Are You Willing to Swim with the Whale Sharks?

Oslob, Cebu is well-known for extraordinary interaction with the whale sharks and has become a popular past time. Whale sharks are locally known as “tuki” or “butanding” in the Philippines. The largest mammal that only feeds on zooplankton and other smaller sea creatures which makes them safe for humans.

Here are some tips and things to expect as you go with your whale shark tours:

Arrive Early and Safely

The Whale Shark Watching is located in Tan-awan, Oslob and as you arrive there after 9 PM, except that you’ll have to prepare for long queues of guests waiting for the boat service. As early as possible, arrive in the place you to have a better chance to enjoy the Whale Shark Watching.

Briefing before the Interaction

The tourism officer there will give a short orientation about the guidelines and safety when you go to the interaction area. This will take for 10 minutes and they do it by batch. The most important rule is not to touch the whale shark for the whale shark’s protection and for people’s safety as well. By violating this rule leads to imprisonment for 60 days or a fine of 2000 pesos.

Waiting Time

It will take hardly an hour if its peak season or weekend to turn for the boat service. There will be a boatload of tourists keep on coming back and forth. The boat trip going to the interaction area takes 5 minutes and then countdown for the interaction which is 30 minutes, starts when you’re already in the water.


The boatmen will guide you when you’re in the boat and they’ll be the one responsible for your safety. You can tell a boatman to take a picture for you and they’ll be happy to do it. If you don’t know how to swim, they’ll advise you to hold on onto the bamboo of the boat where you can swing and swim.

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