Are you planning to go South of Cebu to finally experience and meet Oslob’s famous and friendly whale sharks? For me, it has been my dream to step at my father’s hometown – Oslob, Cebu, for the very same reason. In fact, it has been in my bucket list for so long. However, my father has no more information about the whereabouts of his relatives since my grandparents already died. Left with no choice, I said to myself that once I will have the chance, I will really go and travel to this must-visit tourist attraction.
This year, that dream of going to Oslob has finally come true! Since this year is already MM (my husband) and I’s third year of celebrating wedding anniversary in Cebu, I planned to celebrate it this time in Oslob! Just a quick recall I would like to share, we were in Simala Miraculous Church during our 4th wedding anniversary and in Bantayan Island on our 5th anniversary. This time, I was so excited to plan for our trip to Oslob and finally swim with these giant but kind butandings!
So, what to do and where to go in Oslob? I didn’t ask for somebody’s help as I was planning it secretly, although MM already had the idea that we are going to Oslob since I had been constantly telling him how eager I am to go. If you are like me who plan for a DIY trip and had no one to ask to, then you are on the right page! Let me help you achieve a superb Oslob experience!
Where to Go?
I learned that the whale shark encounter is only open from 6:00AM to 12:00NN. With that information ahead, I was looking for a nearby resort where we can stay a night before meeting with the “butandings”. I search for affordable hotels, resorts and inns through booking.com, and one resort really has captured my attention. Aside from its picturesque view and perfect vacation getaway, it is also affordable! It’s a secret haven I just found in the South of Cebu that offers affordable rates. The place is STAY N SAVE! Because I am a happy and satisfied customer, I will give a separate review for this very instagrammable place. Check it here!
Five Fun and Wonderful Things to Do in Oslob For A Day
If you are around Oslob, I suggest you do the following activities that will surely make your Oslob experience extraordinary. What’s nice to note is that you can do all of these in just one day!
Glamorous Camping or “Glamping” for short is offered when you check in at Stay N Save. It gives a brand new and refreshing feeling to be inside a tent instead of finding yourself contained in the four walls of a room. It’s nice to wake up seeing the world from the window of your tent. If you feel you’ll have discomforts especially during sleep hours and worry about having backaches, this is not a problem at all! The tent is provided with a double standard bed and an electric fan inside, giving you enough ease and comfort. Perhaps, this is why it’s called glamorous camping! It’s our first time to do this and so we are very happy and thrilled with the experience!
Glamping Fee: 800php (good for 2, but the tent is wide which can fit up to 4 heads)
2. Meeting with Butanding
Your Oslob adventure is not complete without meeting with the butandings! This is the primary tourist attraction of Oslob where tourists, local and foreign, always come and go! Finally I should say, this is something off my bucketlist!
You may choose either to watch only (500-800PHP) or swim with the butandings for a different price of 800-1000PHP. The fee includes boat ride,snorkeling gears and a life jacket. There’s also an activity for diving lovers for a price of 3000php and above. For non-divers like me, to get a best experience, I recommend you should swim with the butandings. I don’t even know how to swim, either, but I put all my courage to get this once in a lifetime experience. The boatmen are very gracious to teach you how to “fake” swim, so swimming skills are not an issue at all, take it from me! Your activity with the whale shark only lasts for 30 minutes so you really have to make the most out of it!
Important Reminder: When you go to registration area, be sure not to bring anything, unless you have waterproof bags. I wasn’t aware of this so I had a sling bag when we went there; we had our cellphones, my cap, my shades, my coin purse and MM’s wallet. We thought that we can bring it on board and we can simply leave our things on the boat. However, the boat in-charge said to leave our things because the boatmen will not take care of those. In our case, we rely solely to the man whom I bought a zip-locked waterproof phone case for my mobile. He volunteered to take care of our things and fortunately, and THANKFULLY, our trust was not put into waste. The locals are trustworthy!
3. Going to a Nearby Island: Sumilon
We finished around 9:45AM swimming with the whale sharks and we still have time to go to the nearest island from Oslob, the Sumilon Island. The man who took care of our belongings recommended us to a pump boat owner who took us to the island. Since we have enough time, and the island is less than 30 minutes travel, we took already the opportunity to see the famous sand bar, white sand and clear water of Sumilon. We were able to book the pumpboat for a special prize of 1000php back and forth. Normally, the pump boat carries 15 heads for a prize of 1500php. So, this island experience would be cheaper if you are travelling in a group.
Entrance Fee: 100php inclusive of snorkeling gears
While in Sumilon, don’t forget to snorkel around the marine sanctuary. The activity fee is 50php with a tourguide/diver who will tour you around the protected sanctuary. I was able to use my ziplock phone case here and I was happy that it actually works and my mobile phone was safe!
Important Reminder: Best not to bring anything valuable when coming to Sumilon Island unless again you have your water proof bags with you. If you trust the locals, you can leave your things to them, either to the boatmen who brought you to the island, just like what the foreigner-couple did (who were with us), or just like me who left my sling bag with our valuables in the waiting shed where we paid for snorkeling.
5. Visiting Nearby Beaches
At 11:30 we were heading back already to Oslob. We still have half of the day, but we will be checking out already at Stay N’ Save. So, we were rushing to head back to the resort.
You can actually check out already with your things still in the resort. They will allow you to leave your things with them. You can maximize your time in Oslob by going to nearby beaches, like the Cancuaay Private Beach Resort, which is just a walking distance from Stay N Save. Although we went here at Cancuaay prior to our whaleshark encounter (actually, few hours before our check-in because we were too early to arrive at Stay N Save), you can still enjoy this private beach after your Sumilon Escapade, since you still have the whole afternoon.
You can also go to Tumalog Falls, which is also nearby, just ask the locals how to go and they will give you the instructions. We were not able to go to Tumalog anymore because my partner was complaining that he’s tired already! 🙂 Be sure to have a companion who is overflowing with energy! Haha
Below are my pictures enjoying the scorching sun, splashing waves, rocky background, picture-perfect view of Cancuaay Private Beach Resort.
How to Go to Oslob?
From South Bus Terminal (near E-Mall), ride a bus going to Oslob-Bato, Liloan-Bato or Dumaguete-Bato since all of these will pass by at Oslob. Tell the driver or conductor where exactly you want to be dropped off. Most of the places in Oslob are very known to bus drivers/conductors, so they can really help you on this, just don’t hesitate to tell them or ask them. Fare ranges from 150-200php. Travel time is approximately 4 – 5 hours.
If you are traveling with your own service, just navigate through google maps or waze.
Got Questions? I LOVE TO HELP.
That’s it for my Oslob adventure! I hope you had fun time reading and getting tips from this escapade. If you have something to ask, just comment down or leave a message. Tell me what are your thoughts about this and I will be very happy to reply. Till on my next blog! Happy wandering, Laagans!