Become one with nature in OSLOB

One can never go wrong with Oslob when it comes to being one with the nature.
This is what I consider as the highlight of my south Cebu adventures, I just fell in love with Oslob. Beautiful nature, warm people, cheap and tasty food, and my most favorite – sight of the sea all throughout our way down town.

After Canyoneering from Badian, We took a bus going to “Oslob via Bato”. Travel time 1.2-2hrs.There will be busses that will pass by along hi-way. End point will be at Bato Terminal. You need to ride another bus going to Oslob town proper, 61php/head. Travel time aprox 1hr.

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Where to stay after Canyoneering?

Looking for a budget friendly and decent homestay? You can have it for just 600/room for an overnight stay.

Well recommended by my frequent traveler friend – Kuya Ran. Inclusive of 1 bunk & 1 queen size bed. Fan room, clean T&B. You can use kitchen utensils, or even wash your used clothes. There are stores available nearby, and walking distance from the town proper. Very accessible.

GUNNER’S LODGE
Pob, Oslob
Contact person: Rowena Robolo
Mobile number: 0933-9842553
No. of rooms: 7

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We met other travelers and shared some beer and coffee during socials. After that, Ate Rowena (caretaker) approached me and asked if we already have service for the activity the next day. She agreed to arrange transfers from Homestay-whale shark encounter.

Our call time was 5:00am. Early bird if you want to be among the first watchers.On our way to Tan-awan, we were greeted by a beautiful song of the waves. It was one perfect morning in Oslob Cebu. I was in awe of the view, the smell of fresh air, everything was beautifully made.

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Source: peps&coks travelog
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Morning breeze at coastal road in Oslob

Our driver kuya Elmer shared us a short history of the whalesharks in Oslob

The fishermen here have been using uyap (small shrimps) for years as fishing bait (not fishing for whale sharks or mantas). The uyap is caught at night, and then during the day the fishermen use these shrimp to fish. As whale sharks do pass by this area from time to time, it’s not very surprising that they are also after the uyap, which is a big part of their diet.

Most fishermen considered the whale sharks as a pest because when they eat their bait, they scare away the small fish they are fishing for.

The Encounter: Swimming with Whale Sharks in Oslob 

Upon arriving at the whale shark watching area, we saw a long queue of people waiting for their turn. It was a pretty chaotic scene. We had a brief orientation regarding the rules and regulations on doing the activity.

It is indeed required for the safety of the travelers and the whale sharks as well.  The seminar only lasted around 5 minutes.

Just before we hopped in to our bangka, We are lucky enough to witness a gorgeous sunrise.

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Waiting for our turn

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It was only a matter of seconds for the huge sharks come into view. I was so thrilled that I almost couldn’t decide which to swim over to.  Both good options, but I just picked one and swam as quickly as I could in its direction. I couldn’t believe how close of a view of the whale shark that we seemingly stumbled right on to.

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Approaching the whale shark, you feel dwarfed. It was absolutely enormous and seemed nearly the size of a bus. Yet despite its size and the fact that these creatures are classified as “sharks,” there was never any sense of fear.

We found most of them near the surface, but it was almost more special when one was spotted in gliding around the depths below us.

Schedules and Fees

The Whale Watching or the feeding schedule is from 6:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

For the locals with snorkeling – P 500.00
For the Foreigners – P1,000.00
Whale watching only – P 300.00 for the locals and P 500.00 for the foreigners
Underwater camera rent – P 100.00

Rules and Regulations

– Do not touch or approach the whale sharks. Maintain an estimated 4m distance around them.
– Stay away from the tail. The tail can wag so strong that it can bruise you when hit
– Avoid feeding the sharks with other food
– No littering
– Cameras are okay, but no flash photography
– Do not use sunblock so as not to contaminate the water.

A 30-minute interaction with the gentle giants will surely be the longest 30-minutes of your life. It was only 7:00 am and we had experienced this all before our morning cup of coffee.

All in all, this is still a surreal experience. There is a responsibility to take nothing away from where you have been, except great memories.

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Time to go back to the shore.

On our way back to Gunners, our driver told us to roam for a few minutes around the town proper. I have read in some blogs about the Cuartel in Oslob, but I wasn’t able to include in our planned itinerary. Without knowing that it is just 15minute walk from the Oslob Market.

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Habal Habal ride

Thanks to our driver for bringing us to my most favorite spot in Oslob. The turquoise blue green water of the sea was the sight I won’t get tired of. Plus treats your eyes with the amazing wrecks of the ancient-spanish quarters. Also he showed us beautiful secluded beaches nearby.

Immaculate Conception Parish Church 

This is one of the oldest churches in Cebu that were remnants of the Spanish occupation. However, the church you will see today is a restored one as it has suffered from two fires in its history. On November 7, 1955, a fire destroyed the church and again on March 26, 2008.

All of these sites are within walking distance from each other and are all located in Poblacion, Oslob.

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Cuartel

Located front-right of the church of Oslob, just outside the perimeter stone fence and near the sea, at the intersection of Calle Aeternidad and the end of Calle Aragones, an unfinished building made of coral blocks resembling a Spanish-era barracks stand. This unfinished structure was the cuartel, intended for the Spanish soldiers or guardia civil. It was started by Fray Juan Jose Aragones (1848–1854, 1859–1861) during his second term of service in this municipality. It remained unfinished until the end of Spanish occupation in 1898.

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Source: EverythingCebu.com

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The Heritage Park (personal favorite spot)

The heritage park is located in the boulevard area beside the beach. Benches are scattered all around the place so you can relax. An open space with lush gardens, this is the perfect place to chill in the afternoon where one can sit on a bench under a tree and enjoy the fresh air of the open sea. All these for free!!

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Oppa’s we have met along Cuartel,

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Kuya Elmer also showed us beautiful secluded beaches nearby. And no fees collected, swim all you waaant! yaaaaiy!!

 

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Itinerary:

Day 03
04:30AM – Wake up call
04:45AM – Breakfast, Prepare for next activity
05:00AM – Take habal habal going to Whaleshark watching
05:30AM – Sunrise watching @ Oslob
Register, Briefing, Start of activity (per batch basis, 1st come 1st served)
06:30AM – End of Whaleshark watching, Breakfast
08:00AM – Back to town proper, Visit Spanish Cuartel Oslob (walking distance from
Town center, or take habal habal/tricycle) *Favorite spot*, Stroll look
for nice beaches
10:00AM – Gunner’s Lodge, Wash up. Prepare for Checkout.
10:30AM – Checkout

Expenses:

Day 03:            OSLOB + WHALESHARK WATCHING 
600php            Accomodation (2pax)
500php            Whaleshark Watching
250php            Food
150php            Habal Habal Ride

For more details – CEBU 4-DAY ITINERARY UNDER 7,500php DIY (Including Airfare)

Have you been to Oslob? Share us your experience.

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