to multiple stops. you will just spend 30min-1 hr with the Butanding experience.
    You can ask the the people there(they are nice and accomodating) to bring you to the FALLS. 40 pesos per person via habal-habal.
    I dont know the last trip. you may ask people from the terminal.
    my trip: we left cebu at 6 am and back in cebu by 3:30pm

  • Erwin Javier

    Thanks very much Raymond for your info.is there a nice place to stay there at oslob after we go to butanding and falls?coming from the airport arriving 10pm on a friday, how far is the bus terminal going to oslob?is there a nice hotel walking distance from the bus terminal so we can just walk for our early trip to oslob.

  • rona

    Hi! Just want to ask, how far is Badian from Oslob? And okay ba ang road papunta dun? We're planning to go to Terra Manna Resort after our whale shark encounter in Oslob kasi. Is this doable? Assuming we'll be in Oslob by 6am and leave at 10 or 11 going to Badian. Many thanks!

  • apc

    pension house is located at poblacion,oslob,cebu. 1 room is 1,500 good for 3 with free b-fast , additional 1 person is 250 with b-fast. another room is 2,000 good for 4 persons with b-fast. pls. contact us for ur info. teresa torralba 09491318973 and valerie torralba 09329169373. for whale shark watching fee is 300 pesos 1 ticket from tan-awan,oslob,cebu. at briefing area, we have restaurant nearby the beach b-fast and lunch will serve at this area.

  • Ron

    Hi Ed,
    Any advice on a place to stay near Tan-awan? I hope the reefs are OK there too, as we (family of 4) are responsible snorkellers just love to put on our gear, swim from the beach to the reef and just look at all the beautiful living creatures in the clear warm waters! Swimming with whale sharks would be an added bonus … Thanks for the pointers!

  • when is the best month to swim with the butandings?

  • choose_Donsoln_instead_of_Oslob

    i won't swim with the whale sharks of Oslob, Cebu.. the people there and their government never knew how to take care of those "gentle giants".. it's not proper to feed them and made them leeches, altering the natural process of these creatures in looking for food..
    other pictures taken shows people stepping on the whale shark ala surfboard. that's very unlikely and very stupid..
    responsible tourism people! wake up!

  • Seichi-San Sugimoto

    this is so great. come on people i hope no one will do this anymore. (sorry bad english) i will visit philippines for this with my 4 cousins and 3 best friends and promote this page to japan as well.
    Ed i have question. when feeding the big fish can we do it as well or just the fisherman? Arigato gozaimazu! i hope all tourist is like you. your nice and follow all rules!

    • @Seichi-San: Hi, thanks for dropping by! The fishermen will be the one feeding the fish though. Hope you can visit our country soon!

  • Thanks for the information Ed, this will be ultimate goal this year, to swim with the whale sharks at Oslob (though I'm scared of big fishes and sharks).
    http://mattdpinoytraveller.blogspot.com/2012/04/callao-cave-at-town-of-penablanca.html

  • Hello Ed. Thanks for the info on the whale sharks.  Plano unta ko mo adto sa Legaspi this June to see the whale sharks but I didn't know they also swim in our own little island. Lucky! Taga cebu ba sad ka no? Would there be places to stay on weekdays in Oslob? I almost swam with sharks in Australia pero mahal and time consuming man kaayo so I didn't do it. Hope to find a cheaper place. 

  • kat

    hello, thank you so much for sharing your experience with the whale sharks. i was wondering if you have an idea whether or not the butandings will be there all throughout the year since they are known to be migratory.. some relatives of mine are visiting cebu soon and they would want to go and experience swimming with the whale sharks. im having second thoughts of bringing them their fearing the whale sharks might have migrated to another place already. hope to hear from you soon! :)

  • jq

    OSLOB’S Whale Sharks will end up dead eventually!

    Hand feeding distrupts the natural way of life of the whale shark which will eventualy lead to problems for both animals and humans. Hand feeding a wild whaleshark does allow tourists an up-close experience but when you think about it should a 9 tonne Whale Shark be trained to beg for food like a dog?

    The fishermen of Oslob are unintentionally training them to beg for food for tourists to watch and see. The Marjority of the Whale sharks passing by OSLOB will eventually be used to the feeding act.Because of OSLOBS hand feeding practices, these mograting Whale Sharks are now much more vulnerable to poachers in their future encounters with people.

