Oslob was one of the areas we were most excited about because we were going to swim with the whale sharks! It was the 4th spot that we were visiting in the Philippines! After watching so many videos about the whale sharks our kids couldn’t imagine being in the water with them. They are HUGE and beautiful! We decided to get a place to stay right next to the staging area for the snorkel trip, Mother Teresa’s was as close as you can get which was awesome, it was super basic with two sets of bunk beds and no hot water but hey Mother Teresa hooked up the trip so all we had to do was roll out of bed and head out to our boat #11. You would typically have to arrive around 5am and wait about 2 hours or so for your boat so it all worked out. The morning of the trip Mother Teresa knocked on our door to make sure we were up and ready since out boat will be taking off soon.
I think at this point we all started to freak out a bit, it was game on. Initially we were on the fence about whether or not to do this trip with the whale sharks, there is a lot of controversy because they are being fed. It took a while for us to decide, we absolutley love animals and don’t want to support anything that would harm them. After talking with our kids and telling them everything that happens with this trip we thought it would be a good experience for them to see first hand how precious these animals are and that how they need to be their protectors. The kids would never have the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures in person for years and years. That is one of the reasons why world schooling is so important, the kids get to see everything with their own eyes and start to form their own opinions on so many issues.
We headed down to the beach and were ushered onto our boat and sailed into the sunrise-we were all a bit nervous to jump in the water with these guys. You can see the whale sharks on top of the water as we got closer and the size of them was ginormous as Ryder likes to say. Everyone but Ryder jumped in and could not believe our eyes. There they were! It was insane! It’s almost like an outer body experience. We swam around and just gazed at their beauty. With all of this crazy energy going on I had no idea that my bathing suit top had slipped down a bit, just enough to no longer cover my boobs. WTF this is a moment like when you have a huge piece of spinach in your teeth or you have a 5 foot long piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe- someone should tell you!!!! whatever, Jimi used the infamous black bar to cover the boobs in the video lol…
After the snorkel trip we hopped on a long tail boat to visit a sandbar off the coast of Oslob-it was super windy so the boat ride was pretty sketchy. The driver of the boat had a terrified look on his face so that didn’t help the situation. Once we pulled up to the island they lined the boats up next to each other, they were connected by planks so you can walk from one boat to the next to get to the dock, kinda fun, kinda scary. When we got off the boat we thought we would be able to explore the small island but we soon learned that we couldn’t go any further than the sandbar-boooooo! So we made the best of our excursion by snorkeling and getting some fun jumping pics.
There wasn’t a whole lot of other things to do in Oslob so the day after our snorkel trip we took a tricycle into town where the night market was.
This was definitely one of the more interesting markets, there were endless tables of random body parts on skewers. There were intestines laced on sticks, chicken feet, sea urchin, hearts and lots of other yummy things.
The one thing that shocked us was how 7-11 was the hot spot for all of the tourists and locals (even the owner of our hotel was there with her family) people were pouring out of the door. We were squeezing through everyone as we tried to make our way through the store. Being vegetarian in the Philippines was seriously the biggest challenge of all. 7-11 became our go to for yogurt, chips, cookies and anything else that we could eat to stay alive. We tried multiple restaurants but with not much luck at all with getting vegetarian food. It’s amazing we didn’t all gain 50 pounds each with all the crap we ate.
After our few days in Oslob we were still in awe with how we were so affected by the whale sharks. I’m glad that we were able to do this experience and be so close to these gentle giants, they warmed our hearts and made us feel so connected to them. We want our kids to see what role they can play with helping animals all over the world. Their generation needs to be educated and being able to personally see it makes it that much more impactful.
Everyone was so nice, as we were leaving on to our next destination they all wanted to get a pic with our family.