Dumaguete Adventure Series: Whale Sharks in Oslob

On the last day of May of 2016, my 8-year old son experienced something he will never forget. He finally got to swim and snorkel with the whale sharks! After his first snorkeling stint in Apo Island, I was quite hopeful that he will agree to go down and swim with the whale sharks with us. The first time we visited Oslob a year ago, he wanted to go down but was too scared to do so. When he finally did, the whale sharks were already too far to be seen underwater. 
With much prayers and a lengthy heart-to-heard talk with his dad, my son finally agreed to go down. The moment he put on his mask and peeked under the water, I knew he was in awe. I can hear his muffled screams underwater. Thank God for Tribord masks! It's truly different seeing them from the boat and witnessing them underwater. 

Here are some fun facts about whale sharks (some taken from National Geographic):
  • They are the largest fish in the sea (in case you're wondering about whales, they are mammals and not fish)
  • Whale Sharks are sharks, not whales
  • Can reach lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) or more
  • Their favorite meal is plankton. They scoop these tiny plants and animals up, along with any small fish that happen to be around, with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water's surface.
  • They use a technique called "cross-flow filtration" to passively filter food through its formidably sized
  • They prefer warm waters which is why whale sharks are often found in tropical seas
You may travel to see the Whale Sharks in Oslob via a 3-hour land trip from Cebu which is what we did last year, or a 1-hour boat ride from Dumaguete like what we recently did. I found this very helpful site on how to get to Oslob from various cities. Click here to view it.
Seeing these gentle giants are worth the trip. The whole family will love the experience. Even smaller kids who are not brave enough to go down the water will be able to see the Whale Sharks feeding from the boat. Should you decide to go down to swim, do not forget your underwater cameras. You may also rent there and ask the boatman to take your photos. They are quite the experts at underwater 'whale shark' photography.
(Photos from this blog are my friend Franc Ng's GoPro. Not a professional photographer, not a 'Butanding boat man' either. Thanks, Franc!)


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