Whaleshark Adventure in Donsol
4.5
1 votes
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Donsol Tourism Office, Donsol, Sorsogon
  • We decided to still give it a go as we were already there, and we just hoped that we would not go home disappointed
  • The heady adrenaline rush is an experience in itself
  • One of the most fun/scary things about it was that when the BIO signals you to jump, everyone rushes in and you cannot avoid bumping and crashing into each other
  • All in all, Whaleshark watching is definitely a must-do when you're in the Bicol region
  • I highly recommend this activity as long as you go during the whaleshark watching season where the chances of seeing one would be almost 100% and you can see even up to 10 whalesharks in one session

    • by TheCity
      TRUSTWORTHY

      all reviews
      People have always told me to go to Donsol to see the whalesharks (butanding) as it is an out-of-this-world to actually swim beside the gentle giants. As my friend who lives in Bicol invited us to go there last month, I gladly accepted the invitation.

      It turns out that Whaleshark season was November-May, with the peak season being February-April. As we went start of June, we did not know what to expect. We were told that there was a chance we would not see anything. We decided to still give it a go as we were already there, and we just hoped that we would not go home disappointed.

      Upon arriving at the Tourism Office, they made us sign some waivers and made us watch a video about the whale sharks. Afterwards, we were introduced to our BIO (Butanding Interaction Officer). We then had the option to rent fins and snorkeling gear. I only took the snorkeling gear.

      As we were ten in the group, we split up into 2 groups of 5. A boat cots P3,500 and can carry a maximum of 7 people. The rent is good for 3 hours.

      The butanding watching was very exciting. The BIO


      told us that we had to be ready to jump in the waters away from the moving boat at anytime as the whalesharks would not wait for us. That gave me a feeling or nervousness and anticipation and I did not know what to expect. The BIO and his helpers scouted around for signs of the whaleshark and we had a lot of false alarms as the whalesharks can resurface and disappear very fast. To give them credit, our BIO was very professional and really tried his best to spot whalesharks for us for the whole 3 hours.

      Once the BIO spots a whaleshark, everything happens very fast that you have no time to feel nervous. The heady adrenaline rush is an experience in itself. When the BIO gives the signal, you jump into the water, and feel the current of the boat push you out into the waters. Everyone is in a frenzy, as they try to follow the BIO who guides you to where the whaleshark should be, and you have to swim very fast to catch up. Most of the time, we arrived too late.

      However, we were lucky that we were still able to see one. It was a baby ...


      • whaleshark, still large, but relatively small in size compared to the adult ones. I was swimming through the water trying to catch up when suddenly in front of me I saw a big dark figure covered in white spots. It was right in front of me for a few seconds, and then disappeared. I hurriedly snapped shots with my underwater camera, and I was lucky to be able to get a good shot. They were right. The feeling of being next to such a large but gentle creature is a magical experience. We were 5 in the boat, and all of us saw the whaleshark except one as he did not rent snorkeling gear.

        The other boat was even luckier, they were able to see 4 whalesharks, one of them really, really big and they were able to get good shots too.

        One of the most fun/scary things about it was that when the BIO signals you to jump, everyone rushes in and you cannot avoid bumping and crashing into each other. It adds to the rush. However, one of my companions was unfortunate to have someone kick his face hard enough to pull the snorkeling gear away. He lost the gear and

        had to pay for it.

        Antoher risk with this activity is that you won’t be able to see a whaleshark. It’s kind of a downer since that’s the whole point of the thing and there isn’t any other marine life that you can see. The rush of jumping in is fun, but the repeated disappointment of jumping in and not seeing them can be frustrating.

        All in all, Whaleshark watching is definitely a must-do when you’re in the Bicol region. If you are able to see the whalesharks, I would give this activity a 10. It would definitely be worth the time, money, and effort. If not, then probably just a 5. The experience of rushing in is worth an 8, but the disappointment and the feeling that you wasted your time would drag it down to 5.

        I highly recommend this activity as long as you go during the whaleshark watching season where the chances of seeing one would be almost 100% and you can see even up to 10 whalesharks in one session. Also, bring/rent snorkeling gear and fins if you want, as it will make the activity easier. Go see the gentle giants, it’s a wonderful experience that you’ll never forget.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3826071206840931/k2311a0726/7.26.10
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