solo traveller · Travel

The Whale Shark Expedition – Cebu, Oslob

The flight took me over 5 hours via Silkair as there was a layover time of 45-50 minutes, hence AirAsia / Cebu airlines will make better options to save time. However, I melted as soon as we were approaching the destination with this view from the top:

Since this is the first time I am travelling without a pre-booked transfer, I decided to take a taxi to my hotel in the city which cost me only about 400peso for an hour ride to Hotel Elizabeth Cebu. Traffic isn’t as smooth even on a weekday, so I could barely imagine if is over the weekends.

Cebu City

Next early morning I set off to a nearby iconic church – Basilica del Santo Niño. A visit to the Cathedrals in the city would be the least I could spare before heading south. I also made the effort to queue up with the locals there to make offerings and gave thanks. According to the locals faith and belief, Santo Nino blessed their many generations. They ask not for wealth but only to live humbly with great health and harmony.

Basilica del Santo Niño
Basilica del Santo Niño
Basilica del Santo Niño

Just by the streets opposite the church, this thirst quencher is a must have from the overwhelming heat in the city! A cuppa melon juice, freshly squeezed of course! The boss was elated when I wanted to take a photo.

Cebu City

After checking out from the hotel, is time for a 19km bus ride down south! I actually booked a room at Alcoy – Mangrove ECO Resort and there are only 2 options to travel there :

  1. Local bus – Ceres Liner from South Bus Terminal or
  2. Hire a private car / taxi for 3500 pesos minimally

Of course I took the chance and went for the first and tadah! It cost me only 140peso which is equivalent to SGD4. Not too bad a deal since is a full 4 hours ride with air-con. Downside is it would possibly take me only 2.5-3 hours for a private hire as there are too many frequent stopovers for alighting and boarding of passengers.

Ceres Liner bus ticket

A usual routine to embark to a supermarket since there isn’t any 7-11 or convenient stores around. I took their tricycle which resembles a “tuk tuk” in Bangkok and paid only 20pesos for about a 4km ride. And yes… the supermarket to them is also known as our wet market but pretty much has every needs:

Aloy town aka “supermarket”
Aloy town

After a stormy night for my arrival, this was the sunrise view at 5:30am. Yup I was all ready by 5am just for another bus ride to Oslob for the whale sharks

Sunrise at Mangrove ECO Resort

It was an hour ride further down this time at 43pesos only and the locals were so friendly enough to help me prompt the driver for me to alight as I was the only foreigner on board.

There are plenty of vendors you could pick from but since I wasn’t aware, I took the one by the corner and wasn’t too impress by my view… On the other hand, I am not a multi-tasker with my go-pro and snorkels cos I almost didn’t turn the recording mode on a few times. The ones that swam by to my view are huge but not as gigantic and only managed to catch a few glimpses only when the feeder passed by to our corner. After being there then did I understand the controversial on the impact of the behaviour and habitat of whale shark tourism – overfeeding and congregation of the sharks in an area.

Eventually, I hope that the marine conservation will continue with the monitoring of these delicate and vulnerable ones.

Whale Shark – Oslob

Tumalog waterfall was next, total was about 1,900peso as a package including snorkelling with the whale sharks. I appreciate waterfalls but not highly fond of.

Tumalog Waterfall

Eventually it was only 11:30am when it all ended there, I was then recommended to take a ferry to Sumilon Island for a decent beach. Have to mention to take the ferry via Bluewater Sumilon Island which cost me about 1,500peso on a weekday including buffet lunch at the resort. Finally a decent beach for a bummer! Too bad my phone and go-pro died on me pretty early but I had more snorkelling by the sandbar and their lagoon till sunset.

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
Sumilon Island
Sumilon Island
Sunset at Sumilon Island

So the other purpose was also for me to trial dive which turns out disastrous due to my sinusitis! It wasn’t ok for me when it hit me hard to realise how serious my sinusitis is.

My first dive

Afterall, I am happy for just a getaway not just discovering a new destination – Cebu but also myself once again =)

So long now till my next trip up to Palawan and Coron Islands