So this was a very last minute surprise trip, that I have to admit, was not on my bucket list of places to visit. To be honest I had not even heard of Philippines until I had moved to Dubai, where most of my colleagues are from. Interesting fact; Did you know that there are more than 700,000 Filipinos that live in the UAE, of which 450,000 reside in Dubai.
You would think this would have been a reason to visit the Philippines a long time ago. Only because travelling to places our colleagues are from gives you much more to talk about, share and learn about their country and culture. I so wish I had gone sooner anyway enough blabber…
Scuba Diving is what brought the Philippines on my radar and why I spent my entire Eid holiday underwater with whale sharks!! Yes, I said it Whale Sharks… Let’s dive right into getting to know a little more about Philipines and why it’s a true divers paradise firstly with more than 7000 tropical islands to choose from that boast clear warm waters, gorgeous coral reefs and stunning flora and fauna.
Visibility is at 5m deep with coral life that is vibrant and beautiful. Unlike the Maldives which boasts an array of different types of fish. The corals are gorgeous with the water as blue as you would like it. Though there is not much underwater life due to water pollution.
Oslob Philippines is the destination for visiting and spotting the whale shark, though most divers find it not very enticing. As the whale sharks are fed and some say they behave very differently to that of wild whale sharks. These beautiful creatures are so tame you would think it was your puppy. They are ever so friendly and just elegant in their movement.
I have to say the experience was one of a kind.
Will you visit the Philippines? I have to say that if you have
Personally, I have to say that if you have visited Thailand then you pretty much do not need to visit the Philippines. Unless of course, you are on an adventure to dive in different countries like me then honestly there is not much different here than in Thailand.
Thailand also has a lot more to offer for tourists in terms of food activities and in general a more of a holiday feel in Thailand than the Philippines. For a 10 hour flight from Dubai, I just feel Thailand is worth it.
Though I have heard Boracay is way more gorgeous than Cebu, so if you do plan to visit the Philippines maybe try Boracay?
Also, another reason why I travelled to the Philippines was that it was really last minute and the tickets were cheap plus there was no hassle of a visa.
Which is great because how many of us actually do not travel because of all the prep work before travel? So yes visit if you want to go on a last minute adventure, the Philippines is your destination .
Why Cebu ? Dubai has a direct flight to Cebu so for the convenience of last minute travel Cebu worked well. Oslob (the home of the Whale Sharks) is 3 hours away from Cebu and as we went specifically for the whale shark diving we opted for the Helicopter ride that took us directly to the whale shark spotting. The views were gorgeous as we noticed the change of blues in the water.
Via helicopter the travel duration was around 3 hours so you do need a full day to head out to the shale Sharks. There are alternative ways to get to Oslob, a tour bus or renting a car.
We stayed at The Shangri-La Mactan resort in Cebu.
Also one very important point please be careful of what you eat and where you eat it from. I suffered severely with with a stomach bug and it was not fun. Please be careful and take the right precautions to ensure you have an enjoyable holiday.
Here is a video of my whale shark diving experience at Oslob Whale Watching:
Ps: I mention Eid Holidays as this post is way overdue and I am sorry about that.
If you do visit Cebu on a last minute holiday destination I would love to hear what you got up to.
Feel free to leave a comment if you would like to know any more information regarding my travel to Cebu, Philippines.
As always I hope you enjoyed this post and visit again.