Early morning at Rizal Boulevard
When I asked permission from my boss for a 1.5 day (Fri-Sat) vacation leave (VL) a month from our scheduled trip, she asked me where I was going, and I said 'Dumaguete.' She asked me why I chose this place, and clearly at that time, I still had quite a vague idea of this destination. I just knew it's one of the places I have to see. She suggested that I go to Boracay
, since I have never been there, and she said I am already missing half of my life because I've never touched the sand of this place. And I thought, although Boracay may be a heaven, maybe now is not yet the time. She said yes anyways and I felt like I have won a door prize-- having a vacation, finally. So why not Dumaguete? I have never fully realized why, until day 3 was over, and the entire trip was done.
Last night at Honeycomb
The fare then was very cheap, Philippine Airlines made a very good offer at Php 998 per one way trip. It was a pretty good deal that I even got to treat my brother the airfare who was celebrating his birthday on our planned take-off. The hostels around the city were also inexpensive. We got a deal at Honeycomb Tourist Inn for Php 1,100/night for a room that can accommodate 4 people. We even had a view overlooking the bay. The location was perfect as we were right in the heart of the city, along Rizal Boulevard. The proximity of the city to other key tourist destinations is also great, head on a 40 minute roadtrip to Zamboangita, and then you're off to a 45 minute boat ride to Apo Island
, or you can head on an hour trip North, and you'll get to Bais City which also happens to have Tanon Strait---home of the friendly dolphins, within its locality.
Having a hearty meal while on a budget could not be a problem. A yummy chicken barbeque meal costs only 67 pesos in a downtown food place called 'City Burger'. A great big breakfast of hungarian sausage with egg and garlic rice costs only 85 pesos at Mamias, a known breakfast and pastry heaven right along the Rizal Boulevard, which is only about 49 steps away from Honeycomb; and a fabulously filling meal of signature Filipino dishes for a group of 8 costs about 3,000 pesos at Lab-as. This includes the superb bulalo soup, grilled blue marlin and bangus, sisig and sizzling seafood plus a bottle of softdrinks. So far, so damn good.
The atmosphere was pretty laid back. I had totally forgotten about the worries of the workplace when I was there, and it made me really sad knowing we only had three days in it. A new friend of ours who happens to be the ex-bf of one of my great friends gave as a tour of the city at night.
Hanging Bridge at the Forest Camp
The people here really know how to have a good time. The stretch of Rizal Boulevard has cafes in the daytime transforming into bars at night. Hayahay, a local bar known for its cozy atmosphere, had tree houses and great live music from the talented locals paired perfectly. It was a good place to hang at, with an icecold beer at hand, and great friends as company. Payag sa Likod, located in a rather more remote area, but still within the city bounds was a great surprise. It had small nipa huts with papag
, local lamps and throw pillows. It was much like the set-up my brothers and I do at home when we have booze parties. The payag sling, its
signature drink was rather subtle, and the 8 of us almost had about a pitcher each, and we didn't even get a woozy feel.
Cozy Payag sa Likod
We had enough energy to chitchat when we got back to the hotel and to get up early the next day for a final trip around the city which included a survey of the forest camp, a visit to the extinct species of the spotted deers' home at Siliman University's Botanical and Zoological Center, and to complete our trip, pasalubong
shopping for our friends and family back home.
I now officially love Dumaguete. Now I am sure why this place is a 'must visit'. It certainly is something worth coming back to.
So why not Dumaguete?
Dumaguete Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
High in Hayahay
Here are the reasons Hayahay is a hit for me:
1. It has a good cozy concept perfect for the landscape.
2. The venue showcases amazing local musi… read entire review