One Great Weekend

Oslob, Cebu, Philippines

One of the best things about living in a tropical country is that stretches of white sand beaches with pristine turquoise waters is just a couple of hours away from the city. During my friends and I’s six-week stay in Cebu, we didn’t let the opportunity to have a taste of summer pass us by. If almost everyone we know went to the famous beaches of Boracay Island during the labor day weekend, we drove south to the town of Oslob









 






 



We rode the van that a friend of mine rented, and left Cebu City at around 4 in the morning. It was drizzling the moment we stopped at Talisay City to eat breakfast. A part of me was worried that the rain might ruin our plans. The dark clouds hovering above us while we hit the road again made me anxious. But fortunately, the weather changed when we were a few kilometers away from Oslob. 
From Cebu City, we passed by 6 towns and 3 cities. It was more than a 2-hour drive since some of the roads were under construction and we had to stop over a gasoline station to answer the calls of nature haha! Oslob is located almost at the southern tip of the island of Cebu. We arrived at the Oslob Whale Shark Watching briefing area at around 9 or 10 in the morning. There were a lot of local and foreign tourists, eager to start their 30-minute swimming with the gentle giants. 
We had to shell out 500 pesos per person. The fee is inclusive of the tour guides, the boat ride, and the swimming. If you opt to see the whale sharks from the boat, you need to pay 300 pesos. We forgot to bring our own camera so we had to rent the tour guide’s underwater camera for 500 pesos, which was a-okay since the photos turned out nice. 
The whale sharks were crazy big! A fisherman on a separate boat kept on feeding the gentle giant. Whenever it gets close to our group, the other tour guides would then take pictures of us with the whale shark behind us. I had to keep my life vest on and asked the other tour guide to push me underwater since I don’t know how to swim. Yup, you read that right. I’m 20 years old and I still don’t know how to swim hehehe
Anyway, 30 minutes felt so short. We had so much fun trying to take perfect photos for our Facebook profile pictures haha! I was supposed to include our underwater group picture in this post but we looked horrible in it. The only decent looking group photo we had was the one the tour guide took when we were already back in the boat. 
I think the price of the package was a-okay. The experience of swimming with the whale sharks is priceless. I only saw pictures of them in the internet and it was surreal seeing them. It was indeed another item off my bucket list.  
After swimming with the gentle giants, we drove back to Alcoy. We stopped at Tingco Beach. We only paid 10 pesos for the entrance fee, and opted to settle under the shade of palm trees. There were tables and cottages for rent but after the adventure we had, we couldn’t afford it anymore haha! It was a-okay since there were a lot of shaded areas to settle in. 
We went swimming and boating. A local offered us a boat tour and snorkeling activity for 200 pesos. They took us to a spot where different kinds of fishes were swimming. After the activity, we decided to pack up our things and be back on the road again since two of our friends had to go back to Cagayan de Oro that evening. One thing to remember when you stop over at a public beach is that there isn’t a proper shower area, so you have to make do of the resources they have.






When we reached Sibonga town, we stopped at a carinderia to eat lunch. We also stopped at Carcar City to see their preserved vintage houses. There are a lot of vintage houses but we only managed to visit the Carcar City Museum. Unfortunately, it was closed so we just took pictures of its building. The church was also an eye candy. I love the maroon roof and the hints of light blue and gold above its huge wooden doors. 

In totality, this weekend was one of the best ever. We scratched items off our bucket lists, enjoyed the summer heat, marveled at the crystal clear waters, covered our feet with white powdery sand, and just had nothing but pure fun. I hope to visit the northern side of Cebu soon, especially Bantayan Island. I also hope to see more of Carcar City’s ancestral houses soon.  
If you’re planning to have an adventure in the southern side of Cebu, there are a lot of places to go and things to do, swimming with the whale sharks included. It’s best to do research and proper planning before you start your adventure :D

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