I’m so excited to go diving soon! My friends mentioned that they had a very pleasant and unexpected encounter with a whale shark at my favorite and closest diving area; Batangas, just 3 hrs away from Manila. According to her, the current was very strong so she and her friends were drifting with the current when all of a sudden, they sa something huge! They couldn’t believe their eyes! The whale shark (locally known as Butanding) was spotted near the Mainit school in Mabini, Batangas. The curious whale shark stayed with them for a good 20-30 mins and they have the video to prove it!!
Prior to this encounter, some members of the camera club I belong to has mentioned seeing a whale shark at the Cathedral dive site as well but they didn’t have video of it. We are not sure if it’s the same whale shark.
It seems like the change in the seasons and climate has affected our marine life tremendously. Whale shark sightings are a major tourist attraction in areas like Donsol and Dumagete in the Visayas region. In fact, a trip to those areas to see the whale shark was in my to-do-list-before-i-die. Areas like Batangas never had sightings of Butandings before.
Recently, there’s been news of more sightings around Puerto Princessa in Palawan of a whale shark as well. BBC Wildlife photographer of the Year (2002) Duncan Murrell was there and was amazed by the 20-foot long whale shark! Have a look at this great picture!
Here’s another site by Sergey Parinov which features great photos of whale sharks. Photos were taken in Donsol.