Today was a Tuesday. I had a nice one day break after the Sunday trek to Mount Pinatubo. I was to leave Manila and head to Cebu by flight. I thought I’d take the train to Pasay and then take a taxi or jeepney from Pasay/TAFT Avenue to the airport.
But that was a mistake. When I got to the Cubao station, first there was a line for tickets. After I got the ticket, there was another line just to pass through security. Then another line after security just before taking the steps up to the platform. Then another line to get inside the train. This was done because that’s how many people there are during morning rush hour! It took an hour after getting my ticket just to get inside the stuffed train. It was such a struggle to stand inside with my two bags but I somehow survived! I got to Terminal 3 in time… which was not that important as the flight was later delayed by half-an-hour.
Anyway, my Cebu Pacific flight landed in Cebu safely, but getting to my hostel took more than an hour due to the line for taxis, first, then the city traffic. As irritated I was arriving past lunch time, it was nice to be back in Cebu since 2011.
I stepped out soon after to first, get some drinking water, hand over my laundry, and then to have lunch. Fortunately, just across the road from Tr3ats Guesthouse were many laundry shops (₱25/kg). I then took a jeepney, paid minimum fare (₱8) to get to Fuente Osmeña circle. It was already well past 3pm and I was late for lunch as it is. I went downstairs where the supermarket and food court is.
After lunch, I went around to find travel agencies offering trips to Oslob for the whale shark sighting tours. A few of the travel agencies I visited said they need a minimum of 3 people for them to organize a tour and even if I managed to group together 3-4 people, they told me it would still cost me ₱3k or more, per person, which was way too much. Back at the hostel, the staff told me how to get to Oslob by bus (which I also read online). I convinced myself to wake up really early — like 3am early — and so I went to bed early.
April 30th, 2014 – Cebu to Oslob by Bus
I woke up at 3:30am and took a taxi to the Cebu bus station, which only took 10 minutes to get to due to the lack of traffic.
For locals, it’s ₱300; for foreign tourists it costs ₱1000 (Rs. 1300/$22/€16). The staff told me to get into my swim wear and come out quickly. I changed (they have shower rooms).
It was time for me to get on the boat and dive in. I locked up my camera bag and left it beside the cashier who said she would look after it. I was going in with just my GoPro camera.
When I got to the point where I get into the water, I looked down from the boat and wondered where the whale sharks were. I put on my snorkel mask and jumped in.
After a shower and a snack, I sat down to preview the photos I had taken on the GoPro. I use my iPad Mini for this and although I got some good shots, I felt if I had an LCD screen, I could have framed my photos better. Anyway, here’s a brief video I took under water.
After the disappointment in Donsol last year, I was thrilled I could finally scratch the “I saw butanding!” off my list of things-to-do in Philippines.
Done with the whale sharks, next I took a motorbike taxi to Tumalog Falls — Oslob’s other big attraction. I’m making that another post as I took some photos from Oslob town as well. Trust me, Tumalog Falls is just as beautiful as the whale sharks!