The City of Gentle People | Dumaguete 2015

tumblr_inline_ntkn0wPr441ss2yvs_540

Known as “The City of Gentle People”, I’m so proud to call Dumaguete, my hometown. I can’t say that I’ve spent a lot of time here growing up, but in the last couple of years, I’ve really learned to embrace the place as my second home. Aside from visiting family, I just love Dumaguete for being such a great place for sun, sand and blue skies. With an abundance of beach resorts, I never fail to make it a point to spend time under the sun each trip.

image
 
image
 
image

 

I visited Pura Vida Beach & Dive Resort in Dauin. It’s around a 40 minute drive from Dumaguete’s city center. The resort is very well-maintained, and complete with rest huts, a spa, pool and beach.

The good thing about these beach resorts in Dumaguete are that most accept walk-in customers for the day. They charge an entrance fee that’s usually at PHP200+ and these are usually consumable at the resort for food and/or drinks.

It was nice enjoying time under the sun and to finally get the long overdue tan that I need. August is actually known as the Philippines’ rainy season so lucky for me, the sun came out. But I guess the sun couldn’t take it as after about three hours into our time at Pura Vida, the sun felt it was time to hide beneath the clouds again so we decided to call it a day.

image

 

Next up was Tejero Highland Resort and Adventure Park located in Valencia. With an abundance of spacious pools, a zipline and ATV’s, this resort was definitely worth it for its PHP60 entrance fee which included making use of their swimming pools! Definitely a lot cheaper compared to Pura Vida but quick note, it was not consumable. Which to be honest, I don’t even mind! I heard you could even do your own grilling and bring in your own food. It was about PHP200 to rent a cottage which included a sitting area and table. Overall, Tejero’s was very much worth it! Would definitely come here again over Pura Vida if you ask me.

image

 

Another adventure I went on during my stay in Dumaguete was a trip to Pulangbato Falls, also located in Valencia. It’s about a 40 minute drive from the city. Now your drive to the falls will be an adventure in itself with uncemented roads but as you near the falls, you start seeing clouds of white steam rising from the rocks which turned out to be from sulfur fumes. This then causes the stones around Pulangbato to redden. Hence, Pulangbato Falls – or translated as “Red Stone Falls”.

Getting down to the actual falls is no easy task. There are stairs that lead you down but you’re on your own conquering the flowing water and uneven rocks. Now we couldn’t have gone all this way without taking a dip. Unfortunately, for us, it just so happened that rain was headed our way so the falls were very, very forceful. I repeat, very. I felt like I was going to end up down the stream because of how strong the water flow was! It was also very, very cold so we didn’t even manage to check out the neighbouring falls which flowed in fresh water or the concrete natural pool of the area. Still a unique experience for me because it was actually my first time at a waterfall.

image

 

On one of our more lazy days when we ran out of things to do, we went for an impulsive drive to Agan-an Sibulan Beach. Now it can’t compare to the beaches of Mactan, Cebu but it was a nice place within the city to just getaway for an afternoon. I’d imagine it being even more perfect with a book at hand!

Moments like this really allow me to embrace life. I’d say especially for someone like me who’s so used to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. It’s nice to just stop and appreciate life for all it is and appreciate the natural beauty.

Dumaguete is one of my favourite places to be and I definitely can’t wait for the next time I’ll be back.

Quick Getaway to my Roots | Dumaguete

image

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)!.

image

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!

image

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!

image

image

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.

image

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!