Encounter with the Gentle Giants (Whale Shark) in Oslob

I’ve been planning ever since to try out the Whale Shark watching in Oslob, Cebu. If you’ll think about it, it would be so amazing to swim together with those super-mega-massive-sized whale, right? However, my mum really doesn’t want me to go there because she insisted that they are still animals and we will not know what they might do to us. But since I’m with my ‘laag’ buddy already then it’s fine with her. nyahehehe

But in spite of all the fun with this kind of experience, I still find it very distressing.

also known as 'Tuki'

also known as ‘Tuki’

Just 3 hours away from Cebu City, you can already have the wonderful experience to swim with these gentle giants which is located in Brgy. Tan-awan Oslob of Cebu province,

How to get there?

In South Bus Terminal, take a bus via Liloan or simply ask the ‘konduktors‘ if which bus you should take for Oslob. Once you will get to Oslob boundary, just check the sign for ‘Whale Shark Watching’.

Since you can only have whale shark watching ’til 12:30 nn, I would also suggest you to come early as 8 am to keep yourself away from the ‘horde‘ lol.


Once you’ll get to the place, go directly to their briefing area by just following the signs.



A short briefing should need to be followed accordingly before the activity starts. One of the important things you will need to remember once you are in the water with them is not to touch them. Second is by turning off the flash of your cameras while taking photos of them. Third is keeping at least 4 meter distance from the whale sharks. Failure to follow any of the following will lead you into paying the fine of 2,500php.

For 30 minutes (only), you can experience this jaw dropping adventure with the whale sharks already. Two (2) guides will also accompany you through out the activity. Below are the fees for whale shark watching:

300php – if you’ll watch from the boat only (with life vest)

500php – if you want to swim with the butandings (with snorkeling gears and life vest)

500 php – underwater camera rental

1000 php – if you feel like you are a foreigner then you can pay this amount (lol)

And so the time comes for us to experience it. Not just watching them but by swimming together with these whale sharks. So let’s see if they really are gentle giants.

The swimming area with the ‘Tuki’ is just few meters from the shore. It will just take you 1-2 minutes to reach the area.

row row row your boat

row row row your boat


see? it’s not really that far..

So as you can see the picture below, it shows those black something-ish on the water. Those are actually the whale sharks already and the funny thing about it is that we don’t have any ideas that those are them already. heahehehuheueheuheu


So as one of the butanding approaches to our ‘bangka‘, I was like overwhelmed and at the same time oblivious. You know that feeling that you see something you’ve been dreaming of for the first time? Yeah, that feeling. That’s what I felt during that time.

Then one of the guides then said “Ambak namo kay gasugod nang oras.” which means they’re telling us to jump to the water already since the 30 minutes already started. So we didn’t have a choice but to jump. lol




selfie with Mr. Butanding

selfie with Mr. Butanding

The experience was so great and scary at the same time. But as we were enjoying it, me and my boyfriend noticed something. There were scratches on the whale shark’s body. Some of the tourist keeps on shouting and panics every time the whale shark comes closer to them. And for the whale shark to come closer to you, someone is guiding them by feeding them.

I looked at the surrounding feeling sorry for these animals. As if they were trapped in a basin being fed for a living. *creys*

If you are also hungry after diving and snorkeling with the Butanding, they also have a ‘restaurant’ where you can have your lunch. So these are for our lunch:



While eating, I still get that ambivalent feeling. Anyway, I jut hope that this will stop in the future. I really feel sorry for the butandings. It should have been better if no one discovered that they exist in Oslob.

Anyway, after having lunch, we should have gone to Sumilon island, which is a 15 minute away from Tan-awan, and I was able to haggle for 700 pesos for both of us already. However, Neil really forbid me not to go instead because it was little too pricey. Next time, maybe?

We then decided to go to Tumalog Falls which is just 7-9 minutes away from Tan-awan. Check it on my next post.

5 Responses to Encounter with the Gentle Giants (Whale Shark) in Oslob

  1. Mac says:

    Thanks for the share but a lot of people don’t necessarily feel the same way. Unlike many domesticated animals, they’re not inside cages, traps or leash. That is the very nature of life. We depend on each other to live.

    • Yeah, I know. We have different opinion and whatnot. Well for us, that’s what we felt seeing the scratches all over their body. Also, the shouting of the other tourist and touching the whales may stress them out. Anyway, there are no major accidents happened yet, which is a good thing and thanks for visiting the site btw 🙂 hehe

  2. Mac says:

    NP. Out of curiosity, what happens after lunch? I’ve heard that whalewatching is only allowed until 12 noon? Would you know? Thanks.

    • We’ve asked the locals there but they’re not quite sure exactly if where. Sometimes they’ll go to Donsol, or sometimes somewhere in Mindanao. It would really depend. Some might just stay in Cebu to come back again in Tan-awan the next day to eat hehe.

  3. […] Cebu, you can already have this kind of experience with butanding in Oslob for 30 minutes. (Click here for […]

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