Oslob, Cebu – Bucketlist moment: A Swim With Whalesharks

5am morning calls are no joke. While I took my rest earlier the night before, it still felt like a bad hangover. But this was the highlight of our trip, and I was determined to make it happen.

So there we are, gathering with the rest of the resort guests  at 6am in the morning. The whaleshark watching bay was a mere 3 minutes walk away, and we were one of the earliest. Even so, there were already lots of people who were there for the activity.

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There was a short briefing by the locals who told us what to expect and what not to do.

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Within 3 minutes, we were there.

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And soon enough…

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Lol the only decent photo I got

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And an unglam shot of the whaleshark

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Honestly, this was the activity that appealed so much to me I visited Cebu for it. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t left bewildered by the whole experience. It was amazing beyond belief and this will always be a piece of memory etched onto the back of my mind.

However, take note that these whalesharks are fed by the locals and used as a tool for tourists like us. While I can see that they have tried to minimize any potential damage to the animals, deep down there was still something that bothered me.

There are many arguments around this activity and I wouldn’t tell anyone what to do and what not to do. However, I urge everyone to realise that we have a responsibility as tourists and to remember the impact we have on the wildlife and local communities no matter where we are. We really shouldn’t take advantage of our privilege and let’s be fair and respectful to local traditions and cultures.

I was to leave at 11am for my ferry and we hurried back for a quick breakfast.

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It felt so good to finally see the sun after all the rain for the past few days.

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All the boats in the photo are where the whaleshark swimming activity is taking place.

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Soon after, we were hitting the roads again. Three people wedged on a motorbike riding to Tumalog falls.

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It was a crazy, difficult hike up as the road was bloody steep we were almost on all fours at one point.

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It wasn’t anything majestic but we were still in awe with the beauty standing in front of us.

We returned to our resort, took a swim and bade each other goodbye for the very last time.

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Thanks for making this trip happen, Paulie. And thanks for all the crazy adventures in Singapore for the past few months! This was honestly so much more difficult than I thought and I don’t know when/whether we’ll meet again, but always know that Singapore always has a place (and yummy Asian food) for you!

P/s: This Asian here will always be the craziest one amongst all that you’ve met.

Till then.

Olivia L.

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