Only a few meters from the shore, we saw this giant silhouette slowly swimming visibly below us. Locally known as tukî in Cebu, and butanding in Luzon, these whale sharks were spotted years ago near the shores of south of Cebu, between the mainland and Sumilon island.
The news about Cebu’s whale sharks spread among diving enthusiasts. It made to mainstream when it was published by Sunstar Daily News and featured by GMA 7.
Lucky for me, I read my idol SCUBA diver and travel blogger Inday Guapa‘s post and was planning weeks before it became mainstream. And luckily, she has a cousin who is a good friend of mine way back college so she knew the details about whale sharks and how to get there.
Where Do I Start?
My guide told me to just float far away from the boats and the tukî will approach me. Only a few minutes after just aimlessly floating around, the biggest of the 14 whale sharks there slowly inched its way towards me. I froze, I could hardly breath, not knowing what to do as the giant butanding of about eight meters in length was coming straight at me!
I didn’t panic, I remember the guide telling me to just float there, stay calm, and and do nothing. Which what I exactly did.
Seconds passed and this massive thing was closing the gap, me holding my breath and the level of anxiety shooting to the roof of my head! Only moments before impact or about only a foot or two away from me, it veered to its left.
I heaved a sigh of relief. I asked myself. WHAT WAS THAT???
That was, I answered my other self, was amazing.