It's good to travel where you can unwind and feel the serenity of the place, and that may be why I was brought by my wishes to the city of gentle people--Dumaguete.
Back in Manila, I was thinking of a place where I could rejuvenate and regain my energy. I am lucky to have a friend who can share something about his beloved city, and the desire was unstoppable--turned into reality.
In the first few days of my stay, I met friends who toured me around. The boulevard can become a busy street but with a relaxing ambiance, and it is where I spent some time meditating in front of the bay. Sitting on a bench while observing the surroundings made me feel the spirit of gentleness in people. The smiles, laughter, kindness, and hospitality make this place beautiful and worth remembering.
In every city that offers specialty food, Dumaguete has different tastes to cater to every visitor. 'Casablanca' has a Mediterranean feel as they serve tasty soup and salad. In C&L Bayview, you can have a relaxing view from the roof deck overlooking the mystical Island of Siquijor and the southern town of Cebu. There's also a certain glow at night as you feel the cool breeze from the bay and the view of the mountains from its neighboring town.
Near the boulevard were bistros and cafes where I tasted mouthwatering pastries and a cup of coffee. 'Sans Rival Bistro' is an excellent place to dine with friends. Their old-time favorite silvanas and sans rival made me come back several times at any time of the day. After a meditation class at the stadium, there's Gabby's bistro to offer a good breakfast while having some chat. An evening chill at 'Hayahay" treehouse had a wonderful candlelight experience with relaxing music and a natural sea breeze. On a multi-tasking day, I spent lunch in 'Kyosko' with a friend while working on my computer for a writing task. In 'KRI,' a cup of warm ginger lemonade is soothing just before giving a talk to a youth group in Silliman. A sumptuous meal with new friends and enjoying shared stories and experiences.
Since I've known a good friend at Silliman University, I am lucky to have been allowed to deliver a talk to the 'Rennaisance Youth Leaders Forum" which is an outstanding youth organization in the country. It's always good to inspire young minds to become active leaders with balanced energy to unleash their potential and eventually become world-class leaders.
I had a campus tour with a friend, and we walked from the facade and hallways of each department and visited old structures like Silliman Hall, the oldest structure in the school. There's a vast auditorium used for cultural shows and other events, and they boast a 3-story building library full of historical documents.
Outdoor, they have a good playground where students can sit or play frisbee. From the central ground overlooking the bay, an open-air amphitheater faces the church, and the acacia trees in the promenade offer a calming effect. This is truly one of the best Universities in the country, offering world-class education not only for Filipinos but also for foreign students who trust the quality of education they offer. A brief tour of the campus gave me nostalgic moments from the past, and I learned something about the university's history and culture, which is incomparable.
There's a reason to return and experience all the good things the city has to offer. There's more to explore and experience since Dumaguete is also a gateway to several natural wonders and scenic spots. There's an Apo island sanctuary to experience abundant marine life with corals, fishes, and sea turtles. Also, the Island of Siquijor would be a good summer escapade to experience unspoiled beaches and fresh air. Another activity which is snorkeling with the whale shark, would be an exciting experience in the southern town of Cebu. All these are worth experiencing as everyone would talk good stories about it.
Dumaguete is one of the best destinations I've visited in the country. With all these beautiful places, the gentleness and hospitality of the people summarize the overall experience and wanting me to return. I've been to places in the region, but the city of gentle people is fascinating and worth remembering.
© 2014 Del Cusay