The Gentle Giants of Oslob

“However big the whale may be, the tiny harpoon can rob him of life.” – Malawian Proverb

I was really really anticipating the Whale Shark encounter. Any activity that involves water excites me. I ain’t a swimmer but I love to challenge myself. I love it when my heart beats so fast from jumping off the cliff (wishing my guide would be fast enough to bring me back in the surface), or that Caramoan experience wherein we rode a small boat (good enough for 4) WITHOUT lifevest and faced the raging waves of the Pacific Ocean. I wanted to do something new this time, I wanted to swim with the Gentle Giants of Oslob.

We woke up at 4:00 in the morning so we can catch the first trip of bus bound for Oslob. We arrived at South Bus Terminal just in time . The bus was about to leave. We told the driver to drop us off at the Whale Shark watching area. By 7:30 we were already in Brgy. Tan-awan. When I saw the boats that were already in the open sea and the crowd that were gathered in the orientation area, I lost my excitement. But I still wanted to do it. so we went to the registration area. I got more disappointed when they gave us our number. As early as 8:00 AM, we were the 89th batch to see those giants.

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The uncrowded part of the area
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14 boats on my count… my panorama shot captured more than that
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at first, you would think he’s playing with the boatmen, but if you’ll see his small cuts, you’d think otherwise 😦
Upon seeing the first shark, other people on our boat cheered. The whale seemed to be playing with the boatman who feeds him so he would stay in that “circle”, . I just watched in silence. Not for once did I think he was playing… I think he wanted that small boat to go away so he can swim freely in a direction he wanted to. On that thought, I lost excitement again. It’s as if I felt the stress I think those whales are feeling.

On our boat were 4 Japanese folks, 3 girls and 1 boy. They were assisted excellently by our guides. So excellent that they almost forgot they have 2 more groups to assist, my group (we were 3 ladies) and a family of four. They only “remembered” us when we only have 10 minutes left to enjoy (which really did not happen).

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I wish I can go back to that place again… Hopefully, by that time, the number of visitors is just enough…  I won’t feel stressed by just looking at the crowd… that I’ll be assisted by the guide so i can really swim with those gentle giants.

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7 Comments

  1. Hello! Since comments are being moderated by the user, you may opt not to post this one on your page. You see, I am against this activity in Oslob because I believe it can disrupt the balance in the ecosystem in the future. According to the article I’ve read, which is the link at the end of this, it changes their migratory path and this may have an impact on their future breeding. From my little knowledge regarding ecosystem, a small disruption in the food web can cause big problem to the organisms partaking in it. I am no biologist myself nor I have no sufficient knowledge about the animals and the ecosystem but I think the article’s enough to explain my take on the activity.

    My goal in writing this comment is just to raise awareness on what this activity can do to the whale sharks and, again, the ecosystem. Nothing more, nothing less. Whether you accept or reject this is yours to think about.

    Thank you! πŸ˜€

    Reference: http://www.apneabali.com/dont-swim-with-whale-sharks-in-oslob-phillipines-great-article-from-sierra-madre/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see no reason to reject your comment. And thanks for the information, it’s always nice to bring awareness. As far as I know, those whales are preserved and safeguarded and taken care for by an organization (forgot the name). Not sure though of the extent they are doing for those whales. And that link really made me think twice about my plan of doing it again. :/

      Liked by 1 person

    1. don’t envy me… I wanted to swim with them as well… as in SWIM side by side with them. not use them as a background. it’ll happen. let’s make it happen! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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