I unquestionably won’t forget the 14th day of November, year 2010. That was the day I first encountered the gentle giants — the whale sharks!
I never thought I would be doing such a once in a lifetime experience! The whale sharks were founded in 2010 by Mr. Angelo “Toto” Cayabo, Founder of Dolphins and Whale Sharks and Manager of Dolphin and Whale Shark Travel and Tours. It was in year 2007 (I was still in college) when I first met Kuya Toto. From Dolphin Watching back then, I didn’t know that our paths would cross again.
Whale Shark a.k.a “Butanding” is a slow-moving filter feeding shark (meaning they don’t eat humans) and the largest known extant fish species. They are found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea, now including #PuertoPrincesa.
And because I know it is going to be fun, I invited friends!
While Kuya Toto’s allies are spotting on whale sharks, he equips us first with the do’s and don’ts. We were instructed to follow the signals, the right sitting position and have them demonstrated the proper way to plunge in to the water without having to jump because it may drive away the whale sharks. We were also instructed not to touch the whale sharks or ride on them (they are not trained dolphins).
To justify the encounter, you have to swim with them. So yes! We’ve snorkeled with these giants! Grabe! The feeling was indescribably amazing! It was indeed overwhelming and incomparable to anything! Their mouths are like caves, the moment I’ve seen that one of the whale sharks is beside me, realizing that its tail was just as much as my height, I froze!
According to Kuya Toto, the whale sharks were in good mood that day. It seemed to him that the giants enjoyed our company. Not even a pinch of chasing happened that day and what’s even more surprising was, when Kuya Toto declared that it was the best whale shark encountered since they have it founded.
W E H A D F U N A N D S O Y O U W I L L !