#sixhourdrivetothesouth #swimmingwiththewhales #divingwithsardines

Checked out early and headed to catch out boat back to Maya port on the mainland. From there we hired a private car to take us back to the airport where we would catch up with more friends joining us for the next 3 days in Oslob and Moalboal.

Our wonderful limo for the journey down south.

Quick pit stop for breakfast.

Fast forward to picking our friends up from the airport and us arriving at a mall to have lunch at Zubuchon. Gluttony got the best of us and we went on an ordering spree.


Lechon (bone in)

Mixed veggies because we were feeling guilty ordering so much meat.


With that out of the way, we got our Starbucks, piled into the van and headed down to Moalboal.

And eventually pulled into the Club Serena resort after a nail biting journey through back roads (paved and unpaved) which elicited thoughts of whether we would arrive alive or not.

The boys were shown to their room while the girls had their own. My first thoughts upon entering the room … the 1980’s called and they wanted their décor back.

Our tree trop casita from the outside.

Check-in area.

The resort beach.

I pre-booked a dive for the Sardine Run. The area is famous for having schools of sardines at the doorstep. On the night we arrived, my friends booked a trike driver to pick me up and take me to Panagsama beach where the dive centres were located.

Quick breakfast before heading out.

With an amazing view.

Heading to Panagsama beach.

The driver dropped me off at the top of the street and I had to hoof it down to the dive centre.

Suiting up and briefing was quick and we were walking to the shore for the dive.

Sardine Run. I made this a timelapse video otherwise you would be will be watching a good 20 minutes. Extremely happy to have done this dive because you could see the sardines the moment you went off the side of the wall. As you got deeper, you could see the bigger schools of sardines which the snorkelers could not see. 😀


A famous resident coming over to say hi.

Me celebrating after crossing off another bucket list item. 🙂

And what better way to reward myself.

Good view with a drink.

With lunch at the restaurant next door – shrimp + thai green curry chicken. I developed an appetite after such the dive – don’t judge. 🙂

Our ride back to the resort.

We ended the day with a relaxing drink and snacks on the resort beach.

It was another super early morning start as we were heading down to Oslob to swim with the whale sharks + canyoneering. We were picked up at 4am and after a 2 hour drive, we reached the muster point.

Since we hired a tour guide and driver, we did not have to do any of the formalities such as signing forms, paying at the front desk etc. The guide did everything for us while we waited for our group number to be called. After the formalities of listening to the local conservation team giving us the rules about the activity – “The first rule is to never touch the sharks!”, we went to get our life vests and wait for our group number to be called for getting into the boat.

The other groups waiting patiently.

Got into our boat and a quick 5 minute ride over to the staging area. The boat guys had the process down pat – the boat coming in would tie off to the last boat in the chain of boats. The next boat coming in would tie off to our boat and so on. The boats would slowly move down the line and after 30 minutes, we would cast off and come back to shore. We were free to jump in but had to stay close to the boat at all times.

Here are the whales in all their glory.

After the activity was done, we washed up and went in search of breakfast.

Lots of people inside is a good thing, right?

Delicious Chicken Inasal.

After that, we piled back into the van and went off to our next destination – the Badian Canyoneering adventure at Kawasan Falls.

After gearing up, we hopped on motorbikes for a 10 minute ride to the start of the adventure.

The adventure started with a 30 minute hike deep into the forest.

Thirsty or hungry after 10 minutes of hiking? No problem! A stall set up with goods to satisfy your needs.

Made a friend along the way.

Getting to the start of the good stuff.

Descending into the forest.

It got a little more difficult (but fun nonetheless).

Looking back where we came from.

Enjoying a nice shower against the heat of the canyon.

We reach the midpoint of the hike where there were stalls set up with hot bbq and drinks. Don’t ask me how they did it but they actually got all the stuff down in the middle of the canyon and set up shop. Talk about hustlin’. 🙂

Glorious meat on a stick. If only it could be served on Singapore Airline Suites …

Our order.

After our meal was done, we moved on and what better way than to jump right in.

Where we came to the second highest jump of the day. I chickened out.

But I did go on the kiddie ride. Wheeeeeeee!

After 3.5 hours since we started, we finally made it to the final jump of the day. I man-ed up and took the plunge – literally. FYI – that’s a 45 foot drop.

Looking back up where I jumped from.

We came to the end which is the real Kawasan falls. At one point, you could pay to get on a bamboo raft and go underneath the falls but that stopped because the rates were jacked so high and it scared everyone away. The people have spoken.

Walked 15 minutes back to the exit and met up with our driver who took us to a place for a quick lunch. Nothing like a carb heavy lunch to recover from an intense day.

Got into a jeepney arranged by the tour guide since we were all still wet and didn’t want to get the van dirty. The driver switched on the mood lighting as it got darker.

Saw this pass us by. Another delicious victim of cock fighting.

Stopped at the mall to get some quick items. Passed this by as I was wandering the supermarket and I think this is my all time favourite oddity.

We spent the evening having our final meal as we would be checking out the next day and fly back to Manila.

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