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

  Philippines: Visayas - February 2008

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, click on the French flag below to access the original text:

First stop on my Philippine journey: the southern tip of Leyte Island. For dives in Sogod Bay, hoping to cross 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.

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

I indulge in nudibranchs (sea slugs) unpublished, toad fish and other critters, including a nice snake "striped knit". A tiny pink hippocampus-pygmy has even been found today.

Snuggled against the reef, a "knit-striped" snake. (Sogod Bay, Leyte, Philippines, January 2008)
Snuggled 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)

Philippine Ferries

There are not many divers on the sites. Only two-three resorts operate in the area. And then this part of the island, away from tourist routes, is not so easy to reach. Schedules of ferries departing from Cebu, the central island of Visayas, where there is the airport, are more than random.

Mine, ferry, finally, the Cebu Bato 18h that I thought to take the exit of the plane, had by chance been replaced by another ... at 13:30. That I missed. No 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 fell back on that of 21h, with berths on the bridge for the cheapest tickets. But me, I traveled with the rich, tiny First Class cabin, four berths with TV (!) And air conditioning fridge. Arrival at Bato at ... 4am!

Fortunately I was able to call Sogod Bay Scuba Resort (SBSR) with whom I contacted by e-mail before departure, and they sent a guy to pick me up before dawn by car at the exit of the boat. Then, about an hour's journey from Bato to Padre Burgos, a small town at the crossroads of two roads, near which is installed the resort.

Dead Coral Beach and Sunday Mass

In this season, the wind is blowing every day on Sogod Bay. On the beach of dead corals, big sound waves crash non-stop and cradle my sleep. My room is facing the sea, at a nice lady who welcomes tourists for the resort, right next door. I like being here too. My terrace is more intimate than that of SBSR side by side cubbies.

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 discern in the mist the blue shadow of Limasawa, the island where Magellan landed. It was there that the first Spanish Mass was celebrated in the Philippines in 1521 ... First stage of the Christianization of the country.

I live right in front of a chapel, which I did not notice at the moment, arriving Sunday morning, at dawn. I collapsed on my bed, exhausted, and a few hours later, happy songs woke me up. It was Sunday Mass.

In front of the chapel, a large blackboard, marked "Welcome visitors 2008". Inside, karaoke atmosphere, with a guy at the microphone to blackmail the faithful on a catchy air, everyone standing and arms raised, with words to follow, written at the bottom on a whiteboard.

Those in the back row turned with smiles and nods to watch me approach the door. A little gentleman came to shake my hand and offer me to come in. But I was hungry. I did not stay. I hello everyone like the Queen of England, and I went to the resort to have breakfast.

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

PS. I will fulfill my dream of meeting whale sharks on other trips, years after this first stay in 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

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  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.


  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).


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

  4. ❓ M’enfin??? c’est toi qui as demandé à voir dans une autre discussion! 😉
    and worse ... they are not terrible the photos, I have small videos more fun!

  5. @Manta: Ça suffit!!! Pi d’abord, moi aussi j’en ai une, de vidéo de requin-baleine, na. 😛

    [flash w = 400 h = 300 f = {image = http: // Shark}]

    Le truc pathétique, c’est que ça va faire trois ans, maintenant, que je la copie-colle sur mes blogs et sites, cette malheureuse vidéo. Je n’ai pas recroisé un requin-baleine depuis. (Soupir…) 😳

    Bon, ben, maintenant, me tarde de voir les tiennes!!! 😉

  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.



  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: Merci d’avoir pris le temps de laisser un petit mot ! 🙂 Ce voyage que j’ai fait aux Philippines date de 2008 et je n’y suis pas retournée depuis. Je n’ai donc pas vraiment d’informations fraîches ni de recommandations d’adresses à faire (en cinq années, bien des choses ont dû changer). Et je n’ai pas rencontré de requins-baleines durant ce voyage.

      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!