    They will eventualy end up DEAD when they migrate and passby other countries that hunt and eat whalesharks specifically Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan which supplies Japan and China’s whale shark and sharksfin demands. These 3 countries are part of the top 20 shark catching countries which account for nearly 80 percent of the total shark catch reported globally.

    http://sharkyear.com/2011/whole-whale-shark-served-in-chineses-restaurant.html

    Also getting comfortable around boats and people could cause the sharks to approach other boats and risk colliding with them, or their propellers. Lastly changes in reproduction rates and health issues related to the type and amount of food could also arise.

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/125611/2-whale-sharks-injured-by-spear-motor-banca

    Its only a matter of time before thousands of people will be turning up in Oslob looking to encounter these gentle giants upclose not knowing that they are supporting a wrong cause.

    Support DONSOL’s Whales Shark Eco Tourism instead, it is properly managed by LGU of Donsol with assistance from WWF Philippines.
    WWF has assisted the Donsol local government unit (LGU) to protect whale sharks and develop a community-based whale shark ecotourism programme for the municipality. 

    In Donsol they don't hand feed the whale sharks.

  • You can actually have the closest encounter with the butanding only in oslob. it is quite far from the city and we had a problem with our transpo at first but good thing we came up with a very affordable van for rent.. you should try to contact them, they are highly recommended. the name is extra mile with numbers (032)422-6062 or cell 09228433775

  • Paula Seriritan

    please see this site for updated rates:http://mb.com.ph/articles/356981/fees-for-watching-butanding-increased
    we plan to go there, thanks for this article! :)
     
    "From the regular P300 viewing fee for both local and foreign tourists, the fee will now be raised to P1,500 for foreign divers while snorkeling is pegged at P1,000 starting this Sunday, April 15.
    But the same old fee for viewing will be collected from local tourists excluding the rentals for life jackets and snorkeling gadgets. Locals who want to dive will also have to pay P600 while snorkeling rate is at P500 each.'
     
     
    Fees For Watching 'Butanding' Increased
    By PHOEBE JEN INDINO
    April 13, 2012, 4:24pm

  • Matt

    "People should free the Butandings! they are not meant to be kept here. They should be set free so they will be able to reach there breeding area before the mating season…  these sharks are not yet fully grown. The reason why the butandings are staying is because of the people feeding them. It's so bad of us filipinos to be keeping them here just for money and all…  There are many ways to let people have a nice vacation. One day these creatures will die and it's sad to think that we didn't do anything good to save them."    
    FREE THEM!!!  Animals are not meant to be another tourist attraction

  • Matt

    I am over reacting at some point but no one should ever use Whale sharks as a surf board. Oslob, Cebu should watch out for the butandings; make sure that they are fine.

  • What a disgrace, look at those people dying to get a touch of these mammals. They do not know that these creatures do not have spines.

  • Cebu is one of the best places in the Philippines :) But more whale sharks, more fun :D

  • hello there! =)
     
    just want to ask whats the best time to go there? our Arrival in Cebu city proper is around 10am, aabot kaya kami if deretso na to oslob? or we shud do it the following morning?
     
    Thanks for ur help.
    appreciate it much! =)

  • @belle: Cebu city proper to the South Bus Terminal is just a few minutes away by taxi. Maybe 15-20. If diretso kayo ng Oslob and travel kayo at 11am, aabot kayo dun ng mga 2-3pm. may time pa naman, i just don't know what time magko close dun sa mga namamalakad ng whale shark activity. mas maganda pa rin the next morning, early so you have more time.  

  • okay po.. thank you… thank you so much!!! =)

  • cielo estrada

    we are planning to go there this Saturday… overnyt…meron bang pweding matuloyan doon like mga room for rent pang family good for 4…if meron magkano? ano na ang updates sa mga payment doon saang resort kami pupunta? ilang kilometro ang oslob galing cebu specifically  in pardo?

  • Overall, our entire trip is really relaxing and astonishing. Seeing those Whale Sharks (Gentle Giants) swimming near you is a breathe-taking experience. I really love it! I would come back to Oslob every vacation

  • Carlos Santiago

    Hi can you get to oslob  via dumaguete?  It looks easier on the map.   

  • Jhon

    Hi Ed, are the underwater cameras there for rent? How much? Thank you :)

  • Janice

    Hi, Ed.  Is there a place there where you can safely leave your things and bathrooms where you can shower after?  We plan to go there and to Tumalog Falls very early in the morning as we have a 5pm flight back to Manila.  Is this feasible?  :)  

  • geeleem

    this is amazing.. been in Cebu for almost 3 yrs now. tried this whale watching some 2 yrs back but unfortunately found nothing due to some commotion between local officials and boat-mans. finally will be able to meet these gentle giants so soon :)

  • rafyy

    ok po bang mg travel ng August /sept sa Cebu? or rainy season na un, please advise… tnx

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