Ok this was four weeks ago, and I only have very little time to write this travel entry. So this is how it goes: We went to Dumaguete City to run in the Milo Marathon leg happening out there, and we got more than we signed up for. It ranked one of my best travel outing in years.
It’s my first time to be in a group trip in travelling since those wide-eyed years in my school’s field trip missions. Thankfully the group of guys I was with are runners with common goals to run in the marathon, and it’s their first time to visit Dumaguete. So I got to share their amazement upon entering the city, they don’t stand a chance but to fall in love with the place. And for me, It’s my third time around but the feeling is still the same. Man, only God knows how much I want to live there. Maybe someday when I’m old and filthy rich.
Dumaguete, a city and a true gem of the Visayas. It’s a melting pot of brains and wit, of riches and beauty, of charms and great foods. Well at least that is how I see the city. When I hear the word Dumaguete it basically equates to Silliman University, one of the premier learning institution in the country. They are synonymous to my ears. It’s a city of brains and attracting a lot more, and melding a lot more young brains because Silliman University is there. My big sister went there, my cousins went there, some of my boss went there, and the turn out of their careers speaks the quality of learning they got there. That alone is a beauty worth visiting. And not surprisingly the University itself is one big tourist attraction. I’ve been able to visit the big universities in Manila and Cebu and none of them really compares to Silliman when it comes to aesthetics, architecture and the general good vibes environment. It’s a peaceful and beautiful campus they got out there.
And here come’s the other good part of Dumaguete: the FOOD. The city is not gentle to the stomach, it is wrapped with foods, almost literally. As you walks the streets of the city you’ll notice that not a street or a block that you don’t see a restaurant or any establishments offering foods. My cousin, Atty. Dinah Chu, took care of the food stuff as we entered the city on Day 1. She took us to Moon Cafe near Silliman University, it’s a Mexican restaurant and I absolutely have no idea what to order (I only know 1 Mexican food, the nachos haha). Man, the food was great I don’t even know what’s their name nor the ability to describe the dishes. Basta it was one great lunch experience and it’s free! Thank you Ate Dinah, awesome cousin! 🙂
After that, we hangout on the University, and visited the amphitheater near the UCCP Church for pictorial purposes. I wish I brought my frisbee disc. Ate Dinah took us to the building where her Law Office was, only to find out she’s taking us to a great but cheaper-than-the-city coffee shop! I love coffee, and it really does taste better with company and on a good place. The shop’s name is Poppy Coffee and Cupcakes, it’s located at the Portal West building.
And the next stop to our running trip that quickly turned into a gastronomic pornocopia is Dumaguete’s go-to-guy when it come to pasalubong. Guys meet the famous Sans Rival, home of the mega-sweet Dumaguete pasalubong silvanas. Cousin dear, dropped us in our hotel and told us the place is just around the corner should we visit something sweet. And visit we did, and ate we did too! Man, Sans Rival boasts home cooked pastries and cakes. The group decided this is the place to hold our carbo-loading session for the next morning’s marathon, and we end up laughing as we officially called the experience “sugar-loading station”.
Barely 6 hours since entering the city and we already visited 3 food shops! So we took a break and stoll in Dumaguete City’s heart and soul and the very source of it’s charm according to the eyes of this traveler: the Rizal Boulevard. More than a hundred years ago our national hero Jose Rizal strolled in this very place for a few days before being sent to Dapitan for his long exile. Just the mere fact that The Rizal was here in this boulevard is enough to appreciate the significance of the place. There were people walking around out there, with their families and their own businesses that brings them there at the boulevard. Emphasized by the orange lights, the trees lining up the boulevard seemed to echo to us a warm whisper of assurance that we are welcome here. You are welcome here, old sport. It was charmingly beautiful.
We were still full when darkness came, and we decided to stroll a little and eat a little more carbohydrates, not the sugarhydrates if possible. And we saw Pasta King just near our hotel. They serve authentic Italian pasta and pizzas and stuffs like that. A bowl of pasta and a beer would have sufficed the carbs needed for the upcoming 21K, until they served them. Man, they’re big! Good thing I brought a (gorgeous Sillimanian) friend (I met at the Park earlier) to share it with. A marinara bowl never tasted this good. hehe
By the way stayed at the Honeycomb Inn by the Rizal Boulevard. We checked in here when my sister graduated years ago. And this time around I brought my running buddies there too. It’s not an expensive place to stay but the service is good. The rooms are clean and the mobile data signal seems to get lost from time to time. It’s a good place with great location, I will not mind coming back again.
The last stop of our gastromic quest came during lunch time post-race with a medal on my neck to boast. We checked out this curious place Ms. Gorgeous recommended us. It’s a treehouse. Or a restaurant with a tree on middle of it! The place is called Hayahay Restaurant and they serve some really good eye-popping seafoods, and they are delicious! The place would have been good on a summer night’s dream with the lights and the warm breeze coming of the seascape of the place. But this is lunch and we have to eat to recover some lost strength after the race, and gain enough energy to get us through the long trip back home to Cebu then to Leyte for me. And report for work the next day. Seafoods did just that and more. And make sure to try out their Dumaguete Express!
And then the hard part came, coming home which means leaving this beautiful city. Leaving Dumaguete is always the stressful and hardest part, the dirtiest and heaviest to the soul, because right there at that place you see beauty and good foods and amazing people to hangout with even for just a weekend, and you somehow forgot the shit stuffs in our real world because out there are all-things-bright-and-wonderful. I guess these are what travelling do: an escape from thy comfort zone, to feel a different vibes tot soul, to find a different atmosphere and a better perspective, to get lost but only because to find and rediscover ourselves. Dumaguete is a 3hours drive to Cebu after a 30minute boat ride, then my hometown is a 6hour overnight sea voyage from Cebu. So imagine the amount of time I have to plan for my next trip there! Haha, of course I still miss the place but no worries I’m going back there this November for another half-marathon and I’m bringing my sibling that time. That’s a promise I’m definitely looking forward to.
Folks, that’s my my weekend in Dumaguete, a place who took me away and made me not want to leave. Now who’s the castaway?