I have to be honest. Dumaguete was never a place I thought of as fun or relaxing. That’s only because all of my previous trips there were for work, and strictly work alone.
I was always in such a rush when I was there. We would fly in with barely any time between our arrival and our scheduled meetings. Then, we would fly out immediately after work was done. I find this absolutely ironic. My first impression of Dumaguete City was the complete opposite of what life there is really like. Of course, I never would have found this out had I not decided to give this place another chance.
It always felt to me like Dumaguete and I had unfinished business, hence the decision to go back on my own time, and at my own pace. Initially, my purpose was to gain some quiet time to reflect about recent life changes I’ve embarked on, and the challenges that this new chapter and purpose brings. I learned and accepted more about myself and where I am now during my days in Dumaguete. It may not have been my first time there, but it truly felt like I was discovering this fantastic city for the first time, as I discovered my new self.
Closure. This is something that many of us need but never have the chance to get in life. This is what Dumaguete has given me. At a recent Landmark Forum Class I attended in Singapore, we were taught that the best way to gain closure from someone is to pour your heart out to them in a letter. So, armed with my pen and paper, I went off to Dumaguete to put my feelings into words. Sure, these were letters that I never intend to send, but getting things out of my system was healing enough on its own.
Every place I visited in Dumaguete served as a venue for me to write; a new experience, a new place discovered at the end of a new path. It was a chance to look ahead instead of look back, and exactly what I needed as I let go of aches and pains from the past. It was truly liberating.
You may have your own reasons for wanting to visit Dumaguete. I didn’t have any good ones just a few months ago. And now that I’ve admitted that I was so wrong, I’m excited to write about Dumaguete from my new perspective.
Let’s start off with some interesting facts about Dumaguete City.
- Dumaguete is a city located in Negros Oriental in the Visayas. It is the largest city in this province, and also its capital. Its neighbors are Bacolod, Cebu, Ilo-ilo and Bohol.
- It is nicknamed The City of Gentle People, and the people there really ARE kind and accommodating. After one day there, you’re sure to understand why the city has earned its moniker.
- The language commonly spoken in the region is Cebuano, but Tagalog and English are also widely understood.
- Life there is serene and laid-back – the total opposite of Manila’s hustle and bustle, which makes it perfect for those looking for a relaxing break.
- Food in Dumaguete is awesome. And affordable, too! There are many different places to eat, so you can never run out of choices.
- There are no traffic lights in the city. Yup, you read that right. People are generally disciplined and respectful of each on the road. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind as a pedestrian. Safety first, always!
- There are more motorcycles than cars on the road. The most common form of public transport there are their 6- to 8-seater tricycles.
- Some establishments accept credit cards, but most are on cash-basis. Philippine Peso is their currency.
- As with the rest of the Philippines, Dumaguete has two seasons – summer and rainy. If you prefer sunny days, April to August would be the best time to come.
- It’s known as a university town because of the many colleges and universities found there.
- You can tour the entire city in just a couple of days, but I recommend you spend at least 3 or 4 days there to really make the most out of the experience.
- If you want to explore even more, there are diving and dolphin-watching sites close by that you can add to your itinerary. I definitely encourage you to go for it!
Dumaguete is certainly worth it. Trust me. It may have taken some time for me to be convinced of this, and I hope I can convince you to not make the same mistake. My other posts about Dumaguete City say it all:
- 8 Wonderful Places You Must Make Time To See When In Dumaguete
- 9 Ultimate Must-Try Restaurants In Dumaguete (Plus The Best Places To Stay In The City)
Let me end by sharing my “Ms. TM’s Dumaguete revisiting tour loot”: Just closure, a happy heart and peace of mind. I couldn’t ask for more.
Always remember, travel enriches life. It teaches us to enjoy moments, to say goodbye to stress and embrace joy instead. Experience has taught me this, and I’m happy that I get to share my journeys with you now, too. Anytime you need help and tips finding worry-free, budget-friendly places to see, I’m here to help!