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Cebu

PHILIPPINES | Tuesday, 6 August 2013 | Views [787]

I arrived at Mactan airport on Cebu with big plans to see big fish! After waiting in a massive queue for a taxi I made it to the south bus terminal then jumped on a bus and headed 4 hours south to a little town called Oslob. Over the past 12 months or so the local fisherman have been feeding whale sharks in the bay and it's turned into a massive tourist attraction so they're there every day all year round. I only heard about this place 2 weeks ago when I was in Borneo from a dutch couple who had done it but once I heard about it I knew I had to go! I arrived late at night and the place looked like a ghost town but I found a place to stay and got my head down in preparation for an early snorkelling session.
The next morning I was up by sunrise, after a quick bite to eat I was down in the bay where I could see a couple of massive fins protruding from the water! A little boat took me out to the snorkelling area, I was so excited that I went to jump in before looking and almost landed on this HUGE whale shark that was about 3 times the size of the boat! I spent the next 45 minutes in snorkelling heaven with a group of whale sharks all to myself. All of them were huge but there was one that took the piss, about 11 metres long! They're all so slow and graceful gliding through the water, not fazed by me at all. Most were just interested in swallowing the food the fishermen were dishing out. Once I got back to the shore I was told there had been up to 10 whale aharks in the area. And all this for £15! Amazing!
After finishing the snorkelling I jumped on a bus and headed back up to Cebu city then connected with a second bus that took me to the very north of the island. Here I took a boat to a little island called Malapascua. This island is one of the only places in the world were you can scuba dive and see thresher sharks pretty much on a daily basis. They normally live at a depth of around 200 metres but visit the island early each morning to get cleaned by the wrasse, a small fish that removes the dead skin.
I had to get out of bed at 4a.m and we set of the the dive site named Monad Shoal before sunrise. And sure enough within minutes of getting to a depth of around 25 metres were were greeted by 2 thresher sharks. They're like creatures of the deep with big black eyes and a giagntic tail that takes up most of it's body. It was another great diving experience to add to the list! I spent 2 days either side of my scuba dive visiting beaches and snorkelling. Some of the beaches in the north were picture perfect and I had them all to myself!
After 3 nights I left Malapascua for another island just above Cebu called Bantayan island. Mainly as I heard it had great beaches and snorkelling. The beaches were great but the snorkelling wasn't up to much. Although on my last day I spotted a couple of scorpion fish and a lion fish which was pretty cool.
So a week in and around Cebu had quickly passed me by, I enjoyed some great experiences but hadn't really met anyone to enjoy them with. Maybe it was due it being the rainy season in the philippines but I hadn't came across any other backpackers and the places I visited were a bit too quiet for me. Good job that the next island I'm off to is Boracay! So I headed back to Cebu city in preparation for an early morning flight to Boracay. What could possibly go wrong? To be continued ...

Tags: beaches, islands, scuba diving, snorkelling, thresher sharks, whale sharks

 

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