Boholanos are a very conscientious people when it comes to ecology: they have been known to be the greatest protectors of Mother Nature’s gifts to them, which is a rare thing to say of natives and the land on which they live. Not only do Boholanos provide the utmost care and responsibility to preserve their natural gifts, but they also demonstrate the same care to their wildlife, most especially to the endangered species found exclusively in their province. The passionate protection that the people of Bohol provide their wildlife is seemingly well-repaid by Mother Nature as seen by the way she endows the province with added gifts and benefits that also generate income. The perfect example would be the much-anticipated trips of whale and dolphin watching in Bohol that have generated a good source of livelihood to many of the locals.
The best spot to go whale and dolphin watching in Bohol will be surrounding areas of the Pamilacan Island. The small island is located at the center of the Sea of Bohol and can be reached by boat about an hour away from the Baclayon Church. The island is famous for proficient whale and dolphin hunters that have now turned into whale and dolphin guides. Most of these whale guides have proven to be experts as evident in the skeletal remnants of whales and other marine mammals mounted on their house walls. Indeed, the whaling industry on the island prevailed for several generations. In time, established laws were strictly enforced to preserve the marine life and forbid any form of dolphin and whale hunting around the Pamilacan Island. Local dolphin and whale hunters still continued to grab opportunities related to their level of expertise, and ended up as guides instead. They have become extremely skilled in locating underwater mammals with accuracy even without the aid of any GPD equipment. The now marine sanctuary is well visited by foreigners and continues to be a main attraction of the town.
The best time to go whale and dolphin sighting is during the months between April to June when the waters are calm and clear. The activity also makes it safer and more convenient to tourists. All the whales and most of the dolphins are mostly active during night times and in the early mornings, which means the best schedule for the trip is at dawn. Dolphins are usually spotted at any point of the day. Whales, however, are much harder to find as they come out irregularly. Among the smaller-sized species of whales, the melon-headed whales, the pygmy killer whales and the short-finned whales are usually spotted in groups around the island. The bigger types of whales such as the Byrde’s whales and the sperm whales can only be sighted by a few lucky ones.
Whale and dolphin watching in Bohol is a fascinating and unique activity that should be part of the itinerary of every visiting tourist. Travelers may avail of packaged whale and dolphin watching tours from travel agencies found in Tagbilaran City and in the beach resorts of the Panglao Island. These packaged tours are usually reasonably priced and include the trained and experienced guides of the island. Going whale and dolphin watching is an exciting way to marvel at the underwater life as it surfaces, and it will surely lead its visitors to develop a more caring and compassion attitude for the creatures who share our earth with us—under the waters.