The Whale Shark, locally known as ‘Butanding’, is a slow filter feeding shark. It is the world’s largest living fish species. This distinctively-marked shark is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea.
Do you want to see these giant sea creatures in their natural habitat up-close and personal?
The town of Donsol in Sorsogon, Philippines holds an annual festival that ushers in the Butanding (Whale Shark) season.
Like most festivals in the country, a street parade highlights the Butanding Festival or Whale Shark Festival. The main attractions, however, are eco-trips into the sea organized by trained tour operators and guide for visitors who wish to see the Butanding that measures more than 10 meters and weigh over a ton.
The sea near the shores of Pilar, Donsol and Magallanes towns in Sorsogon and Pioduran in Albay is considered a “freeway” and migratory park for Butanding. Whale Sharks can be seen all-year round in the Sorsogon Bay but the most preferred watching season is from April to December.
Local folks were trained on how to take care of the Whale Sharks and the proper way to entertain visitors. Donsol is the place where many tourists can enjoy a boom from the Butanding eco-tourism trade due to its easy access from Legazpi City and Sorsogon City and the proactive stance of its people.
During this season, giant Whale Sharks take refuge in Sorsogon Bay where they fatten themselves on small prawns.
After enjoying and experiencing the one-of-a-kind Butanding Festival, you can also visit other tourist spots in the province of Sorsogon such as;
MountBulusan or Bulusan Volcano is one of the numerous active volcanoes in the Philippines. This towering volcano with an elevation of 5,077 feet above sea level resembles crawling giant in the middle of forest land which have been declared as a National Park.
This spectacular lake is located in the town of Bulusan. It has a circumference of 2,006 meters and has an elevation 2,084 feet above sea level. This geological wonder is estimated to be 374 years old.
This beautiful beach is long and sandy and an ideal place for boating, swimming and beach-combing. A rest house and a line of shore cottages amidst the abundant growth of coconut and fruit orchards provide the needs of tourists.
This tourist attraction is one of the most unique and fascinating site in Sorsogon. This unique spring has a pool with bubbling, cool and natural soda water.
Bato Limestone Cave of Bacon
There are 3 caves in the area. Two of these caves were used as burial grounds where various ancient artifacts were unearthed by a group of archeological team in 1956. The artifacts contained human bones, beads, seashells and shell drinking cups estimated to be 2,000 years old.
This astounding waterfall is located in Casiguran. It is surrounded by different flowering plants that provide a very inspiring view for tourists.
This natural spring situated in Irosin. The spring comes out from obscure fissures on the surface of the coolest and clearest water and on the other side emits thin smoke. There is an open space provided as bathing area.
TiklingIsland is a jewel with white sandy beach located in Matnog. The eastern side of the island fronts the San Bernardino Strait which washed to the island’s shore different kinds of seashells, a delight to beachcombers looking for seashells.
The beach boasts of white sandy beach surrounded by lush vegetation. Its unspoiled coral reefs are teeming with beautiful and colorful tropical fishes. In the nearby forest is a cave that caters big migratory bats.
On your way back to Manila you can also have the chance to view or visit the famous Mayon Volcano, the “world’s most perfect cone,” in Albay.