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South of Cebu DIY (Day 3): The Tuki or Whale Shark of Oslob

Updated on April 16, 2013
Signboard indicating that you have arrived in Oslob
Signboard indicating that you have arrived in Oslob | Source

Moalboal to Oslob

Oslob was not a priority visit in Cebu during the past years, but just late last year the Whale Sharks of Oslob locally named as 'Tuki' were seen being fed by fishermen and became the latest traveling craze. After our trip to Moalboal, a bit of our second day in the South of Cebu was spent on a journey to Oslob.

Upon disembarking from the bus there were already people offering us a place to stay. And since the inn we initially planned to stay in was not answering and we could not find any signs of its existence, we did accept to look at the place one of them was offering. It turns out the owner of the small store just outside the municipal where we would have to register the next day has rooms for rent. The room was clean and the family who owned the place very nice. Currently their sign was not up yet but they are planning to name the bed-space Ester's Place.

We later checked our dive center for the next day - Oslob Diver's. It was the cheapest one we found. Rene, the contact person for the dive was honest to tell us that we do not actually need to dive to be able to see the whale sharks of Oslob. Hubby and I had a long discussion of the pros and cons of diving and not diving to see the Tuki's. Later on we decided not to dive since we would be saving a lot of money by just snorkeling. By the way, there were not that much restaurants around but Rene offered to have someone cook a meal for us.

On the Way to Oslob

While on the bus, we passed by this beautiful scenery of outrigger boats by the mangroves
While on the bus, we passed by this beautiful scenery of outrigger boats by the mangroves | Source
Another interesting scene is this native house built near a river
Another interesting scene is this native house built near a river | Source
Whale watching rules
Whale watching rules | Source
Registration Area
Registration Area | Source
Whale Shark being fed
Whale Shark being fed | Source
This is all you will see if the diver's are there while you are snorkeling
This is all you will see if the diver's are there while you are snorkeling | Source

Early Morning Whale Shark Interaction

We showed up at the municipal just 30minutes after their 6am opening. Upon arrival there were already a few people ahead of us and some were already boarded at the small outrigger boats that would take them to the whale shark viewing/snorkeling area.

We registered and paid the 500P snorkeling dues and was given a short discussion on how to interact with whale sharks. After around less than 5minutes we were also on our way to the whale shark viewing area on a small boat which was good for two people including the fisherman who was rowing, so I had to sit on top of a makeshift box and hold tightly to hubby's shoulders. When we get small currents I almost fall off the boat and shriek. It was quite scary, thank goodness the viewing area was just a short ride away.

When we reached the viewing area, around five boats were already there, containing more than five people per boat. No one was in the water. We turned our heads to find where the whale sharks were; then we saw the first one being fed by a fisherman.

Its huge mouth closing and opening while it eats the krill being given. It was following the fisherman around making it easier for all 5 boats (plus ours) to see. We immediately jumped in the water to get a better view.

Being that close to the magnificent creature as big as a mini bus in clear waters was such an experience. However, around 5minutes later the divers came and our view became suddenly all bubbles. Even the whale shark noticed the bubbles and left. There were two more whale sharks though, just a bit smaller. I saw one of the divers touch the whale shark and I wanted to scream at the person - no one was watching, tsk tsk.

After a while with the bubbles and the sudden surge of boats (there were at least 10 in the water), I felt nauseated. I went back to our small boat and just stayed there. The boat got flooded and the fisherman was hastily removing the water with a small pail. It signaled that we had to go back to the shore now.

Another must-visit in Oslob are the Cuartel and the Immaculate Conception Parish Church. The Cuartel is an 18th Century Spanish-Era unfinished coral stone structure intended to be a barracks stand. The Immaculate Conception Parish Church is also an 18th century church. We were positively surprised by the beauty of the said area. Pictures in websites did not do justice of the said places that we actually almost skipped it.

After snorkeling with the whale sharks it was still early so we decided to go ahead and pass by. Just like Intramuros, Manila, one would be zapped back to the Spanish Era Period.

