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303 days to go before Christmas!
"One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. "
- Arnold H. Glasgow
Butanding at Donsol
Friday, Apr 29, 2005, 10:00 PMDonsol, Sorsogon is the "whale shark capital" of the Philippines, if not the world. We endured a four-hour drive from Magallanes to Donsol before we got to see the biggest fish in the world - the "butanding" (Rhincodon typus). I was able to swim with one of the 8 butandings that we interacted with. Each interaction lasted for just a minute or so since we forgot to bring fins - they sure swim fast.
It's more than three hours on the boat with our spotter (the one who keeps an eye out for the whale sharks), BIO (Butanding Interaction Officer - the diver who drags you so you can swim as fast as they do to catch up with the sharks), and the boat driver. Three hours of adventure and excitement and still we yearn to be back for more! The Butanding Festival runs from November until May so I hope to be back in summer again to celebrate Psylocke's graduation from elementary with Tito Boy and his family from Germany. Maybe this time, Psylocke won't be having her birthday on the roads of Southern Luzon anymore.
Now for my checklist. These are my must-haves before diving and swimming with the butandings: