This is a post by THH Jon.
#TeamHartHart just celebrated it’s first year anniversary last June 7, 2015. To celebrate, the team decided to go on a 4 day trip to the beautiful island province of Cebu! It’s capital is Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines. Cebu is around 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Manila by plane unless you experience delays for unknown reasons (ehem! Cebu Pacific).
We reached Mactan Airport in the early hours of the morning. Our driver and his van was already there when we arrived so we immediately hopped in and headed towards our first destination, Oslob. We were asleep most of the time during the journey. We only woke up to eat breakfast at a restaurant along the way. Most of them ordered something in the restaurant but I felt like it was too expensive (P100 for a fried chicken meal? No thanks!) so instead, I went outside and looked for street vendors and bought a P10 rice cake. Win. After 3-4 hours of what seems like a roller coaster ride, we finally reached Oslob where we went swimming with whale sharks (not the man eating type of shark but a gentle, filter feeding, ones.) a.k.a. butanding.
Before we went swimming with the whale shark, we had to attend a briefing to discuss the do’s and don’ts. The gentle giants are sensitive creatures so be sure to follow the rules. No touching, give them space, no flash photography, do not panic when it goes near you. Everyone was afraid a little scared as the whale shark was humongous! The view from the boat wasn’t the best so we dove in the water with our snorkeling gears and well…let’s just say we were gobsmacked. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Seeing a whale shark on the National Geographic is nothing compared to seeing it face to face. The fish (yep! it’s a fish! It is neither a shark nor a whale) was so big it can probably swallow you if it wanted to. I’m surprised how gentle they were even with people swimming about and splashing in the water. Probably because of the abundance of little shrimp that the boat men feed them. Aside from the whale shark, there were also other varieties of fish that joined the feeding frenzy.
After countless selfies, we went back to the shore and had lunch. Again, I found it to expensive to eat in the restaurant’s cafeteria so I headed outside and ate at a makeshift carinderia (I spent around P35 for lunch, adobong pusit was on the menu). With our tummies full, we headed back to the boat and made our way to the beautiful Sumilon Island.
Expenses: P500 – whale shark interaction (P300 whale watching, P200 snorkeling/swimming)
P100 – resort entrance fee inclusive of showers, toilets and a small hut.