Visit the Whale Sharks in Oslob
Video guide to swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob
If you’re heading to Oslob to see the whale sharks then you in fact want to go to Tan-awan, about 10 kms south of Oslob. A lot of the resorts and upper end hotels in Cebu organise day trips to Oslob, but it is quite easy to do it yourself. See how to get there below. Due to time limits set for seeing the whale sharks (30 minutes per session) most people make use of some other tourist spots in the Oslob area. One of the most popular is Tumalog Falls which is only around 20 or so minutes away from the sharks. The waterfall is quite beautiful (see video). Sumilon Island (only a few kms away) offers day packages starting from PHP 1500 weekdays and PHP 2000 for weekends/holidays so many take this option to visit Sumilon Island. There is an exclusive resort on the island (Sumilon Bluewater Resort) and is one of the most beautiful islands in Cebu. It is actually well worth staying overnight if you can afford it as it is a fantastic resort, although it is expensive. The resort has a number of boat trips to and from the mainland of Cebu and a lot catch their 9.30 service so to use the whole day up at the island. You can contact the resort direct for more details. Oslob Town is also worth visiting with its Heritage Park, a lovely little park with Spanish old buildings (see video). When I travelled around the Oslob area I used a habal habal driver by the name of Lloyd 09423958064. His prices were pretty fair. If you want to rent a motorbike yourself in Oslob a lady by the name Lourdes rents one, although it’s not that cheap at about 500 PHP per day (negotiable) her number is 09255888552.
Accommodation and Resorts in Oslob
With the influx of tourists to see the whale sharks as you would expect the choice of accommodation in Oslob has grown rapidly in the last couple of years. If you want to be within walking distance of the whale sharks you should look at these 4 resorts in Tan-awan. These resorts offer pretty basic accommodation, both fan and air conditioned rooms. Some of them can accommodate up to 12 to 14 people in a room. MB’s Sunrise View Resort tel 09065869895 or 09232971176, Aaron Beach Resort tel 09334159460, BCD’s Place and Brumini Resort. About half a kilometer away is the Seafari Oslob Resort. This resort is build at the bottom of a cliff, and has a small swimming pool. About 10kms away in Oslob town itself is a number of pension houses. The best being Oslob Malonzo Pension House, their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MalonzoPensionHouse. Further north of Oslob town (around 12 kms from the whale sharks) is Oslob Garden Stay Resort (cell 0922 811 1575 or 0922 803 1946 and 0917 546 0898), they have 2 air conditioned rooms and one beach house or check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/gardenstayresort. Next door is Lagunde Resort Hotel which has swimming pool. Cel 0943 312 8164. Oslob Home Stay (tel 0925 588 8552 email email@example.com) rents out a house complete with pool and they also rent a room out as well (see video). Ermi Beach Resort and The Granada Beach House Hotel are other possibilities for accommodation around Oslob, although these resorts are about 20 kms away. Other alternatives that you could try are the luxury resort of Sumilon Bluewater Resort it’s about 15 minutes away (plus a short boat ride to the island). The town of Alcoy (less than an hour away) has a couple of resorts, or there are some resorts in Dalaguete (about 1 hour drive away) as well as Boljoon. It’s also possible to stay in Dumaguete (Negros) and make the trip back and forth. Another possibility is to stay in Lilo-an as there are a few resorts in the area.
Whales Sharks in Oslob
Oslob (or more exact, the small fishing village of Tan-awan) in Cebu’s south has become one of Cebu’s big tourist draw cards lately since the discovery of the whale sharks in Oslob in Sept 2011. Resorts offering whale watching tours have sprung up along the highway. Around couple meters off shore a group of whale sharks can be seen. The numbers of whale sharks that can be seen vary day by day, but usually you can get to see at least a few every day (they seem to alternate) . Whale Shark tours begin at 6 am (until 12 Noon) and after a mandatory briefing on how to behave around the whales (no flash photograph, no touching the whales and no sun screen). The boats tie themselves up and a rope so to keep out of the way of the swimmers and fishermen feeding the whale sharks. The price to swim with the whale sharks is listed below and allow maximum 30 minutes each trip so to enable as many people to see the whale sharks (and to maximise their profits!). Local fishermen in dugout canoes paddle around feeding (with brine shrimp) them. The hungry whale sharks follow the fishermen’s canoes around allowing everyone to get a view of the sharks. Public holidays and weekends tend to attract bigger crowds so you will have more “people traffic” to compete with in the water. There are at times some small jellyfish to be aware of. I did have some minor itching on my bear arms. My friend also experienced some skin irritations. From my previous visit not long after they started these tours I have noticed it is a bit more organised.
Oslob Whale Watching Costs
Prices have rapidly increased; the latest increase was in April 2012.
Whale watching inclusive of boat ride – (local tourist) 300
This price is when you stay in the boat
Whale watching w/ snorkelling and boat ride – (local tourist) 500
Whale watching w/ scuba diving (local tourist) 600
With this you will get snorkel and facemask and life jacket.
Weekends and public holidays get crowded, so if you can avoid them I would recommend this.
8th of December (Oslob)
In celebration of the town’s annual fiesta, “sadsad” is a form of merrymaking and thanksgiving for the blessings received for the past year from the town’s patroness, the Immaculate Conception.
How To Get To Oslob from Cebu
Located 117 kilometres away from Cebu City, Oslob can be reached by buses or by vans from the Cebu South Terminal. Pay approx 149 P for the regular bus and about 155P for the aircon bus. Expect the travel time of around 3 hours.
Long time ago, the place was once called “Bolocboloc” because of the spring located in the place in which the strong current of the water makes a boiling movement. Until now, the place is still surviving and is commonly called “Nigad” which is the name of the tree that grows near the spring. The place was like an oasis and became a favourite place among the travellers because of its huge branches offering shades and the fresh waters to quench the thirst. Under the tree the name Oslob came to be. According to the story passed through generations orally, a couple was resting under the tree, eating boiled bananas while dipping it in vinegar and salt. Spanish guards then suddenly showed up asking, “Como se llama esto pueblo?” or “What is the name of this town?” when translated in English.
*rates are subject to change without notice