I remember finding a picture on Instagram of a diver and a whale shark and it was astonishing as this human was swimming with an animal so enormous. From that moment, I knew one day I would also experience that moment.
Then... come my trip to Cebu. YESSS! FINALLY! I didn't care if I was a beach bum throughout my trip in Cebu, as long as I was able to see this gentle giant also known as "butanding."
Oslob is 3-4 hours drive from Mactan. I could've easily booked this tour through Costabella Resort, but my family and I saved more money by hiring a driver to take us there instead. The scenic view through the country side was breathtaking. I was in love with the pristine water and had several *pinch me* moments.
Onto the good part; snorkeling with the whale sharks. The area is small and had limited parking spaces. The fee to snorkel is $10 for locals or Filipinos and $20 for "foreigners." There's also an option to whale watch and everything is included. The information and pay station is in the same open room. The locals brief you about the rules and safety snorkeling with the whale sharks. Then you wait for the next available boat "banka". The boat guides paddled out about ten minutes from the shore.
At first, I didn't see any whale sharks. Then we got closer to a man tossing out fishes and there they were; the whale shark! I was beyond scared and excited at the same time. I couldn't stop saying "Oh, my god." It's one of those moments where I just couldn't believe what I was seeing and I was so frantic about it.
The view under water was spectacular. I saw divers below and the actual size of these whale sharks. I had to swim away several times because they were swimming too close to me at one point. This was DEFINITELY the highlight of my trip. I still can't believe I was able to experience this and I did it with my family.