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  • Dexter Salas

Why You Spend Vacation in Dumaguete City after Covid 19 Pandemic

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

Starting on November 1, 2021, the city government of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental has eased restrictions for the entire province to reopen the economy. This decision is to prepare the whole province to go back to the normal way of life like it has once been before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions throughout the country have been strict.

The pandemic and the resulting limits have affected many livelihoods and denied Filipinos and Ex-pats alike the opportunity to explore Dumaguete City, its surrounding towns, and most of the rest of the country. The decision to gradually open the country to travel and tourism will inject life into what was once vibrant and buzzing. During the last nineteen months of restrictions, considered one of the tightest in the world, businesses have closed down.

As a result, livelihoods were altered, and many of our lives have been affected in one way or the others throughout the country. As a native of Dumaguete, I was saddened by the world-turning events that have brought my City, and the entire country, to its knees. But now, the bright rays of hope are upon us.

Though travel restrictions have since been eased, it is still mandatory to wear facemasks in public places and public utility vehicles. Every passenger has to report their identity on all embarkation ports to help with contact tracing in case the health authorities need it. The social distancing between persons is 1 meter apart. But those restrictions were worlds apart than before.

Fortunately, if you spend a week or two in Dumaguete City, you will never forget the experience from all the sights, sounds, and tastes of what Dumaguete City and the surrounding towns of Negros Oriental have to offer.

Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental has every reason to earn is one of the best tourist spots in the country. Now that the pandemic is coming to a close, Dumaguete City and its surrounding locales of Negros Oriental should deserve a place in your heart as one of the most desirable places in the country to live and to take a vacation in.

And now, I will show you just a few reasons why you should spend a week or two, or even longer, in Dumaguete City for a vacation.

Nightlife on the Rizal Boulevard:

The nightlife in Dumaguete City is a stark contrast to the comparatively quiet atmosphere of the City at day time. Before the pandemic, students from Silliman and other colleges flock to the City’s numerous night spots to drink, be merry, enjoy live music, and gorge on the freshly-cooked “pulutan” that goes with cold bottles of beer. Nowadays, because of the restrictions, many of the bars have capacity requirements. Nevertheless, it is now picking up the pieces and slowly coming back to life.

Famous landmarks along Boulevard. The most renowned are the Hayahay Bar and Tree House with its famous Reggae band that plays on Wednesday nights, Cocos Amigos bar with its Mexican food, Why Not Disco with its techno music, and Tiki Bar for its beach party atmosphere.

Silliman University and Museum

Check out the rich art and history of Negros Oriental and its people placed on display in Silliman University’s museum. Situated right at the centre of Dumaguete City, Silliman University has earned its acclaim to being one of the country’s top universities producing many of its leaders and professionals who have stamped their class in the country and the country world over. There are areas within the campus that are open to tourists, and one of them is its museum.

Dive Spots: Apo Island, Dauin, Negros Oriental

In 2008, Sport Diver Magazine, the world’s top authority in dive sites, listed Apo Island as one of the top 100 diving spots in the world. Silliman University, led by Dr. Angel Alcala, a marine scientist of the university, introduced to the locals the importance of creating a marine sanctuary in the area.

A cove on one side of the island is a perfect snorkeling site even for amateur divers. The pristine coral reef presents a wide diversity of marine life that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world within a short walk from your accommodations, such as Apo Island Beach Resort and the numerous home s-style B&B’s dotting the island itself.

The main advantage of the island is its facilities for diving where compressors and tanks are available. Moreover, there is a sanctuary for sea turtles on one side of the island where one can swim among them. The island is easily accessible by motorized Banca from the village of Malatapay, Zamboanguita, Negros Occidental.

Explore remarkable sights in nearby towns

Pamplona: The mountain chapel and springs

Just an hour’s drive away from the centre of the City is Pamplona and its mountain ridges. A long walk from the Poblacion is the sulfuric waterfalls best known as the Palaypay Falls. The scenic views from the cliffs overlooking the plains of Pamplona offer a fantastic view punctuated by the views offered at the Mountain Chapel in Barangay San Isidro. The famous Bodbod comes from the town.

Valencia: Lanzones, Majestic views, Mount Talinis, a rich history, and the Casaroro Falls

Casaroro Falls is perhaps the most photographed body of water in the province.

