The wind blows on the dead coral beach of Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
The wind blows on the dead coral beach of Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)

Sogod Bay, the Whale Shark Bay

#Leyte #Philippines

  Philippines: Visayas - February 2008

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


First stage of my Philippine journey: the southern tip of the island of Leyte. For dives in Sogod Bay, in the hope of crossing the road of a whale shark

The few tourists in the area are there for that too. Sogod Bay is known for being frequented by these nice giants of the seas.

Diving in Sogod Bay

I dream to meet again this huge shark (that I saw once in Thailand, in 2006). It is the largest fish in the world (it can exceed 10 meters, I refer you on Wikipedia) and he is totally harmless to the man (he has no teeth and feeds on plankton).

But so far, nothing! Already three days that I've been diving in Sogod Bay, without having crossed the shadow of a whale shark's tail. At the same time, it's not a big deal. The coral is superb here, remarkably preserved. And tropical underwater fauna abounds.

I'm enjoying new nudibranchs (sea slugs), toad fish (or frogs) and other critters, including a very nice "knitted striped" snake. A tiny pink pygmy seahorse has even been found today.

Snuggled against the reef, a "knit-striped" snake. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, January 2008)
Huddled against the reef, a "knit-striped" snake. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, January 2008)
A beautiful nudibranch, a beautiful pink-mauve, photographed today, on the site of Napantao, on the other side of Sogod Bay. (Leyte, Philippines, January 2008)
A beautiful nudibranch, a beautiful pink-mauve, photographed today, on the site of Napantao, on the other side of Sogod Bay. (Leyte, Philippines, January 2008)
It's not easy to photograph a pygmy seahorse... It's no bigger than the nail on my little finger. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, January-February 2008)
It's not easy to photograph a pygmy seahorse... It's no bigger than the nail on my little finger. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, January-February 2008)
This scorpion fish is watching me bubble, impassive. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
This scorpion fish is watching me bubble, impassive. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)

Philippine Ferries

There are not many divers on the sites. Barely two or three resorts operate in the area. And then this part of the island, away from the tourist circuits, is not so easy to reach. Ferry schedules from Cebu, the central island of the Visayas, where the airport is located, are more than random.

Mine, the 6pm Cebu-Bato ferry that I thought I was going to take when I got off the plane, had, as if by chance, been replaced by another one... at 1:30pm. Which I missed. Tough luck. No boat to Bato...

The Cebu-Bato ferry is at 13:30 (Philippines, January 2008)
The Cebu-Bato ferry is at 13:30 (Philippines, January 2008)

I went for the 9:00, with bunks on deck for the cheapest tickets. But me, I travelled with the rich, in a tiny cabin called First Class, with four berths, TV (!) and air conditioning like a fridge. Arrival in Bato at... 4am!

Fortunately I was able to call Sogod Bay Scuba Resort (SBSR) who I had e-mailed before leaving, and they sent a guy to pick me up before dawn by car from the boat. Then, a journey of about an hour from Bato to Lungsodaan, a tiny town at the crossroads of two roads, depending on the municipality of Padre Burgos, where the resort is located.

Dead Coral Beach and Sunday Mass

In this season, the wind is blowing hard every day on Sogod Bay. On the beach of dead corals, big sound waves crash non-stop and rock my sleep.

My room is facing the sea, at a nice lady who welcomes tourists for the resort when they are full, just next door. I like it there so much. My terrace is more intimate than the SBSR's side-by-side rooms.

The wind blows on the dead coral beach of Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)
The wind blows on the dead coral beach of Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. (Leyte, Philippines, February 2008)

On my right, I can see in the mist the blue shadow of Limasawathe island where Magellan landed. It was there that the very first Spanish Mass was celebrated in the Philippines in 1521... The first step in the Christianization of the country.

I live right in front of a chapel, which I hadn't noticed at the time when I arrived at dawn on Sunday morning. I collapsed on my bed, exhausted, and a few hours later joyful songs woke me up. It was Sunday mass. I went to see.

In front of the chapel there is a large blackboard with the words "Welcome visitors 2008". Inside, a karaoke atmosphere, with a guy at the microphone to get the faithful to sing along to a lively tune, everyone standing with arms raised, with words to follow written on a whiteboard in the background.

