Day 2: Oslob – Sumilon Island Tour
Late to bed but still early to rise so we could catch the first bus to Oslob. Instead of going the cheaper way, we had to take a taxi to the South Bus Terminal because apparently, there were only a few jeepneys available that early. It was interesting to note that we had to pay a “toll” of P10 so that the taxi could enter the terminal. There, we selected the Ceres Aircon bus (P155) which was really cold inside. I was already in my beach attire so good thing I brought a malong to serve as a blanket. We left the terminal at 4:00 am and arrived at Oslob at 6:30am. I think the driver zoomed all the way to Oslob because my sleep was punctuated with head bumps to the window.
Check out: 4D3N Cebu Itinerary, Budget and Travel Tips
My itinerary went pretty vague from there so I only had a little idea of what we will do when we got there. From related literature, we would have to attend an orientation and then pay a fee to be able to see the butandings. The bus let us off in front of George’s and Jimmy’s Resort and Restaurant where this guy informed us about the fees and procedure for whale watching. There were two types of activities possible: whale shark watching and whale shark watching with snorkling. The first cost P300 and meant staying on the boat and looking over the water and just watching. The second one cost P500 and meant that we could actually snorkle with the butandings near us. We chose the latter.
We attended an orientation conducted by someone from the DENR. It was virtually similar to what you’d get if you read the signs on a zoo like, don’t touch the animals and no flash photography. The one thing that seemed different (and got me a bit nervous again) was that we were advised not to put on sunblock if we’d go snorkling. Of course by that time, I had already put on some and I was a bit worried for my health.
But as it turned out, they were really gentle giants. And they pretty much didn’t care about us tourists. The reason for this was that the boatmen were feeding them alamang (baby shrimp). So the butandings were there, following the boat of whoever’s feeding them. They were almost vertical in their position and lots of other fish were swimming around them, hoping to get some crumbs. For me, the butandings resembled puppies being fed by their masters… which didn’t feel quite right because they are not meant to be pets. I also had the sneaking suspicion that they sort of fenced off a big area of the beach to keep in the whale sharks. I was tipped off by one of the boatmen who said that the biggest one was named “Lucky 7”. Really.
I was a bundle of conflicting emotions when we got back to the beach. On the one hand, amazed by the massiveness of this fish and happy that I was able to have this wonderful experience. But on the other hand, I felt sorry for these creatures because they seem to have fallen into a trap of dependency. I believe that they should be out there in the open sea, but instead they remain at the beach to be fed and shown off. How much I preferred watching the free-spirited dolphins over them!
After snorkeling, we wanted to go to the Tumalog Falls. But we had to wait a bit because according to the guy at the resort, the falls open at 9am. We also waited for a girl who went whale shark watching. We had some breakfast, then it was time to go to the falls. The resort offered P150 per pax for a multicab ride, while the entrance fee to the falls was P20. To get there, we had to hike up and down a very steep road under the baking sun. But in the end, all that hardship paid off because it was definitely one of the prettiest falls I have ever seen.
We were picked up by the multicab and the guy was nice enough to deposit us to the Bluewater Sumilon Resort where we intended to avail the Day tour Package (P2000). The package includes boat transfers, a set lunch, use of the resort’s facilities and they even lent us some towels. There were also some welcome drinks while we waited for the boat.
After a 30 minute boat ride, we rode a shuttle to the dining area where we had a very delicious lunch.
Afterwards, we rented some snorkling gear. But I was just so tired that I fell asleep on one of the hammocks by the beach. After that refreshing nap, we headed back to the sandbar and attempted to do some snorkling. Unfortunately, the waves were too big for that kind of activity so we just hang around and took pictures. We were later on told that the beach for snorkling is on another part of the island.
We did some laps in the swimming pool and then we decided to take the early boat back to Oslob. I would like to note that the towel that they lent you must be returned at the reception desk so you could receive a ticket for your ride back to Oslob. Please make sure not to just hand over the towel to any other staff because this would highly inconvenience the other guests who are waiting to be ferried back to the mainland.
Back in Oslob, we waited for a bus along the highway. The fare was P1 cheaper going to Oslob than on the way back. Weird. Plus, it took a total of 3 hours and 40 minutes to get back to the City whereas it only took us 2 hours and a half to go to Oslob.
Dinner time and after another failed attempt at Casa Verde, we found ourselves at Hukad, another restaurant in the Ayala Terraces.
February 16, 2013
Summary of expenses in Cebu (good for two):
- Accommodations (3N in Islands Stay Hotel): P3705
- Transportation (taxis, buses, boats, tricycle, multicab): P3,395
- Activities (Crowne Regency Combo 3, whale watching, bluewater day tour, etc.): P7830
- Food (includes tips in restos): P1265
- Pasalubong (dried mangos, otaps, etc.): 1306.75
- Miscellaneous (restroom fees, etc.): P125.75
- Total: P17,627.50
***photos were all taken using an iPhone 5