It’s cool waterfalls amidst lush greenery and natural rock formation, and the water gushes down to a swimming hole. But the university town’s major attraction doesn’t end there. Mount Talinis is a site of numerous volcanic crater lakes and has a rich biodiversity. Tejero Highland Resort and Adventure Park offer the best value for relaxation and recreation with zipline, ATVs, Water slides, natural pools, and a hotel. Fruit sellers offer larger-than-usual lanzones at affordable prices.

Sibulan: La Preza Highland and Mini Park, Mount Balinsasayao Crater Lake, and golf

Sibulan is the location of Dumaguete airport and Lake Balinsasayao and Lake Danao, surrounded by lush greenery perfect for picnics in the quiosks dotting its shores. Dumaguete’s nearest golf course is also a short drive away from the coastal city. La Preza Highland offers a spectacular view of the surrounding plains and is also a popular picnic site.

Bacong: the nearest beaches from Dumaguete City

Bacong is a short drive away from the city center and contains the nearest beach resorts from Dumaguete City. Numerous beach resorts string the length of the shore of Bacong punctuated by the treehouse, which presents an affordable and idyllic recreation site for local families and vacationers.

Easy Access to Siquijor Island and Cebu City

The Ferry Terminal along the boulevard is the main point of embarkation for ferries that service the routes between Dumaguete and the provinces of Siquijor and Cebu City. Siquijor itself is inaccessible directly by plane. Instead, the highly recommended course is to fly from Manila by Air to Dumaguete City and book a ferry ride to Siquijor. Siquijor Island is a distinct province that is unexplored by most tourists. It has many beautiful beaches and dive sites that are strung throughout the island. Three trips are coming from Dumaguete daily, so you can’t miss the opportunity to explore this gem of neighboring islands.

The Food:

The renowned Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries. San Jose St. Dumaguete City

Tourists and locals can’t leave Dumaguete without taking some of the famous Sans Rival and Silvanas from the renowned pastry shop located at San Jose St. in Dumaguete City. There are many versions of these pastries that can be found globally, but there is nothing quite like those offered here and at an affordable price. Located just a short walk from Rizal Boulevard, this is a perfect place to have coffee while enjoying these among other pastries on offer.

Hayahay Treehouse Bar and Roofdeck. Piapi, Dumaguete City

Enjoy the famous Cebu Lechon and fresh seafood in this restaurant right along Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City. Its more subdued life in the day explodes during the night. People flock to this place for rounds of beer and to hear live band performances while enjoying much of the sumptuous food that never disappoints locals and tourists alike. In Central Visayas, the word “hayahay” means “airy,” “comfortable,” “relaxed,” which are just a few words that can describe how hanging out here can be for you.

Painitan sa Tiangge. Dumagute Public Market

Enjoy the famous bodbod with chocolate syrup in the mornings at the tiangge at the Dumaguete’s public market. Locals usually point visitors to try this place. The place is perfect for morning coffee along with your bodbod while you join locals who are on their way to work.

Gabby’s Bistro. Rizal Blvd. Dumaguete City

If you somehow miss continental or Italian cuisine, then this is the place to drop by. Enjoy a most varied menu at affordable prices. Best place yet, it is right along Rizal Boulevard and offers a quaint atmosphere perfect for daytime hangouts.

Mifune Japanese Restaurant. Santa Catalina St. Dumaguete City

For our Japanese visitors, along with gourmands who somehow miss Japanese food, Mifune offers, to me, the closest taste to an authentic Japanese food as I can ever get this side of the island. The price is also comparatively affordable given the quality of the food.

Moreover, Sake is available to make sure you hit the right spot and take yourself halfway to Japan somehow while idling in Dumaguete. But what surprised me was Vietnamese coffee! You have to try that too!

As I mentioned, these are just a few of the most remarkable sights, sites, places, activities, and tastes Dumaguete and its surrounding towns can offer. Not only is a vacation house rental here so affordable, but there is also one more great reason why one should take a vacation here. A long one. Now, I reserve the last mention about Dumaguete for its people. It’s no surprise that Dumaguete’s tagline is the City of Gentle People because they really are. I have never been turned away whenever I ask for directions, and people have always gone out of their way to help me find the best and most affordable ride around the City and in the surrounding towns. The Philippines, in general, is renowned the world over for its friendly people. And the rest of the Philippines point to Dumaguete City as having the nicest people. That tells a lot about how awesome and the gentle people of Dumaguete City really are.

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