Those in the back rows turned around with smiles and nods to watch me approach the door. A little man came to shake my hand and offer me a ride... but I was hungry. I didn't stay. I waved to everyone like the Queen of England, and ran to the resort for breakfast.

See all articles on this trip → Philippines: Visayas - February 2008

PS. I will fulfill my dream of meeting whale sharks on other tripsYears after this first trip to the Philippines... First in Mexico in 2014, then in the Philippines in 2018. See below these two posts:
→ Mexican whale sharks have mouths
→ In the Philippines, let the whale shark come to you

  Philippines: Visayas - February 2008

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  1. Glad to have news, a pity that we do not have a focus on e, probably Filipino computers are lacking or difficult to access. With us, no nudists with or without branches. Biz.

    PAP

  2. Eh yes ! No focus on these damn QWERTY keyboards, more American than Filipino in truth ... Of course, once every two I type a Q instead of A and vice versa.

    The connection on the computer of the resort is ultra-slow, I had a hard time sending this first article. Tomorrow, I leave for the island of Bohol, more touristy, or I should be able to find high-speed internet access worthy of the name ...

    Thank you for this little message, it's really fun (sorry, no C cedilla either).

    bizzzz
    😉

  3. 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈
    : Mrgreen: 😐 ➡ ❓ 😉 🙄 😳 😛 😆 😡 8) 😕 😯 😮 🙁 🙂 😀

  4. ❓ I finally??? it was you who asked to see in another discussion! 😉
    and worse ... they are not terrible the photos, I have small videos more fun!

  5. @Manta: That's enough!!!! Pi first, I got one, too, from whale shark video, na. 😛

    [flash http://titbulle.fr/02_videos/videos/20060203whaleshark/whaleshark.FLV w = 400 h = 300 f = {image = http: //petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/smallbugsdailleurs/wp-content/videosimages/whaleshark.jpg&id=Whale Shark}]

    The pathetic thing is that I've been copying and pasting this unfortunate video on my blogs and sites for three years now. I haven't seen a whale shark since. (Sighs...) 😳

    Well, well, now, I can't wait to see yours!!! 😉

  6. Hi Corinne,

    Too bad for the whale shark, but I have a gold tip for you if you're still interested.
    For dream dives with big, shark, including whale shark, and preserved flora, destinattion north AFS and Mozambique. In AFS, towards Sodwana bay, you will fall practically always on beautiful specimens.
    I swam with 4 whale shark in 3 days of dives, the biggest at 13 m ... surface and 2km / h! Dream, magic.
    For Mozambique, my destination this winter with Zimbabwe, I was told about a popular but great site for manta rays and whales ...
    Good do not hesitate to contact me, I made sipadan last winter, and for the moment the AFS remains a must in terms of preservation.

    Ciao

    Rod

  7. @Rod: Oh yes, I know ... I had to deal with several South African dive-masters who all told me like you: it is incomparable, it seems. I also have a friend who has opened a dive center in Vilanculos in Mozambique, and regularly meets all the big beasts that we can dream of. I'll have to go soak my fins in the area, one day ...
    🙄

  8. Hi Corinne.
    I became a big fan of your blog and what a surprise to see that you too were interested in whale sharks that can be seen in Sogod Bay.
    We would like to make this trip the first 15 days of January, hoping to see at least one.

    Do you have addresses, advice to give? Finally did you see / see one of these giants during this trip?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. @ mido1w: Thank you for taking the time to leave a little note! 🙂 This trip I made to the Philippines dates back to 2008 and I haven't been back there since. So I don't really have any fresh information or address recommendations to make (in five years, many things must have changed). And I didn't meet any whale sharks during this trip.

      It seems that I came a little too early in Sogod Bay (late January - early February). Unfortunately, I did not see one. The season that year had to start later. I'm not sure how things have changed since then, or whether whale sharks continue to frequent the bay regularly or not.

      The other place where we can see whale sharks in the Philippines and that is well known is Donsol. But it seems that the trips to the sea for the tourists have a little turned to the industry ... I've never been there, so I can not really talk about it ...

      Good preparations!
      8)

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