Oslob in a day | Whale Sharks | Aguinid Falls | Tumalog Falls21.3.17
When we touched down at the airport, we immediately went over to Oslob. We got 2 Globe sim cards at 400 pesos each for a week of unlimited data and a Shawama wrap + bottled water for 115 pesos. After which we took a white taxi to the bus station for 236 pesos and a Ceres bus to Oslob for 330 pesos(2 tickets).
The bus ride was a few hours long and we got rather hungry halfway so we got some snacks from one of those guys who just come onto the bus to sell people snacks (you know? Those guys? Haha). We got Chincharon chips and something else for 55 pesos and I really liked the chips. It was like keropok but crispier and meat flavored, I don't know how else to describe it haha.
The Ceres bus would drop you near by or right outside your hotel. We were using maps.me to navigate and told the bus to stop at the wrong place because maps.me was glitching yay.
*TRAVEL TIP: Communicate with the ticketing guy if you are taking a bus in Cebu. Don't be afraid to confirm and double confirm your drop off point with the guy. If you sadly end up dropping at the wrong place, the locals usually know most of the hotels in the area so don't be shy to ask. But DO NOT ask tricycle drivers for directions as they will not really want to give you directions since they want you to take a tricycle ride.
Since we dropped at the wrong place, we ended up somehow just hopping onto a motorbike to get to Germaroze Hotel, it was not too far away and we gave the guy 20 pesos. He tried to get us to book him to take us to the Whale Sharks and waterfalls the next day but he quoted us 800 for 2 places which is not very cheap especially for a motorbike.
Upon checking into Germaroze hotel, we found out that the lovely Agoda did not charge out credit card so we had to pay cash
*TRAVEL TIP: Beware of Agoda and Booking.com if you are using them to book your accommodations because these websites are not very clear when it comes to charges. There isn't a "pay there" or "pay now" option and even if you enter your credit card details while booking and even if you got the booking confirmation, it does not mean that you have successfully paid. They DO NOT prompt you about this or give you any option.
I recently found out that hotels.com is clearer with a Pay Now and Pay Later option AND there is 9% rebate on shopback (YAY) so for my next trip, I'll probably try out hotels.com instead.
After paying 1250 pesos for our room, we arranged for our transport for the next day right there. Originally we were thinking of renting a motorbike to travel around on our own but the website we were trying to rent from wasn't responding and renting from the hotel would have costed 700 which was over our budget. It was a good choice though because the driver of the tricycle we ended up booking was super nice.
After booking our transport, we settled down in our room for a while and it was honestly not bad, only thing was that the toilet was outside of the room. It wasn't too bad though because the toilet was designated to us so it was still private despite being located outside of the room. Apart from the toilet, the rest of the place was really beautiful. It had a very homely feel and was by the sea so it was really peaceful. We had dinner there for 400 which included 2 sets (main dish, rice, a drink and ice cream) plus some extra sticks of Abodo. After which we had an early night to get up at 5am the next day.
*TRAVEL TIP bring your own toothbrush and toothpaste because none of the hotels we stayed at in Cebu provided toothbrushes and very few provided toothpaste
We left the hotel at 5 40am the next day to reach the Whale Sharks area at 6am because that is the best timing for Whale Shark Watching, any local will tell you that. Reason being, the Whale Sharks are being feed (Yeah.... Controversial...) so normally by noon they would all be full and swim away already.
When you reach the beach, you have to register, pay, go through a short orientation and then wait for your turn. Our driver helped us with ticketing and we only paid 1000 each. During the orientation they basically tell you not to touch the sharks, not to get too close, not to splash water and not to take flash photography.
You will get snorkeling equipment and life vests and take a boat out to where the whale sharks are. Everyone took out their life vests after the boat ride but if you aren't used to snorkeling, I recommend keeping it on. We both have went snorkeling before but still struggled at the beginning and swallowed a shit ton of sea water. Eww.
Alright moving on... for 30 minutes, you get to swim with the whale sharks! The feeders are on separate boats and the sharks basically follow them wherever they go. I personally think the sharks are really cute. They have huge bodies, tiny eyes and a huuuge mouth haha. They are really peaceful too, they basically don't care about the endless go pros in their face, all they want is the food. It was such an amazing experience to get to see these magnificent creatures up close. This is what your experience would look like ;)
After the Whale Sharks, we were planning to go to Tumalog Falls but our driver suggested dropping by Aguinid falls and that was one of the best decisions we made throughout this trip.
Aguinid Falls is a whole other level man... There are 5 basic levels to the falls which you get to trek, climb, jump and relax in and if you're feeling adventurous, you can ask your guide(s) to take you to levels 6, 7 and 8. Not forgetting to mention the guides there can help you take really kickass pictures too.
The Aguinid falls was definitely a highlight of my trip, what is climbing a mountain? I climbed a waterfall. Going to level 6 from level 5 was the toughest for me because the water was splashing in my face and my contacts were going crazy. But I conquered.
The entrance fees were only 60 each and the guides don't charge fixed prices. The people there will just tell you give whatever you're comfortable with or gauge based on how much you enjoyed it. We gave our guides 400 each because we went all the way to level 8 and they took a lot of pictures and videos for us too. If you are unsure of how much to give, 300 is a safe amount. Now, let me give some of the pictures time to speak for themselves.
When we got back to the bottom, we had brunch there. We ordered half a kilo of pork with rice and it was 300. It was quite a lot for us considering it was still like 9.30am in the morning so we fed some stray dogs there. Some of them were really gentle and quiet, just lying beside you or under the table just hoping you notice them. Super cute. However, there were really a lot of them and at one point 2 of them started fighting over a piece of meat :'( The locals throw branches or little rocks to chase them away from the food stalls or to break up fights. There were puppies there too and they are really tiny and playful and just way tooooo cute.
After Tumalog falls, we headed back to our hotel for a quick shower before checking out. In total, we paid our tricycle driver 900 for 3 places. After lazing around for a while, we flagged a Ceres bus to the ferry terminal which costed 60 for 2 tickets. We then paid 124 for 2 ferry tickets to go to Dumagete where we settled down for the night.