TRIP TIP:

  • From Moalboal to Oslob one would have to ride a bus from Moalboal Highway to Cebu Bato then go down at the Ceres bus Terminal to get a ride going to Cebu City. When you reach Oslob, you will not miss the whale shark posters.
  • As of May 2012, diving at Oslob Divers is 600P for Filipinos and 1500P for foreigners.This includes the dive equipment without a dive guide. Hiring a dive guide costs an additional 100P. It is shore entry as Oslob Divers is near the Whale Shark watching area. Before diving you would have to register and pay first at the municipal an additional diving fee of 350P and a Camera fee of 100P (camera fee optional). There is no time limit in diving - only until your air runs out ;) Contact Rene Boy at 09227146885 or 09334159460.
  • Snorkeling registration on the other hand is just in the municipal. It includes the boat ride, mask, snorkel, camera fee, and life vest. Snorkeling rate is 500P for Filipinos and 1000P for foreigners, this is good for 40 minutes. You may rent flippers for 50P.
  • Souvenir Shirt at both Oslob Diver's and the municipal is at 250P. They give a discount if you speak Visayan.
  • There is a small eatery at Oslob Divers during lunch time. They serve yummy squid and porkchop at 50P each with rice and drinks
  • Options for a place to stay: 1) Ester's Place where we stayed was 500P for a king size bed and a fan, shared bathroom. Contact Ester at 09235577613; 2) Air-coned rooms right by the municipal, it is 1000P for 6 people. Contact number 09237459620 and 09275818502; 3) Marilyn's Resort for a fan room with cold shower at 800P for 2 people
  • A short jeep or bus ride (Oslob to Cebu City Route) would take you to the Cuartel and Immaculate Conception Church

Feeding whale shark
Feeding whale shark | Source
18th Century Immaculate Conception Church
18th Century Immaculate Conception Church | Source
18th Century Cuartel Coral Stone Structure
18th Century Cuartel Coral Stone Structure | Source

Budget Per Person

Day
Time
Activity
PerPerson
2
 
Bus from Moalboal to Cebu Bato
60.00
 
 
Bus from Bato to Tanawan, Oslob
20.00
 
4PM
Arrive at Oslob
-
 
 
CheckIn at Oslob Resort (Ester's Place: fan room, cold shower, shared bathroom )
250.00
 
9PM
Dinner at Oslob Diver's, Sleep Early
50.00
3
6AM
WakeUp, Fix-up
-
 
6:30AM
Registration at the municipal. Wait in line for turn
500.00
 
6:40AM
Snorkel at Oslob
-
 
07:30AM
Check-outsouvenirs at the side of the registration area
-
 
8AM
Fix-up at Ester's Place
-
 
9AM
Take pictures, Brunch and Souvenir Shopping at Oslob DIvers
300.00
 
10:30AM
Checkout, departure to Baluarte and Cuartel.
20.00
 
11AM
Picture-Taking Baluarte and Cuartel, Oslob
-
 
 
Total Oslob:
1,200.00
Price Per Person in Philippine Peso as of May 2012.

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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      WOW cool pix of the whale shark. Where's our pasalubong? Ha ha ha. This is really inexpensive. Unfortunately we can't bring our baby just yet.

    • munchwaffle profile image
      Author

      munchwaffle 5 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the visit jpcmc - I gave it to sis already as far as I could remember :))

    • profile image

      wai 4 years ago

      thank for your sharing info,

      Could you please advise more detail about Moalboal to Oslob by public transport? (which bus i should take and the timetable)

      my itinerary as following:

      day 1.

      Cebu south terminal 5am - Moalboal(diving)

      day 2.

      Moalboal(diving)

      day 3.

      go to Oslob from Moalboal(stay a night)

      day 4.

      Oslab (whale shark watching) - Cebu

    • munchwaffle profile image
      Author

      munchwaffle 4 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Wai. From Moalboal Center you will see several different buses such as Ceres Liner going to Bato - you should ride one of those. Enjoy your trip :)

    • profile image

      Wai 4 years ago

      Hi Munchwaffle.

      thank so much for your info.

    • profile image

      Madeline 3 years ago

      Hi! Do the buses from Bato bus terminal leave at a certain time only? Also, do we have to pre-book the bus tickets? Thanks!

    • munchwaffle profile image
      Author

      munchwaffle 3 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Madeleine! There is no specific time, they do pass by frequently. No need to pre-book the bus tickets :)

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