We head to Donsol to try and swim with the elusive Philippine buntanding (whale shark). Once a guaranteed sighting, it appears numbers have slumped in recent years. After two boat trips with no sightings we are giving up hope, but decide to try once more. In the middle of the trip there is a flurry of activity and the guide shouts for us to put our masks and fins on. As the boat speeds across the sea to a spot when one has been sighted we hold on hoping it doesn’t dive. The guide shouts ‘go go go’ and we all leap into the water. ‘Look down’ he yells and we all gaze below as a whale shark glides underneath us. I take a quick gasp of air and swim down alongside it, having a brief moment before it dives. We would have liked longer with the buntanding but we feel lucky to have seen one.