We left Bangkok on a midnight flight to Manila then had a really tight connection to Legaspi. We made it after skipping to the head of the line in customs and running in the airport. We flew over a couple of volcanos on the way in and when we landed we got off the plane on the runway; no jetways here. Only stairs. Among the coconut trees you could see in the distance the perfect cone of myaon volcano with a wisp of smoke escaping the top. We were here. One problem. We had no idea where we were going. So we were taking refuge in the airport while trying to figure it out. Keep in mind that it’s one room with a convience store and a single circular belt for baggage. No AC. The lady next to me asked where we were going and offered to give us a ride because it was on her way. We later found out that this was because she didn’t think we would make it. She was worried about us lol. So in that spirit I want to encourage anyone reading this to go out and do a good deed for a stranger today. Pass it forward.
We were dropped off at the Donsol visitor center and it was apparent right away that we weren’t prepared for this. So after some deliberation we booked into one of the most expensive places nearby called giddy’s. The main reason for this is because they had wifi in the rooms. And AC
So we took a nap then met some other travelers. After some discussion we decided to check out the fireflies on the river and more importantly, get out of donsol asap. The fireflys were cool and so were the 25 peso beers we drank. By the end of the trip it wasn’t a firefly cruise but a booze cruise as everyone on the boat had drank a few. Then sleep we had a 2:10 flight and a 7:00 am appointment with the whale sharks.
The whale sharks experience was something else for sure. We showed up and registered. Then we found a boat that needed a couple more passengers. Travel tip here: meet others at the whaleshark center and get in on their boat. The price for the boat is divided among the passangers. I think it’s 6 max. The whole day cost us 685 pesos each.
So there we were motoring in our banka out to the whale shark grounds. Our crew consisted of the captian, an engine man, a pilot and 2 spotters. After about 20 minutes we spotted our first and the captian was down at the launch area saying right side right side. Masks and flippers were donned and the engine was cut. The captian hit the water and we followed. We were swimming towards the shadow in the water and the captian seemed to know he direction. The water was fairly murky and we could only see maybe 10 or 12 feet. Suddenly like coming out of the fog a giant creature appeared in front of us there it was. He world largest fish slowly lumbering along. This one was probably 15 feet long. It was such a rush! By the end of the day we saw 5 the last one being maybe 30 feet long with my fins on I could keep up with it but it was easily 5 times longer than me. See the video.