After Manila, my second stop was here in Cebu City, the oldest city here in the Philippines. On the night on the 1st, I landed in Mactan Airport and had the amazing surprise of a flash mob!!! I never saw one in my life! It was great!
Here’s a preview of what was it:
After this dance mob, I was offered chocolate (and no girl is unhappy with chocolate, huh?) and got a cab to my first try of hostel for the night.
If you read my twitter @_fotostrasse you know what happened and that, plus days and days with no sleep made me a little “bitchie” (little no, a lot!) about stuff. For that, I’ll have to say I’m sorry. It is no excuse but sleeping 1~4 hours for days and days + having to change hostel in the middle of the night was a bit too much for me. Philippines, can you forgive me? <3
Well, Mayflower Hostel is amazing and the staff is a plus! The hotel is decorated with a mixture of vintage items, permaculture and Filipino vibe all over. I loved!
On the second, because of what happened on the night after, I did just a small walk around the town, got the chance to finally try the Jollibee that I’ve heard so much about it and in the afternoon I went to a hotel on a high building to try to get some panorama shots of Cebu City, but the weather was not my friend. I only got a few good shots before the rain that ruined everything =(
It wasn’t even 8pm I was already back to the hostel because my trip to Oslob was starting at 4am and I have to charge my batteries and get ready for a busy and long day of traveling in a car.
Oslob and the whale sharks
So, like I just said, at 4am the car was waiting to pick me up here and drive me all the way to Oslob before the whale sharks appear.
I found out on the car that the trip was not 40min like I read somewhere on the internet. It was almost 3 hours drive!! Gosh, this is a big island, huh?
Nevertheless it was great! On the way there I must confess that I slept (or tried to) for the most part but when we got to the little fisherman villages I was awake. Awake and in love, I might add.
Little villages by the sea with tons of tall and pretty trees full of coconuts, small and robust little trees filled up with bananas, all different kinds of boats on the water and the rustic beauty of the houses was breathtaking. I have no clue what-so-ever of the names of those villages but everything started with “Barangay”, I guess that means village or neighborhood or something like this.
Finally after seeing the sun come up on those 2~3 hours of road, here we were: Oslob. The whale shark paradise.
I gotta say that I have a thing for whale sharks since I was a kid and like I mentioned online before, Oslob was the part of this Big Blog Exchange that I most excited about.
After a brief breakfast with homemade bread and a horrible powder coffee that I drank like it was the best coffee of my life, I headed to the mini-course of how to swim with the amazing creatures of the sea. Only basic stuff like: don’t touch it, do not use flash if you’re with a camera and do not use any kind of lotion before going to the water. Check, check, check. Where’s my boat, people? My heart was almost running away from me through my mouth. Excitement was my name on that moment.
Stepped in a really awesome wooden boat and 2 locals took me to the spot and say “you can go in the water, ma’am.” I answered with a big question mark on my face “right now? wow, that was easy” – I think I was expecting something a little further from the shore or something. The local pointed me out that the whale sharks where there, 5 meters from me. In 1 second I was already in the water happy as a kid on a Christmas morning, swimming, for the first time, with my beloved whale sharks.
It was the happiest 30 min of my life and for me, lasted 5 hours. I gotta say that if you never did that, you must! It is a once in a life time experience.
Watch the video here:
And if you don’t need to rush to get back to Cebu City like I did, you can even save some money and get the bus from Cebu to Oslob. It is only 200php but it runs once or twice a day and I could not stay the whole day over there. I wish I could.
I waited a few minutes for my bikini to dry out and got the car again but this time, to the famous Mactan Island that I’ve heard so much about it.
If you read my twitter yesterday, you saw that I was surprised that there’s only access to the beach through resorts and that seems unfair to me. I’ve talked to Tipsy about this but I guess some of you miss interpreted what I wanted to say. My point was that the beach is supposed to be free for all (in my view) since is a nature’s gift for us. A girl that I met here in Cebu City told me that the resorts bought the most pretty beaches and left the people with the not-so-pretty beaches to use for free. She sounded a little angry about it and I could not blame her, could I? I don’t know more details about how it works and she was my only reference.But ok, back to my day here:
After another 3 hours in a car, we arrived at the White Sand Cebu Resort because it was the only one I could find for a good price (750php), all the other resorts me and the nice receptionist from Mayflower could find were charging over 2000php. This resort is the best choice, a nice pool, good food, access to the wonderful see and much more! Approved 100%.
Mactan Island is really nice and has that amazing “I’m on the beach” vibe that I like so much. I did some walk around the resort not to stay in one place the whole afternoon and found several nice local restaurants with some really awesome food by the smell of it. I did not eat there because dinner was included on the price I paid on the resort.
I left Mactan around 5 or 6pm in a taxi directly to here, the Mayflower Hostel, because waking up at 1am and only having quick 15min sleeps inside a moving car was not enough for me. And we all know that I can get really cranky if my head and my eyes hurts of not enough sleep. (again, sorry for that).
This was my day, gotta say that Philippines and I had an awesome start, than we fought a little for silly stuff but now we’re getting back to be friends again.
ps: I wrote this post on the 3rd of November, not today. The lack of good internet for uploading the photos and video, that is a problem that I have everywhere I travel basically, made this delay happen.