Oct 19, 2016

DISCOVER OSLOB AND SOUTH




Old churches, Island Paradise, Ocean's gentle giant and pristine waterfalls are all found in Cebu's South. We had been invited by Bluewater Sumilon located southeast of Cebu so we finally decided to hit the road and go south. Travel time from Cebu to Oslob is 3.5 hours. It's a pretty long ride so we used this opportunity to catch some sleep.

GENTLE GIANTS OF OSLOB

Oslob is gaining a foot hold as an adventure tourism destination in Cebu. Whaleshark watching is one of them and attracts thousands of tourist every year. Feeding sessions for the whale sharks start at 6 a.m., and last until noon. After a quick briefing about do's and dont's, we were ushered to a small outrigger and headed to the feeding grounds of the Whale Sharks. We were 9 in the boat including 3 boat paddlers. The boatman opens a pale of chum of krills and throws into the water luring the Whale Sharks. I jump into the water as instructed by our boat guide and put my snorkeling mask on. After few seconds, I noticed a fish like shadow finning towards me. I veered to my left and saw a 20 foot mammoth beast opening its big mouth. These docile creatures are called filter feeders that feed by straining food particles from water and expels it through its gills.


The whale shark is the biggest of all shark species

Sadly, I noticed a big gash on its body. Unfortunately, I can't recommend Whale Shark watching in Oslob. The interaction prioritizes tourist experience over Whale Sharks health. According to some bloggers, they recommend Donsol Whale Shark watching as they are more concern about the Whale Sharks health than the lucrative profit they can generate from tourist. 

COST OF WHALE SHARK WATCHING
• Php 500.00 Local Tourist
• Php 1,000.00 Foreign Tourist
• Php 300.00 for those who stay only on the boats
• Snorkel Rent - Php 100.00

WHALE SHARK WATCHING TIPS
• Be sure to arrive before 9:00 am to avoid the crowd and heat. Preferably weekdays.
• Bring your own Snorkeling gear
• Don't touch the Whale Shark and stay 5 meters away
• Don't use sunblock to keep the water pollutant-free
• Non-flash underwater camera is essential

TUMALOG FALLS

A short 15 minute uphill ride will bring you to one of Cebu's newest attraction. It's huge and probably one of the best waterfalls that I had ever seen. Be sure not to miss when in Oslob. Entrance fee is Php 25.00.


BOLJOON TOWN AND CHURCH


The centuries-old Patrocinio de Maria Church, the town’s parish church, is a central structure in the parish complex. Records reveal that the present structure was started a year after slave traders destroyed the original structure, in 1782. It took more than 30 years to complete, in 1814, during the time of parish priest Fray Julian Bermejo, whom the townspeople in those days hailed as “El Padre Capitan” because of his good community leadership. One of Cebu's oldest towns and declared as National Historical Landmark in 1999. In 2001, the National Museum identified it as a National Cultural Treasure.



Escuela Catolica

Not far from Boljoon church is Escuela Catolica, which now serves as meeting place for the various religious groups of the parish, is not a typical Spanish colonial building, bearing instead American construction influences.


OSLOB CUARTEL AND RUINS

The Cuartel and Baluarte in Oslob shouldn’t be missed as well. A visit to these two structures in the town are a  must because this is a part of the town’s history dating back to the Spanish era. The Cuartel, a Spanish word for “barracks” or “headquarters” was intended for the Spanish guards. It was built in 1860 but the building was unfinished even at the end of the Spanish colonization in the Philippines. The Baluarte, Spanish word for watchtower, was built in 1788 to help dispel Moro raiders. Both structures are just a few meters away from the Municipal Hall which makes them very accessible as tourist destinations.


GETTING HERE

Go to the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City, then hop on an Oslob-bound bus (~P150, 3 hours) and Alight at Brgy. Tan-awan. Take the earliest trip which is around 4:00 am to avoid traffic. You can also reach OSLOB by renting a private car or van for Php 4000 - 7000.

Our Whake Shark experience was a one time experience. Even though there are safety and briefing guidelines before the interaction, it's not enough to preserve this gentle docile creatures. They must improve the situation or might end up losing the sharks forever.
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3 comments:

  1. Amazing pictures. All pics are very interesting. Its a good place to visitI also want go there. But i think its a dream for me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! someday I gonna go there and tell the world how beautiful Philippines is. :)

    ReplyDelete

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