“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.
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).
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.