Friday, March 29, 2013

Simple, Beautiful, Dumaguete

I have never thought I'd like the City of Dumaguete so much. It was my first summer trip for 2013: Dumaguete-Siquijor.  Upon landing in Dumaguete Airport, Yan and I proceeded to the Island of  Siquijor via ferry and stayed there for a night.  Click here to read our overnight Siquijor trip.

This is more of a continuation of the Siquijor blog post, this was the second and final stop for our first trip this summer. Let's go to Dumaguete City...

From Siquijor we boarded Ocean Jet going back to Dumaguete Port. Click here for the info on ferry schedules and other details.

From the port we took a tricycle for Php 50 going to Go Hotels Dumaguete, where we stayed for 2 more nights. I highly recommend this hotel.  Aside from  being so affordable, the rooms are clean, new, and very comfortable. It's always situated beside a Robisnsons Mall, so that makes it even more convenient.  It is certainly a great value for money. For more info and other branches, you may visit their website at

We arrived Dumaguete at 4 in the afternoon and were able to start our quick city tour at past 5PM. It's beginning to get dark so the tour was pretty short. Dumaguete City is a small and friendly city.  Walking around is not a problem.  If you get tired, just hail one of those tricycles to take you to your destination.  At the time we were there, it costs Php 9 per person. It does not matter if you're the only passenger or the tryk is full, the fare is just the same.  I saw no jeepneys driving around the city, the tricycles are the king of the road here. Just outside Robinsons Mall, there's a tricycle terminal.

Where we went...


It is known as the oldest Belfry in the province of Negros Oriental. It stands beside the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.

DUMAGUETE CATHEDRAL CHURCH (St. Catherine of Alexandria)

The Catherine of Alexandria Church is more known to the locals as the Dumaguete Cathedral Church.  It prides itself in being the oldest stone church in Negros.


The city plaza is right in front of the church.

We'll never miss the street food!


When in Dumaguete City, your city tour won't be complete without paying a visit to the infamous Silliman University. Dumaguete is known to be the "Center of Learning in the South" because of its universities which made their mark locally and abroad.

You are free to tour around the university.  Visit their museums, gymnasium, zoo, etc.  It's really big and there are lots to see. Too bad it was late when we got there and the establishments we wished to visit were already closed.  They close around 4-5PM. So be sure to get there earlier if you want to enter those.


A famous landmark and hang out place as well in the city.  Rizal Boulevard is pretty much like the Roxas Boulevard in Manila.  Silliman University and this landmark are just close to each other. You can either walk of get a quick tricycle ride to go between these places.

Rizal Boulevard by day

Rizal Boulevard at night

There are some souvenir vendors along the boulevard. There's also a part where mini tables and chairs were set up and food vendors lined up to serve the customers.

Picking another addition to my travel ref magnet collection

Balut, penoy, and other street foods are served in this area by the bay

My favorite part in the boulevard was the "zone therapy"!  There were about 6 spots along the side road where you can see them.  They just let you sit on a chair, and there you have it! A massage by the bay.  It only costs Php 50 for a 30-minute foot reflexology, which was so awesome after days of walking and touring places, and Php 100 for an hour of body massage.

Cheap massage at Rizal Boulevard


For dinner, we went to Atong Kamalig which was pretty famous as well. It's a barbeque "paluto" type of resto. On some nights, there's a band playing.  It's not far from Rizal Boulevard and Silliman.

There's chicken, pork, seafood, you name it!


Panda's fried ice cream is popular with the tourists. It's one of the must-try's in Dumaguete City.   So we paid Panda's Ice Cream Haus a visit to check out the delightful ice cream offerings they have.

Blog post soon!

Panda's fried ice cream in Pandan and Vanilla flavors

Rocky Road Mini Sundae at Panda's Ice Cream Haus


We spent the next day at Apo Island.  You can get here by 30-min bus ride and a 40-min (horrifying) boat ride. Yes, horrifying. The waves were being and the ride was very choppy at the time of our trip to this small island.

But what's our prize?
Wild sea turtles!

Yes, you can see them up close, swim with them, marvel at these beautiful sea creatures as long as you can take the harsh sun.

Apo Island is also a great dive site. It is not ideal for swimming, but the wonderful marine life under the water is one thing Apo Island is so famous for.

More details about Apo Island and how to get there soon. Watch our for a blog post about Apo Island.


On our third day in Dumaguete City, it's time to bid goodbye. We checked out at 11AM and went to Robinsons to have lunch and buy pasalubong at Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries.

Their Silvanas is dubbed as the most famous pasalubong from Dumaguete. So don't miss this nice resto in the city.

We were surprised to see the prices of the food, they were super cheap! In Manila you have to spen about Php150 and up if you want to have "coffee" with your friends. Here in Sans Rival, your  Php 50 will serve you very well with a cup of brewed coffee and a pastry or cake slice of your choice.  I'll blog more about the goodness of Sans Rival soon! 

Here's a re-cap of the itinerary of the entire 4 days - 3 nights Siquijor-Dumaguete trip:

Day 1: Siquijor
7:00 AM - ETD Manila to Dumaguete
8:10 AM - ETA Dumaguete
8:30 AM - Ride tricycle from airport to Dumaguete Port
9:00 AM - Arrive Dumaguete Port. Buy ferry tickets.
10:45 AM - Board Ocean Jet ferry to Siquijor
11:45 AM - Arrive Siquijor port. Get a tricycle to do an island tour. Last stop would be the resort  where you will be staying at.
4-6 PM (depending on your stops and length of time spent in each) - Arrive at the resort, check in.

Click here to check out the Siquijor part of this entire tour.

Day 2: Dumaguete City Tour
1:30 PM - Leave resort and head to Siquijor Port.
2:30 PM - Board Ocean Jet ferry going to Dumaguete Port
3:30 PM - ETA Dumaguete Port. Ride a tricycle going to Go Hotels Dumaguete. Check in.
5:00 PM - City tour: Cathedral Church, Bell tower, Silliman University, Rizal Boulevard
7:30 PM - Dinner at Atong Kamalig and desserts at Panda's Ice Cream

Day 3: Apo Island
9:00 AM - Go to Ceres Bus Line and catch bus going to Bayawan. You must get off at Malatapay Market where the boats to Apo Island are.
9:30 AM - Boat ride to Apo Island
5:00 PM - Back at hotel
More details can found on a separate blog ppost about Apo Island - to be published soon.

Day 4: Buy pasalubong and go back to reality
11:00 AM - Check out. Lunch and buy pasalubong at Sans Rival in Robinsons Mall
2:00 PM - Go to airport (Go Hotels / Robinsons Mall is about 15-20 mins from the airport)
3:50 PM - ETD

Other places you can visit while in Dumaguete which we did not had the chance to are: Bais Bay for dolphin watching, Manjuyod Sand Bar, Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao, and the Casaroro Falls.

Hope this post helped you plan your very own trip to these places.

Yan told me that when he retires, he wants us to live in Dumaguete City. That's how much he loved it.

It was one wonderful trip in these 2 neighboring provinces in Negros, both are gems. I want to explore the other beautiful places in the Negros regions. I know there are more to see.  So on your next trip, forget the popular, try something along the road less traveled, and you might be just surprised and awed with the wonderful creations you'll find. ♥

See all TRAVEL posts.

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xoxo, Monique

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