Monday, June 10, 2013

Away from all the Hustle and Bustle: The Much-awaited R and R at Dumaguete

Tranquil, laid-back and sumptuous!  That's basically how I would describe Dumaguete in three words.  But Dumaguete is more than that!  The family's R and R was spent of course under a budget but still had basic things in mind such as safety, family-friendly accommodation, kid-friendly environment, and tourist-wise environment.
My husband and I have been traveling with our four kids for almost 7 seven years now (that does not include our Italy trip with my first two kids).  I can not say it was a perfect joy traveling with them, I'm sure every parent have their share of hassles while traveling with their progeny.  Specially now, that we have been roaming the country with a diabetic Type 1 child--who is only 9 years old.  It is a priority that her medical needs are met specially when traveling and walking around unfamiliar places.
It is but right to thank and give the praises back to the Almighty for giving us the financial blessing and strength to do so.   Every time we come to a newly discovered place, we see how magnificent our God is, how artistic, romantic and loving he is for the beauty of nature that He gifted us with.
The four day R and R, that's rest and recreation, was definitely short but sweet!  Proper planning had to be done to make each day fun and adventure-filled.  It was consoling to know that there are a lot of travel blogs that have been a lot of help on designing our itinerary.
Let me share the blogs that had helped me make our two-day Dumaguete trip.  Well, we did go there on a flight to Dumaguete, but since my Aunt came home from Milan, Italy, we promised to visit her and my uncle and some other relatives who live in Bayawan City, which is two hours drive from there.

Please, don't argue with me, when clicking on the sites, then finding out that it would all be about food.  Hahaha!  It was my benchmark when searching for Dumaguete where to's.  After all, it's said to be a haven for foodies.

Let me stress out that two days (or a day and a half) were not enough to explore the gastronomy of the island of Negros. Wahhh!  Makes us want to go back now.  I will have a separate post on where we dined at Dumaguete City.

Let me share the itinerary which we followed (not necessarily in detail though), which you might also have as a guide when you plan to do your own visit there.

First Day:
1.  Arriving at the airport by 8:30 AM.  Have breakfast at Why Not?, at the Rizal Blvd.
    Remark:  Initially, we planned to take the bus going to Bayawan.  But you need to take a tricycle ride to the station, (also take note that there are also UV express vans which is stationed on the street near the cathedral).  The tricycle ride is P 9.00 per head everywhere in Dumaguete.
2. Two-hour travel to Bayawan City, Negros Oriental.
    Remark:  We were just as blessed to be brought to Bayawan by van.  My uncle had my cousin fetch us from the airport. So we weren't able to have breakfast along the boulevard.  Instead, we were taken to a local carinderia at Siaton.
3. Go around the town of Bayawan, have a swim at the nearby beach at the boulevard.
Second Day:
1.  Visit relatives in Bayawan.
2.  Visit our uncle and aunt's hacienda at the mountain.
3. Try out several beach resorts along Bayawan and Basay.
Third Day:
1. Early travel (7 AM) to Antulang Resort.
2. Lunch at Antulang.
3. Check in at Island Leisure Boutique Hotel.
4. Have a snack at  Gabby's Bistro, at Hotel Florentina.
5. Check out the city's Boulevard, buy pasalubong at Sans Rival Cafe.
6. Dinner at Lab-as.
7. Check back in at the hotel.
Fourth Day:
1.  Breakfast at the hotel.
2. Visit Siliman University.
3. Take photos at Dumaguete Cathedral Church and Belfry of Dumaguete
4. Go to Robinson's Place, and have lunch at Mooon Cafe or Kalikaf Cafe.  Buy more pasalubong.
5. Check out, quick dip at the hotel's pool.
6. Have snack before going to the airport at Sta. Teresa Cafe.
7. Depart for Manila.
8. Arrival at Manila by 5:45 PM.
Tour with me and my four kids...

   My mom's family originated in the sleepy town of Bayawan which is now a city.  Famous for being one of the most cleanest city, you can always see people carrying a walis ting-ting and a dust pan.   Also said to be home of the gentle Visayan people, the city happens to be busy only in the morning, when children are off to school and parents off to the market or to their work places, and quiet when the sun sets in.
Another tip when traveling to far off places, contact relatives and ask for accommodations, you would either spend really less or not spend at all, with them being your host.

READ more of our Bayawan City vacay here:
   Aside from being a city of cleanliness, it also hosts mango trees abounding with fruits within reach.  This photo was taken at our uncle's hacienda - Villa Val, a coconut and what used to be sugar cane plantation, now mango farm.

Well-spent two days at Dumaguete
   We started our third day away from home early with a hefty (send-off) breakfast which was prepared by our host who came straight from Milan.  Then, a trip back to Dumaguete followed after.  But before we reached the city, we went to Antulang Resort first for a Walk in Day Trip.

   Antulang is actually the name of the town where the resort is situated, we even passed by the Antulang Elem. School.   One hour from Dumaguete, with a bumpy ride 9 kms. from the resort, might be enough to give you quite an excitement.  Once you reach the lobby, you will definitely say that the drive was worth it.

Read about how we marveled at Antulang Resort here.  Let me just share a few photos with you.

A Day to go Before we go back to our real world

   I was told that you can go around the city of Dumaguete in a day.  Though no taxi cabs are to be found, going around isn't that hard.  You can either rent your own motorcycle or have a tricycle take you to where you want to go.  Make sure to get a certified tourist driver so you can visit important places around the bustling city.

