Filippine – Cebu, Oslob and Siquijor: between pouring rain and hungry whale sharks

World Tour: 25th Stop – Cebu Island

Of Cebu City we don’t see much, if not traffic. And it’ll take a long time to get to the South of the island, but the immersion with the whale sharks makes everything worth it.

Filippine: Le Nostre Tappe A Cebu

Philippines: Our stops in Cebu

The plane of the Cebu Pacific Airlines is late as usual, but we manage to notice in time our couchsurfing host, Doms. Around 9pm he comes to get us at the airport and we head to his house, where he’ll cook us pasta, eggs and tomatoes. It is not a traditional Filipino dish, but he is a pasta lover and we are more than fine with that. We chat about everything and nothing and he tells us that he would like to come back to Europe, where he’s been for work. When there he took some time off to see Paris, but aside from the French city he would have liked to see many others more. Rome above all.

We ask him what we should do in the next days. The original plan was to stick close to Cebu for a week, but the flight company changed our flight so we now have only 3 days at disposal. The “unique” experience of the location is to swim with the whale sharks to see them from close by. So we drop the plan of going to see the Chocolate Hills (in January they are green, so they wouldn’t have the color that they were named after) and we book one night in Oslob instead, on the Siquijor Island.

Filippine: Oslob

Philippines: Oslob

We were thinking about going for a quick visit of the city centre but we are quite slow with our breakfast at the 7-eleven, we have to wait longer than one hour for the right Jeepney to get to the centre and, last but not least, it takes us one hour to find a decent ATM where to get some cash. We drop the idea of the visit and take the from the South Bus Terminal instead, direction Oslob. In about 4 hours we are there and we arrange with the lady who manages our small hotel the organisation for our next day: we’ll wake up early and at 5.15am we will go by mototrcycle with her husband to the place where we will be able to see the whale sharks.

at 5.45 we are at the entrance and we are ready to set off. Basically everything is managed as a open acquarium: basically on the sea you can see dozens of tiny boats throwing phytoplankton in the sea to attract the whale sharks. The boats full with tourist line up in a tidy line and the “trainers” make the animal go back and forth the huge fish.

It is really a touristic thing and there are a lot of debates on the matter, because if you feed them all the time is like the animals are in captivity and there is the fear that the migration flows will be alterated. But, on our side, it was truly an unbelievable experience that we would recommend. The first time the shark passed next to us we “fled” going back towards our boat. It is really huge, the biggest one can reach a 18m lenght and, if one comes close to you, you really feel small and defenseless. Beside, the sea is their reign, not ours. Fish can swim so much faster than our best human swimmer. Little by little we took more confidence and, getting even closer than we should have, we really basked in the moment. Amazing!

Filippine: Oslob

Philippines: Oslob

Once emerged, we moved to the Siquijor island, with a moto-tricycle, ferry, jeepny and ferry combination. It all went quite smoothly, as usual: you just need to ask and someone will take you. Once in Siquijor we rented right a way a bike for 24 hours (350 Pesos) and we went to our accommodation in San Juan. A little bit of relax and then we initially planned to go around the island. We actually did it (underestimating the 70km of circumference), but then it started to rain cats and dogs, so we stopped a couple of times waiting for it to tone it down. The second time, we took the chance to play basket with some local guys. It could be defined a swimmingbasket.

Filippine: Siquijor

Philippines: Siquijor

Rightly so, as soon as it got dark, it stopped raining. Chatting with the locals we are recommended to go to a party at “the Sylvia” and we went to crash it. Only a few foreigners, but a lot of Filipinos wildly dancing on the dance floor. Some of them came to us to ask where we were from and where we were staying, who knows! Anyway, we didn’t stay out long and we came back to our room soon enough. We shared it with other extremely quiet 4 guys… 2 of them left without us even noticing!

In the morning we came back by bike to the harbor and we did the trip un inverted order: bike – pier – bus – bus on the pier – bus – car crash – traffic – traffic – Cebu. In total it took us 11 hours to come back. Doing everything in 2 days and a half was probably a mistake. The best thing would have been to stay at least one hour more.

At the Bus terminal Doms, the couchsurfing guy, comes to collect us with a friend. The then take us out to eat rice and shrimps in a traditional place, and then to drink some wine in a French looking bar, very fancy… and we were wearing shorts and backpacks. Well… as usual if you pay you can get in every location..

Last day in Cebu we wait for Doms to eat our lunch, we cook him a real Italian pasta and then he drives us to the airport. We pay the “terminal fee” of 750 pesos each (we have to change some of our leftover Euros because we were out of cash), we send a postcard home in Italy and, ready set go, next stop Singapore!

Filippine: Siquijor

Philippines: Siquijor

Previous stop: Palawan island

Next Stop: Singapore

Page about Philippines: Clicca qui

Our itinerary summed up:

World Tour day
Date Activity Mark Accommodation
106 19/01/17 Puerto Princesa => Cebu (plane, Cebu Pacific, departure 6.05pm arrival 7.20pm) Cebu, couchsurfing
107 20/01/17 Cebu => Oslob (jeepney and bus, departure 1.00pm, arrival 6.30pm) Oslob
108 21/01/17 Oslob: Whale Sharks Watching 9 Siquijor
Oslob => Siquijor (mototricycle, ship, jeepney, ship; departure 7.30, arrival 12.00)
Bike rental under the rain and basket game with the kids 7
109 22/01/17 Siquijor => Cebu (ship, bus, departure 10.00, arrival 9.00pm) Cebu, couchsurfing
Dinner at the Shrimpbucket and wine at the French place with the Couchsurfers
 110 23/01/17 Cebu => Singapore (plane, Air Asia Zest, departure 4.55pm, arrival 8.30pm) Singapore

Complete photo gallery:

Author: Ste

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