I was always excited to hear “Oslob” when my family and I used to road trip down south making our way to Negros. I’d be staring out the window thinking, “yes! one more stop and we’re there”. The quiet town of Oslob to me was only a reminder that we were close to our destination and it never was our final stop. For years it has been a sleeping beauty and now it has woken up to become a bustling top destination not only in Cebu but in the Philippines. How the wheels have turned! The town welcomes 700 – 2,000 people in a day! I, myself couldn’t count the times I’ve visited this town and I never get tired of it. Here are some of the reasons why this is one of my favorite towns in Cebu and why I keep taking my guests here.
1 Great Drive
I always prefer the drive down south of Cebu than north. It’s more scenic, more places to stop by and more churches to see. What I look forward to seeing are the acacia trees in Carcar. I STRONGLY DO NOT SUPPORT THE KILLING OF THESE TREES no matter what the reasons are. The town of Carcar marks being halfway there and is always a favourite stop for everyone. Buying their famous chicharon, tapa and lechon for food; a little bit of site seeing with the preserved Spanish houses and also shoe shopping are a few things to do in Carcar.
The many times I have brought guests to Oslob, I always stay in the same place again and again. Oslob Homestay is a small house that caters to a maximum of 8 people. It has a private swimming pool, a kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a parking lot and has an access to the beach for a price of Php4,900/night. It’s owned by a French-Filipino couple who lives right beside. I recommend this place to anyone!
3 Butanding Whale Shark Watching
It’s because of these Gentle Giants that Oslob got its fame. They have been swimming in these waters for the past 10 years but they became famous in 2012.
Php 300 -Locals w/o swimming
Php 500 -Locals w/ snorkel and swimming
Php 1000 -Foreigners w/ snorkel and swimming
+Php 500 – Underwater Camera with unlimited pictures w/ CD
This is now government operated and has become an official tourist spot which I’m not very sure to be happy or sad about. But I’m still glad they now have set rules and a system. a) You register in a log book if you’re a local or a foreigner, b) you join a 5-minute orientation about the do’s and don’ts, rules and penalties, c) you choose which viewing option you prefer and you pay accordingly, and d) you show your receipt and they take you to the boat to see the whale sharks for 30 minutes. Viewing time is from 6am-1pm only.
While waiting for our guests to finish their whale shark experience, Niko and I enjoyed a banana shake in one of the cute bamboo-restaurants. They offer breakfast, pizza, milkshakes, fruits, alcoholic drinks and a lot more. We chose to stay at Chez Tonton, the first one in line and little did we know the owners were the same ones who owned the house we stayed at.
4 Day Trip to Sumilon
After your fill the the whale sharks, you can rent a small boat called a “bang-ka” and head out to the sandbar in Sumilon Island, an island just 20 minutes off the coast of Oslob. A bang-ka would cost Php 1,500 for 1-5 people and goes higher as the number of people goes larger. You can get a take away lunch from one of the restaurants there and eat them in the boat. Enjoy a bottle of beer while soaking in the very clear blue waters of Sumilon the entire afternoon.
5 Tumalog Falls
One of the things that make Oslob a tourist magnet is their waterfalls. I’ve seen many waterfalls in my life but this one was different. The way the water runs through the stones like a mystical fountain and the way the rocks are formed like an umbrella is just simply beautiful. The water is about 18 degrees Celcius which makes for a very, very refreshing dip. Cars can only reach a certain point and then you have to walk or ride a tricycle. Entrance to the falls is Php 20.00 and if you want to ride the tricycle, it’s Php 50.00 going down and Php 30.00 going back up. We walked!
6 Old Spanish Church
On the way home, don’t forget to drop by the Oslob church or The Immaculate Conceptioin Parish Church. This structure runs way back to the 1800’s and is very we’ll preserved. You could see old watch towers and fortresses dating back in the Spanish Era.
What are you waiting for? Isn’t Oslob just the perfect day trip or overnight trip experience when you visit Cebu? I definitely think so!
(August 25-26, 2014)