Are you tired of the usual hustle and bustle of the city? Do you love to see rolling hills, pristine beaches, and forests on your next vacation? If you do, you might like to visit Oslob, a town located approximately 132 kilometers away from Mactan-Cebu International Airport. It is located in Cebu, Philippines.
What to Do in Oslob
Oslob is a town located within two to three hours from Cebu City. In recent years, the municipality has become a tourist attraction because of the frequent visitors of its coasts, the whale sharks. Aside from that, the town also allows tourists to immerse in the beauty of its cultural heritage, sumptuous foods, and natural attractions. If you’ll be visiting the place for just a day or two, you can create an itinerary around the following activities — many local and foreign travellers consider these activities as the sure ways to enjoy and explore Oslob:
1. Take a selfie at the Baywalk
When you’ve just been in a three-hour ride, the first thing to do when you arrive is, of course, take a selfie (or a groupfie). And there’s no other perfect place to do that than at the Baywalk. At the Baywalk, you can take a rest as you watch the azure waters and waves kissing the shore. If your schedule permits, you can time your trip in a way that you will arrive at the place at dawn or dusk. It would be great to catch the first or last golden rays of the sun in your pictures. You can also take your breakfast here to enjoy a good view while eating.
2. Visit one of Cebu’s oldest infrastructures — the Immaculate Conception Church
Whether you’re fond of cultural and heritage sites or not, you’ll surely find the Immaculate Conception Church a remarkable destination to miss. Built on May 4, 1830, this church was built using coral stones from the sea cemented with seashell ashes and lime. The Church has been destroyed three times due to a fire — first in 1942 when Filipino guerrillas burned it down, second on November 7, 1955, and third on March 26, 2008. The interior of the infrastructure may not have much elaborate ceiling paintings and statues to boast, but it does embody the steadfast faith and tenacity of the Cebuano spirit.
3. Marvel at the town’s historical landmarks — cuartel, baluarte, and the belfry
As one of the oldest Spanish strongholds of Cebu Province, Oslob also boasts of several ancient fortresses built by the Spaniards. Like all other watchtowers and fortresses, the Baluarte and Cuartel were built to protect the residents from Moro invaders. Standing next to the Immaculate Conception Church is the 5-level belfry that has 11 bells, the oldest of which was made in 1825.
4. Beat the summer heat at Tumalog Falls
Once you’ve had your fill of Oslob’s historical and cultural heritage places, you can take a refreshing dip at the icy cold waters of Tumalog Falls. One of the best things about visiting Tumalog Falls is its paved road, making it accessible even to children.
5. Get up close with the gentle giants
Oslob was once a quaint and sleepy town until the whale sharks, fondly called the “gentle giants,” came in search of food. The residents fed them and, since then, these gentle giants have been dropping by the coast routinely and sparked the eco-tourism of the town. Today, locals and foreigners alike visit Barangay Tan-awan for a whale shark watching getaway to get up close with the gentle giants. Their size ranges from 2 to 6 meters, the largest of which is 9 meters and is fondly called the “Big Mama.” Whale shark watching is open daily from 6AM to 12PM only.
Whether you like to have a one-day vacation or a three-day trip, you can certainly enjoy the town with these five activities. However, the town has more to offer despite its quite vibe typical of a countryside. You just have to know exactly when to visit the place.
Best Time to Visit Oslob
You can do the five activities mentioned previously all year round. But if you want to add more fun to your experience, you might like to visit the town on the first week of December just in time for the Tuslob Festival, which is celebrated every 8th of December in commemoration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Toslob Festival features ritual dances that tell how the town got its name. Legend has it that it all started when two Spanish guardia civils asked a couple the name of the town. The couple, who were currently eating boiled bananas dipped in salt and vinegar, thought the guards asked what they were doing. The couple innocently replied “toslob,” meaning soak. Since then, the guards called the place Toslob, which later became Oslob.
Rates and Fees
The best thing about this itinerary is the fact that it can be done with just a budget of 1500 pesos if you’re on a day-tour. Of course, you’d have to shell out more if you’re planning for an overnight stay. Specifically, the following is a break down of the cost:
- Mactan International Airport to Cebu South Bus Terminal
- PHP 50 – 2 rides – V-Hire to SM City cost (PHP 25) and 01k Jeep from SM City to South Bus Terminal (PHP 7)
- PHP 150 – 300 (taxi from Airport to South Bus)
- Ceres bus to Oslob – PHP 150-200 (Aircon or Non-aircon bus) TIP: Take the first trip to avoid the early morning traffic.
- Whale Shark Watching – PHP 500 per head for 30 minutes
- Tumalog Falls – PHP 120 for motorcycle ride and PHP 20 for Entrance
- Foods – PHP 300 (3 meals)
- Souvenirs and delicacies to bring back to the city – PHP 100
Visiting Oslob is a perfect getaway for locals because you can enjoy the place in just one or two days. You can easily go back to the city after your excursion. For travelers on a long vacation, you can continue your journey to Dumaguete to take a refreshing dip at the icy waters of Casaroro Falls and the twin lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao.