Whale Sharks and Heartbreak

Last weekend, my best friend, his fiancée, his dad, and I went to swim with the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu.

I'm blogging about it, because a friend told me of an urban legend about Oslob. That whale sharks are instinctively attracted to people who are heartbroken, in an attempt to comfort them, and that is the reason whale sharks are becoming semi-permanent dwellers on the shores of Oslob: Because there are many unfortunate souls in Oslob, nursing a broken heart.

And I can attest to that. Because the whale sharks just can't seem to stay away from me. They like to stay really close!

So here's a guide on how to get to Oslob, details on the whale shark watching, tips, and a sample itinerary.

How to Get There
The best, and only, way to get to Oslob is by land. If you don't have a car, you can go to Oslob by (1) bus or (2) by renting a car or van.

Option 1: By Bus
  • How: Ride a bus bound for Oslob at the Cebu South Bus Terminal.
  • Fare: approximately 150php, one way
  • Travel time: 2-3H

Option 2: By Renting a Car or Van
  • How: Contact car rental companies, or through a travel agency. 
  • Fare: Starts at 875php per head, for a minimum of 4 persons in a car.
  • Travel time: 2-3H
For us, we chose Option 2. You can contact Lovely Planet PH for inquiries on the Oslob Whale Watching Tour.

Details on Oslob Whale Shark Watching
The Whale Shark Watching Center is just along the highway, so it's not hard to miss it. Just look for the sign saying "Briefing Center."

Regular Rate (for foreigners)
1,500.00 - Scuba diving (including gear and O2)
1,000.00 - Snorkeling (including gear)
500.00    - Whale shark watching (stay on the boat)

Discounted Rate (for Filipinos)
600.00 - Scuba diving (including gear and O2)
500.00 - Snorkeling (including gear)
300.00 - Whale shark watching (stay on the boat)

Part of the briefing is a review of the set of rules for the activity. The highlights are thus:
  • Do NOT touch the whale shark
  • Observe a 4-meter distance from the whale shark
  • No flash photography
  • No sunscreen, sunblock, or any sun-protection chemicals allowed

Waiting queue at 8:00 AM
  • Go early. The activity is open from 6:00 AM to 12:30 NN only, every day.
  • There are sooooo many people, so expect to have a waiting time of around 1-2 hours!
  • Bring a large dry bag. There is no place to leave your stuff, unless you have a car. If not, bring a big dry bag with you on the small bangka.
  • To wash up, don't expect fresh, clean water. The center refills its supply of water around twice of thrice a day, so there are instances when you can't wash up. You can go to neighboring resorts and carenderias where you can pay for a small fee (or for free) to take a shower.
  • There are no nearby restaurants there. But you can pay for entrance at nearby resorts to eat, or go to a nearby carenderia.

Here's a video of our trip :)

Sample Itinerary
3:00 AM - ETD Cebu City to Oslob
6:00 AM - ETA Oslob: Whale Shark Watching Briefing Center
**You can stop by Carcar along the way to buy food for lunch (optional)
7:00 AM - Secure ticket and priority number
8:00/9:00 AM - Whale shark watching
**Duration of interaction: 30 minutes
10:00 AM - Late breakfast / early lunch
11:00 AM - ETD Oslob to Cebu
2:00 PM - ETA Cebu City


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