Figuring out what other leisure things to do at sea besides the usual swimming, diving, water skiing, or surfing? Fishing is fun but there’s no fun like catching the world’s biggest fish—catching it on video face to face. And they’re all waiting to be caught on candid camera out there in Donsol.
Donsol, Sorsogon, in the southern most tip of Luzon, is where the world famous whale sharks loiter. And there they loiter the whole year round—although their peak seasons have been reported from February to May, when the Donsol Sea is at its clearest and calmest.
This fishing and diving village has clusters of beautiful mountains greeting incoming visitors. Also the wide azure sea, humble, smiling people, and recently, a world popular marine phenomenon that brings the fisher folks with higher economic revenue yearly.
Sorsogon can be reached through a land trip, public bus or private car, via the Philippine Tourism Highway. This is about a 15-hour drive of refreshing rustic sceneries from Manila taking the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
Donsol used to be a quiet fishing and cottage industry town, frequented by storms and annual rains. Then God sent forth hundreds of whale sharks. The sightings first became a household byword in diving circles in the community. Then the news was passed on to some visiting tourists. Soon it overflowed to the tourism world. Now thousands flock to Donsol.
Locally the whale sharks are called “Butanding.” These gentle giants loiter in Donsol waters all year round, as observed by guys from the World Wildlife Fund. No other place in the country—or in the world—can one spot whale sharks hanging around that long.
The thought of swimming and diving with the world’s largest fish out there in deep sea is scary, to say the least. Yet these mammoth creatures are harmless and often let humans swim and dive with them side by side. It was both fascinating and magical, said one who had glided with them underwater. It was like the world stopped, he added.
At Donsol, these whale sharks may appear in a group of 10 to 15 at one time. The Donsol harbor has one of the highest densities of whale sharks in the world. Whale sharks can measure from 15 to 40 feet long. They have silvery polka dots all over them and feed only on plankton and krill. Donsol has tons of Plankton in its waters. So that’s why they’re here year round.
Whale shark watching, like diving, is a growing sea hobby worldwide and is available and affordable in Donsol, Sorsogon. It is Donsol’s main attraction today besides its other natural features that also draw the curiosity of visitors.
[Tags]Whale Sharks, Sorsogon, Donsol, Whale Shark Watching[/Tags]