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Flu adventure on Cebu Island

It’s time to continue our journey in Philippines!

Last time, we were in a plain from Puerto Princessa to Cebu City. This had an interesting part. In Puerto Princessa we heard news that a typhoon is approaching the area between Palawan and Cebu. We felt it in the plain, especially by the end of the flight. We spent about half hour flying around the airport until finally we got cleared to land. Nothing nice for my fear of heights and turbulences, but we survived and landed safely in rainy Cebu City.

Again, at the airport exit we were approached by many people offering taxis. Don’t get involved with the first wave, they mostly offer the highest prices. They will tell you that they are the cheapest, the best, the only…but they are lying. If you leave the airport, you can get taxi for at least half the price these scammers offer. So, after bit of hassle we got into our taxi and the weather was worsening every minute. We needed to get to the bus station near the port and get on the bus to our next destination – Oslob.

Unfortunately, Míša’s health went down similarly to the weather around us. The bus ride was cheap but long. Míša felt very sick, so we at least tried to watch some movies and cried like little babies while watching Midnight Sun. At least, this helped Míša not to think that much how sick she felt. After about 5 hours we finally escaped the typhoon and got to Oslob. Lucky us!

Oslob is a small town in south of Cebu and is pretty popular by tourist as many famous spots are in close proximity. As expected, we were welcomed yet again by Filipino guy offering to find us some accommodation. Honestly, we were exhausted, and this guy was annoying. We wanted to have it our way, chilled, but he kept talking. We tried to get rid of him politely without any success. We had some idea of possible accommodation in Oslob (book from Animal Planet helped us a lot!), so we went there followed by that guy. The first accommodation was full unfortunately, so we agreed that we let that annoying guy help us. He took us to 2 hostels, but they were rather expensive for the given quality. I decided to continue searching while Míša was explaining that we don’t like what he offers. Luckily, just few meters away I found a great hostel! There was a nice young lady at the reception, we quickly had a deal. So, I went to tell Míša, we took all our stuff, but the guy still followed us saying something in his local language. The guy just didn’t want to leave, even threatening the young lady at the reception. He had the audacity to ask money for his “help” and saying he’ll come with his friends. The lady was probably used to this, she just laughed and sent him away and told us not to worry.

This wasn’t easy day at all, but the end was great. After the hassle with travelling to Oslob, we enjoyed a fantastic street food dinner! I tried the grilled chicken intestines for the first time and wow I definitely found new favourite street food meal! It appears a bit disgusting, but the taste is a different story!

After a comfy airconditioned night, we enjoyed relaxing day of not doing much. We just went to see the Tumalog waterfall, which wasn’t very impressive due to lack of rain. Yes, we got followed by typhoon, but the heavy rains didn’t reach Oslob. Then, we just rode around enjoying the atmosphere of the island.

Tumalog falls, we wish you more luck with the amount of water! It's usually way more impressive.

The evening gave us lots of laughs and fun. Míša felt a bit better, so we went to a local event with music and little bit of gambling. First, we watched multiple variations of a game in which you throw Ping-Pong ball in a funnel under which are slots with poker cards. You can bet on what card the balls end up and you win double of what you bet. Cool game, we were winning for a while but lost everything in the end. By everything I mean around 400 PHP, thus less than 10 euros.

Losing money has never been so much fun!

Next morning was supposed to be an interesting highlight of our holidays – whale shark watching, which is Oslob’s most famous activity. Unfortunately, it required to get up at 5 am, because the sharks are being fed in the morning when the sun rises. We knew that this thing is pretty touristy, but we were still surprised by the number of people! We were among first to arrive, however, if you are not part of some group, it doesn’t matter. Maybe 200 people had their turn before us! The experience itself was quite cool. We got grouped with lots of Chinese and Japanese tourists who couldn’t swim, so they stayed in the boat while Míša and I jumped in, so we could feel alone with the giants swimming around us. The time flied so quickly! You get only about half hour and then you must get back on the boat. I would guess there must be at least 1000 visitors every day, which is crazy!

It’s definitely nice to see these creatures, the sharks, not the tourists of course. However, there is an obvious problem. The whale sharks are fed every day by the shore, which caused that they stopped migrating. There is a bright site too. From what we learned there and from simple Google search, this activity helped to increase the population of whale sharks. That’s definitely good news, but it could be done better. There is another whale shark watching spot on Philippines – Donsol. In Donsol, you can see the whale sharks only when they migrate there and the boat takes you deeper in the sea, so it’s all more how nature intended it. When planning the vacation, we decided for Oslob as it better fitted our plans, only later, already on Philippines, we discovered the difference. We cannot recommend Oslob whale shark watching. It just didn’t seem right. We learned our lesson there.

Whale shark watching; long lines, high price, limited time, still pretty cool, but wouldn't recommend it, try Donsol.

Very close to the whale shark watching is a spot where you can watch wild monkeys. There is a small community of locals feeding the monkeys (yes, again) in the morning, so you can see them jumping around, screaming and playing.

Let's say semiwild monkey being fed in the morning, there must have definitely been few dozens of them!

Good to know!

Don’t smile at monkeys! When you show your teeth, to monkeys it looks like you are threatening them, and they will attack you. I was smiling at this little monkey and it slapped me, luckily nothing bad happened.

It’s been second time I got slapped by a monkey, first time was in Sri Lanka in 2014.

Afterwards, we spent our day relaxing in the sea and eating delicious food. In Oslob, we found a fantastic tiny restaurant called VLK Pizza! The lady who owns this place can prepare you almost everything. Craving for burger or pizza? No problem! Wanna try something local? She is ready for every case. She even helped us with canyoneering guide and when Míša felt sick, she gave us some local tips how to treat cold.

The third day in Oslob was worst for Míša. She couldn’t even get out of bed. I bought some recommended medicine and had been preparing calamansi juice and ginger tea the whole day and left only to get us some food (again from the lady in VLK Pizza restaurant).

Good to know!

Kalamansi is a tiny citrus fruit which kind of looks like a miniature lime. Kalamansi is very healthy and we made juice of it practically every day.

The fourth day was supposed to be our last day in Oslob, but our plan was flexible at this point, so we decided to prolong our stay. Míša felt a bit better and we went to another activity we were longing to do in Philippines – canyoneering in Kawasan Falls.

This was also very exhausting day. First, we had to ride on scooter for about 90 minutes to meet our guide. Then, we got our equipment and hopped on another motorcycle with our guide who took us to starting point of the canyoneering. Unfortunately, Míša started to feel sick, so we had to go back, so she could eat something. After getting back, we used a shortcut. You can choose either to walk for 50 minutes or use zipline for 500PHP. Naturally, we went for the zipline. Another advantage we had was in our numbers. It was just us two and our guide, so compared to the larger groups, we could move fast and skip the lines at the jumps. There are many cool jumps and the surroundings is simply beautiful. I fear heights, so jumping from the second highest jump (15 meters) was nerve-wracking. My nervousness caused me to lose our GoPro camera. Luckily, this happens way more often than I thought. There was a local guy ready to immediately dive for the camera. We had to pay 500PHP, but still better than buying new GoPro.

No rain can stop us from enjoying every moment!

My fear was stronger than my will at the last highest jump from 18 meters height, so I happily used my feet to climb down the last waterfall. Míša, of course, jumped without hesitation.

Good to know!

Kawasan falls and Whale watching are extremely popular! To avoid crowds, try to arrive as early as possible (6:00AM for whale watching; 7:30 for Kawasan falls).

As Míša’s adrenaline levels were decreasing, she started feeling sick again. To our relief, the tickets to canyoneering also included a nice lunch! Our guide took us back to their “headquarters” and we enjoyed simple yet delicious chicken adobo while sitting on a pretty terrace next to the sea, while our guides were watching a basketball match on TV.

You might be surprised, especially given the average height of Filipinos, but they absolutely love basketball! Like karaoke, all the villages have basketball court. We’re not fans of this sport, nor good at it, but I am sure if you’d wanted, you can join the locals and have fun. As I mentioned in the previous blog, Filipinos are welcoming and friendly.

The ride back was a bit slower. First Míša wasn’t feeling good and second, we wanted to enjoy every meter of the coast. By the way, Míša was always the one driving the scooter, she is way better and more confident driver. She got her licence at 18, while I did the exams only 2 years into dating Míša. I have no problems driving car, but two-wheeled vehicles are not my jam.

With canyoneering done, it was time to move on. Next day, we packed our things and hopped on the bus to Liloan Port. Our next stop is going to be islands of Siquijor and Bohol.

Summary of expenses:

Trip from Cebu to Oslob:

• Taxi from the airport to bus station: 675 PHP

• Bus tickets from Cebu to Oslob 500PHP

Summary of our stay in Oslob:

Length: 5 nights/ 6 days

Accommodation: 6000 PHP

Activities and places, we visited:

- Scooter rental 2500PHP (500 per day) + 290 PHP

- Whale Shark watching 2000PHP

- Tumalog falls 300 PHP

- Monkey watching 150 PHP

- Canyoning at Kawasan falls 3000PHP (+500 PHP tip for the guide + 1000PHP zipline + 500PHP GoPro fishing)

Food: 5550 PHP

Result: 22 965 PHP = 400 eur*

*We spent bit more on other stuff like cigarettes, but that is different for everyone, we just wanted to show the basic expenses, so you have something to start with when planning trip to Philippines

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