My hometown, Dumaguete, is known as The City of Gentle People, and is located in the Philippine province of Negros Oriental. It’s about an hour and fifteen minutes away from the capital of the Philippines, Manila.
What I like most about the city is how relaxed and slow paced it is. I mean coming from someone who’s lived in the hustle and bustle of busy Hong Kong, Dumaguete is definitely the perfect getaway. Don’t tell anyone but at 18, I’ve already planned to retire here. And to think I haven’t even began employment (oh dear)!.
Driving by the Rizal Boulevard is a must when visiting Dumaguete. Or actually, better yet, going for a stroll or light jog! The boulevard stretches from the Dumaguete port with a large variety of sidewalk cafes, restaurants and bars. I’d say, definitely try Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries – their Sans Rival and Silvanas are to die for! But do try their other cakes because they’re just as good!
Typically you’d find fish spas in Bangkok but located in Robinson’s Place, Dumaguete, is Tré Aqua Fish Spa. This was my first experience having doctor fish nibbling at my feet who are supposedly meant to exfoliate your feet as they nibble away the dead skin, allowing for a cleaner and newer layer of skin. It cost PHP150 for supposedly 30 minutes but bless the lady who worked there as she didn’t mind me extending to the point that I felt embarassed for overstaying my welcome!
A couple of years back, my family, along with a few of our family friends visited Bravo Golf Resort & Spa and had a generally enjoyable experience. At the time, it was still in development but the swimming pool was open to public. But this time…let’s just say I’d recommend you visit Tierra Alta or Azure Dive and Yoga Resort instead! The pool was still well maintained at Bravo – as well as their food service. But shower facilities and overall environment was fairly poor.
Of course, not everywhere I went and everything I did was photographed. Some of the good food places I devoured (yes, I just used the word, devoured!) at were:
- Moon Cafe: a Mexican-inspired restaurant – at least in terms of interior design! The food, definitely get their baby back ribs – amazing! And at such a reasonable price!
- Lab-as Seafood Restaurant: located facing Escaño Beach, it’s a great place to go for some seafood and some local cuisine. Also a friendly choice for non-seafood lovers like me, as meat choices were offered – I mean, come on, it’s a Filipino restaurant. There will always be meat.
- Hayahay Treehouse Bar and View Deck: typically best to be here at night for some live music and drinking. The live music doesn’t start till fairly later in the evening but it’s one of the best nightspots in Dumaguete.
- Gabby’s Bistro: my all-time favourite restaurant because of their countless of food choices! Never once have I not visited Gabby’s on a trip to Dumaguete! And props to the amazing interior of this place! Also, a must try is their Turon de Leche Flan. Can I just say AMAZING?!
- Dong Juan: dined here with childhood friends and was told that their ‘Double “D” Burger’ was good! I went for the Carbonara which was not too bad. It’s a mix of Filipino-Western inspired cuisine.
My trip was fairly short due to the fact that it was a family trip and unfortunately, both my parents weren’t granted leave, just short days off.
Back when Lolo was still here, I’d remember how he would try to convince me to move to Dumaguete and live with him and Mangmang. Now that he’s no longer here, he’s passed over the baton to Mangmang who does her best to convince me. I really wish I got to see her more..
Dumaguete is one of those cities for you to settle in – and one day I do hope that I could retire here with my future husband (hmm I better find him first!). This post does not do the city justice at all as my trip was more of a trip back home visiting Mangmang. Swimming, diving, snorkelling, eating – you name it! Dumaguete is one of those hidden gems in the Philippines and really is an amazing city to visit.
Stay tuned for my next blog post on our trip to Oslob, Cebu where we went whale shark watching!