Posts Tagged With: budget

DIY Cebu: Day 2 Whaleshark watching at Oslob

I’ve researched thoroughly before we had this trip and I knew that if we wanted to see the whalesharks early, we had to get up early. This is also the reason why I chose Gran Tierra Suites. It is near the South Bus terminal where we would ride a bus going to Oslob. They operate as early as 3AM. Make sure you ride the Ceres bus line. They are very efficient and on-time. Here’s their cebu bus sched.

How to go to Oslob from Cebu city
1. Ride the Ceres bus line at the South bus terminal. Travel time is at 3-4 hours. There are some stops made for comfort room breaks.
2. You won’t miss the drop off area as there are signs at the road and the bus conductor would also call out those who are getting off at Oslob.
3. From there, you’ll spot a registration area where you pay for which activities you want to avail of. Php500 if you want to get off the boat and swim with the whalesharks, Php300 if you will stay in the boat and just watch the whalesharks. They also have go pro cameras for rent for Php550. If you avail of it, the boatmen will take your picture underwater. If not, you’ll have to take the picture yourself.

TIP: Go on a weekday. There are several people during weekdays. We had ours on a weekday and the place was really crowded but it was really organized and systematic.
We were 110th on the line when we arrived. We waited for around an hour before we got our turn. The whaleshark watching takes around 30 minutes.

 

Itinerary and Expenses:

3am – 3:15am      taxi from Gran Tierra to South Bus Terminal                  Php100

3:55am                   bus left for Oslob                                                                      Php165/person

7am                        arrived at Oslob

8:30                        standby for our turn to view the whalesharks              Php300/person

Php500/person

9:00                        done and ready for Sumilon Island

Total: Php680 – if you will view from the boat (includes another Php165 for the bus ride back to Cebu city)

Php880 – if you will swim with the whaleshark (inlcudes another Php165 for the bus ride back to Cebu City)

 

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Categories: Cebu | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Virgin Beach Resort on a Budget

Have you ever tried going on a trip without any reservations? on a payday weekend? Yup, for all control freaks out there, it’s jaw-dropping but it wasn’t my trip to plan. I was a guest traveler.

Travel Destination: Laiya, San Juan, Batangas

Travel time: approx. 3 – 4 hours from Quezon City

I think we managed to drop by to most of the beach resorts in Laiya just to find a place where the rooms are good, has a great view of the beach, and of course, suits our budget. Of all the resorts, Virgin Beach Resort stood out. They have an awesome view of the beach, fine white sand (almost like in Boracay), and their beach is free from seaweeds or rough sand. What’s the catch? The room rates: weekend overnight for 4 persons is Php10K plus a required purchase of their meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) worth Php1600. The rates were quite steep so we decided to pass on this resort (after much deliberation).

Fortunately, we found another resort with reasonable rates and comfortable accommodations. Dona Nena may not be as popular as the other resorts in Laiya but that made it a peaceful refuge for all the hustle and bustle of a payday weekend beach experience. The cottage is airconditioned, with 5 beds, 1 comfort room, a TV, and is equipped with gas stove and griller. We were not able to swim at once because of the low tide but we enjoyed the homey feel the resort offered. Yet we can’t stop raving about how beautiful Virgin Beach Resort was.

After a good night’s rest, we were prepared to take a dip into the beach but we just can’t take our minds off how almost perfect Virgin Beach Resort was so we decided to take the Picnic Day Tour of Virgin Beach which was Php300/head. The Picnic Day Tour has no corkage fee so you could bring all the food you need and cook it there. You may see their rates at their website. Little did we know that such tour requires a Dining parasol rental of Php1350 but we just went on with it just so we could stay at Virgin Beach Resort once and for all and we made the right call!

I have to commend their logistics system for being so organized. They have enough parking space and beach space for all the guests. It didn’t feel crowded probably because of the long stretch of beach that they own. It was really a relaxing and exciting experience! If it were not for the sunburn that we took home with us, I’d probably be back their on the next weekend.

Planning to visit Virgin Beach Resort? Here are my tips:

1. Have a reservation. I’m not sure though if Day Tours may also be reserved. You may contact them here.

2. If you’re on a budget, just take the Picnic Day Tour and find sleeping accommodations on a nearby resort. 🙂

3. Bring food as there are no corkage fee for the Day Tours but please read their House Rules.

4. Put lots and lots of sunblock! You’ll definitely spend a lot of time swimming under the sun!

This trip (overnight at Dona Nena and picnic tour at Virgin Beach Resort) cost me a total of Php3000 (includes toll fees, gas, automobile rental, food). There were 5 of us. This will be cheaper if you’ll have more friends with you.

Categories: Batangas, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments