Philippines Day 4: Swimming with Sharks

8:23am the waves are very large today. Fingers crossed that we can still get into the water and see the big guys!

Whale sharks usually migrate from the Philippines to Taiwan. But if you talk to the locals here, they reason that the whale sharks who abandon their migratory path to stay in the Philippines due to the touristy boat feedings live longer– "they're going to get eaten anyway if they go to Taiwan" aka become shark fin soup. While I don't exactly agree with their line of thinking, I won't turn down a chance to swim with these gentle giants. These guys are filter feeders, so their diet consists mainly of plankton and small squid and fish; we humans are more of a threat to them than they are to us tbh. Swimmers must enter the water sans makeup and sunscreen, lest the chemicals rub off and affect the marine life (which is partially how the jellyfish of Moon Lake slowly disappeared--inconsiderate tourists + environmental issues :( )

9:24am approaching hour one of waiting in line to get into the whale boats womp

11:15am DREAM FULFILLED. I turned around in the water to tell momma lee to stop kicking me but it was actually the whale shark's tail lol

1:01pm pictures on the gopro came out great! :) I did a bit of quick reading on how to free dive (aka diving without an oxygen tank) and you're supposed to close your epiglottis at the back of your throat but evidently I forgot to do that and held my breath like a noob and that's why I have chipmunk cheeks of air in these photos.

2:00pm stopped for a bit at Cuartel Heritage Park before we embark on the 3 hour drive back to Cebu 

3:27pm passing through Argao. I spy rice paddies

5:36pm I totally appreciate the fact that our van driver has mad skills and is trying to cut down our 3 hour drive back to the city but I feel like I'm on a neverending roller coaster ride 

6:02pm the butterfly conservation area in Fort Sam Pedro is barren. I'm p disappointed. This fort was built by Spanish conquistador Miquel Lopez de Legaspi to provide protection to the members of the Spanish expedition on the shores of Cebu. The fort's named San Pedro in honor of Legaspi's flagship–the same ship that was sent back to Mexico after the establishment of the Spanish settlement in Cebu. It's the smallest and oldest tri-bastion fort in the Philippines! 

8:05pm had a traditional silog for dinner–a large platter of seasoned rice with all the fixins.