My daughter wanted to go dolphin-watching while we were in Dumaguete so dolphin watching it was. We arranged our tour through Antulang Beach Resort.
We woke up early and had breakfast at 5:30am. I knew my daughter was determined to go dolphin watching since even if she takes a long time to wake up in the morning, she was up and about right away. We all had corsilog for breakfast — corned beef, sinangag, and two fried eggs. A heavy breakfast was good since it was going to be a long day.
We left the resort at 6am for Bais, with friendly Kuya Ken (from the resort) as our guide. It’s a two hour drive to Bais where we will take a boat to go dolphin watching. The boat was small but had a small bathroom and an area for dressing up although a bit tight. As we boarded the boat, we met Ate Cindy, our guide for the dolphin watching itself. Kuya Ken, however, was still on hand the whole time to take care of our lunch and other things we needed on the boat.
As we started our search for dolphins, Ate Cindy said a prayer for safety and a prayer of thanksgiving in appreciation of the beauty all around us. We were going to see dolphins at Tanon Strait, where 12 out of 24 dolphin varieties can be found. She also told us though that most of the dolphins that we will see will be spinner dolphins.
We went around the strait with our dolphin spotters and after some time, it was getting quite frustrating because we still didn’t see any dolphins. I already started to think of the possibility of not seeing any like what happened to us in Cebu (although that was really more of a sunset cruise rather than a dolphin watching tour). I could sense though that the spotters were confident and that they were closely looking for signs of dolphins around us. After more than an hour of moving around, the spotters pointed out dolphins to us and we saw them near our boat and from afar, jumping and swimming in groups.
My family has been to dolphin shows before but I cannot explain the joy of seeing them out in the wild — untrained and just swimming free. I guess it was the element of surprise — not knowing where you would find them, or how many you would see, or what they would do next — that made the experience so different and grace-filled.
Since the dolphins are wild, Ate Cindy reminded us that we cannot touch the dolphins or feed them. That was okay with us though since just seeing them was happiness enough.
We were told that the dolphins usually come out from March to November, for as long as the waves are not that strong.
After the dolphin watching part, we went to the Manjuyod Sandbar, where you can swim and play. Unfortunately, when we were swimming there, my husband and my son both got stung by a jellyfish so that was a bit of a spoiler. We didn’t do any swimming anymore after. It was good I was armed with some antihistamines although our guide. our boatmen, and our spotters also helped by giving us vinegar which they said was good treatment for jellyfish stings. Being out in the water often, we had every reason to believe their vinegar tip.
So, when in that area, be careful with jellyfish stings. My husband saw the jellyfish coming and warned all of us so even if he and my son got stung, their stings could have been worse. After the initial itchiness, pain, and swelling that they experienced, they recovered. As for the jellyfish sting marks, they eventually disappeared after several months.
Despite the jellyfish stings, it was an experience worth remembering and I have to be grateful to my daughter for dictating that we do the dolphin watching. To Kuya Ken, Ate Cindy, our spotters, and our boatmen, thanks for the safe boat trip and for making our tour comfortable and for making everything so convenient.