   But first we needed some relaxation, after a sweltering adventure at Antulang's cliffside to reach a stretch of isolated white beach.  We stayed at Island Leisure Boutique Hotel.

   The hotel which is just along Hibaard Rd. is unassumingly quaint, until you get in through their vibrant red door.

   My review will be up within this week:)

  Going down town...

   Known to Dumagueteños (people of Dumaguete) as the Dumaguete Cathedral Church, the, St. Catherine of Alexandria Church is one of the solid structural witnesses of Dumaguete’s rich history and culture – and why it is nicknamed The City of Gentle People.

   The Cathedral Church of Dumaguete in the Philippines boasts itself as the “Oldest Stone Church in Negros”. The church was originally built in 1754 to 1776. It was reconstructed in 1885 and the present facade was extended in 1936.

   A few more steps outside the gate will bring you to the Belfry of Dumaguete, the Dumaguete Cathedral Church is the main reason why the nearby Quezon Park is crowded on Sundays. This is the main Roman Catholic Church in the region and it is the seat of the Diocese of Dumaguete.
According to history, the bell tower was a watch-tower for pirates who may want to disturb the city

See how clean the streets are.

   Siliman University  is one of the oldest in the country, has been erected on August 28, 1901 after the treaty in Paris of 1898. The treaty that ended the 333 years of Spanish regime in the Philippines.   Only a few traces from the Spanish regime were left.   Somehow the university's authenticity has been preserved.  The school boasts for producing literary talents. This is one of the main reasons why Dumaguete is filled with Korean tourist, to study English in Siliman.

   The rear end of the Anthropology Museum inside Siliman.
   The museum which is faced on the city bay houses a glimpse of our Philippine history, some Muslim artifacts which belonged to Sulu's and it's sultan, Kiram.  You will be advised to visit the first floor, which shows off some centuries-old burial elements dug from the different mountains of Negros.
   But a caution, taking photos inside the museum is prohibited (except on the third floor).

  The Dumaguete Bay also serves as the port going to Cebu, Bohol, Mindanao,Manila, etc.  You may expect a few made-up stalls selling some "anik-anik" or cheap accessories, you may want to buy for pasalubong.   The long stretch of road with the boulevard on one side is as an awe-inspiring venue to leave all your worries behind.  Along the boulevard lined up are several cafes and restaurant sure to fix what ever it is you're craving for.

Across the street from the boulevard where we bought some pasalubong for our staff back in Manila is the Sans Rival Bistro.  On the street adjacent to it is where you can find their bakery where tourists queued for sylvanas, sans rival and pastries.

If you think that is all for my post on food, think again the short furlough was coupled with sabbatical food-tripping.

Let me share you our gastronomical trip to Dumaguete here:
Guilty Pleasures Spent at Dumaguete


  1. sounds like you had a blast... and waiting for the fooddie thing hehe... the place is too far from where I'm from but I would sure want to visit the place someday...
    I hope and pray that they will maintain the cleanliness they have.

    following you too :)

    1. Thanks for the quick response Fina! It was a blast indeed!

  2. Wow. Dumaguete has a lot to offer to tourists pala. I thought it's some quiet province with residential folks only. I wonder if locals can speak Filipino? (Or only Bisaya?)

  3. if i will be given a chance, i will definitely visit the place soon!:)

  4. omg! got excited seeing the water from your photos above! its blue and clear! im sure there's no sharks around haha. totally would love too visit this place in the future!

  5. Wow what a scenic view... the water is so crystal clear.

  6. I've known Dumaguete for their Sansrival as a pasalubong from my friends. Now, reading from your post, Dumaguete has a lot more to offer. Hmmm, this could probably be one of my destinations next year. The crystal blue water is inviting me to swim. ♥

  7. Antulang is inviting me geez! We are still looking for place to have some weekend vacation merely mid year, will recommend this place to my friends!

  8. Wow Dumaguete has a lot to offer from the waters to the city. I hope I can also visit the place.

  9. Looks to me your family had a very busy itinerary and enjoyed yourselves to the hilt.

  10. I super love this post because I live in Dumaguete and take these places you posted for granted :D Mooon Cafe has great food! Yes! :) and Sans Rival is a favorite hangout for us with their delicious pastries and food. Antulang is a must-visit to anyone with ample time to be out of town. Great to hear that you had lots of fun visiting your roots.

  11. Wow! Dumaguete is also one of the destination here in the Philippines that I want to explore together with my family. I'm more excited now to plan a weekend vacation there, your itinerary is very much helpful. Anyway, nice photo especially the clear waters, seems like I already want to take a dive in there!

  12. Grabe your beach photos are absolutely stunning, plus the hotel you stayed at looks so beautiful! =)

  13. the place looks so awesome!! plus, the one in the beach is so effing "stunning" as Kim has said.. definitely a paradise!

  14. It seems that Dumaguete has lots to offer to tourists. Visiting historical places is a good thing to do there.

  15. Reading through and by looking through the photos, kinikilig ako! I wanna go visit this place too. OMG! Clear waters, historical places to chill and for sure, one of the nicest people there is! :)

  16. Shame that my mom's from Negros Occidental but I haven't even gone on a culinary adventure there >.< Anyway, I'd love to visit Dumaguete too. Will be asking my mom if I can tag along on her next visit to the province, and maybe we can go all the way to Dumaguete while we're at it :)


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