Wondering where to head next this year where you can both enjoy the serene and the urban, immerse in both the countryside and the rocking metro, or perhaps have a vacation and study at the same time? Dumaguete City might be that place for you!
Read it over in social media and I did see it myself, Dumaguete City is one of the most sustainable cities in the country. Cost of living is low, but provides an equally gratifying metro feel. Known as the university town, this capital city of Negros Oriental is the largest in the province and is home to four huge universities and many other colleges, making the place a converging point for young people to seek higher learning. Siliman University, a protestant school and the first American school in Asia, is one of the four, along with St. Paul University, established by sisters of Saint Paul of Chartes in France, regarded as the first Saint Paul school in the Philippines. Foundation University, a private non-sectarian school which offers a complete educational system from kindergarten to college, and the Negros Oriental State University, a government institution, are the other two.
Located at the southern portion of the province of Negros Oriental, Dumaguete City is strategic both to trade and, well, pirates. No wonder the city’s name was derived from the words “daggit” and “dumaguet” which mean “to snatch and to swoop”, respectively. The famous Dumaguete Belfry was built to address the concern of marauding pirates. Built in 1760s, it was rebuilt in 1870s to discourage people from pillaging the town.
Just like Roxas Boulevard of Manila, Rizal Boulevard of Dumaguete offers a tranquil walk of about 800 meters facing the sea on one side, and the many establishments on the other. Travelers can choose from a plethora of treats, or simply sit on one of the benches and observe how the townsfolks while their time, as you while yours.
When you finally decide to visit, don’t overlook the adjacent town of Valencia. Getting there is best by renting a motorcycle (we got ours at 250 pesos for the whole day, the gas is on us), just as going around the city is. Dumaguete, unlike Cebu or Davao, is a relatively small one. People, locals and tourists alike, will opt to walk or ride bikes. It is important, however, that your driving license is ready.
The town of Valencia is where you can find the Red Rock Falls. Because of the rich iron deposit and what other sorts of minerals are there, the rocks are literally bloody red. It is an amazing view, indeed! The other one is the Filipino – American – Japanese Amity Shrine. This is a reminder of the losses of World War II. Enshrined on top of a hill, the place will give you a great view of Dumaguete City. The hard part, though, is getting there. We almost got ourselves killed because the road was uncemented and we lost our balance. We just hope the road will be better when you visit, or when we come back.
Because we were so tired that day, we decided to dip in a local hotspring. Afterwhich, we went back to the city to catch some other sites. We ended the day with a sumptuous dinner at Moon Café and a mouth-watering coffee and sans rival at the famous Sans Rival House along Rizal Boulevard. Do not leave Dumaguete without tasting these delights.
Finally, find comfort in Harold’s Mansion as your choice of accommodation. Unlike many hotels and inns where everything is made for you, this unique place allows you to enjoy the DIYs of things. Check in to find out. =)
So there you go, Dumaguete City is such an amazing place to visit. I find no words to describe the beauty of the place. Only stepping on the very ground will describe how great the place is. Dumaguete City, known to many as the City of Gentle People, is challenging us to know why it’s regarded as such. It’s more fun in the Philippines, and thank God there is Dumaguete to boost our claim. =)