Islands and Beaches

Why I'll Forever Remember Swimming with Oslob's Gentle Giants


Thor Padinas
Thor Padinas | Oct 06, 2015

Oslob, Cebu

September 12, 2015
I woke up at around 2:00 am, packed my bag and made my way to Cebu South Bus Terminal. We're set to experience shark watching in Oslob.  I asked the driver to drop me at Aaron's Beach Resort, the same resort that offers a package for whale shark watching. I paid 600PhP that includes snorkeling, transfer to briefing area, and other amenities such as locker room and shower room.

Together with the couple I met in the resort, we changed into our swimming attire and headed to the briefing area where a diving instructor will orient you about the do's and don't's during the whale shark watching. There are a few but important things to remember before the activity: do not apply sunblock because it has chemical that's harmful for the marine creatures and keep a few meters away from the Butanding (local name for whale shark).

After the quick briefing, we were off to swim with the whale sharks! We boarded a paddle boat going to the area, wore my snorkel, removed my life vest, and jumped into the water.
At first, I thought it would be just an ordinary experience but when I started to go down the water, it left me breathless. I couldn't say a word. It was really awesome. I was hesitant to let go of my hold of the boat considering that I'll be swimming with strong current in an open sea. Because of my eagerness and excitement to get a closer look of the whale sharks, I finally let go and swam with these gentle giants. 

One of the boatmen proactively offered us to take a photo of me with the whales. He even instructed us things we should do. Thank you Kuya Marvin for taking these awesome shots. Seeing them and swimming with these giants is absolutely a rare experienc because you don't get to experience it anywhere. Whale watching lasted for 30-45 minutes but the memories and the experience itself will last a lifetime. 


The boatmen paddled us back to the briefing area, while the cab driver who waited for our arrival, drove us back to Aaron Beach Resort. Upon the arrival, one of the habal-habal drivers asked me if I want to visit Tumalog Falls. Since I still have enough energy and time, I accepted the 140php offer for a round trip. Stayed there for an hour to take some snaps and enjoy the fresh cold water of the falls.
I headed back to the resort to shower and prepare to go home.
Traveling solo can be exhilarating, lonely, enlightening, tough, but more than anything else, it's one amazing adventure.  It will teach you so much about yourself such as how to be self-efficient, reflective and curious of things  when no one is watching. It also teaches you how to be comfortable in your own company and how to make friends.

Interacting with great whale sharks is one of the best experiences anyone could have. A long day for a short, but memorable adventure. I describe it as a wonderful time swimming with sea friends.
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