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Country > Philippines > Negros Oriental > Dumaguete
Date > 2015 > Jun
Activity > Traveling

Revisiting Dumaguete with Tuyen June 5-9, 2015

Revisiting Dumaguete with Tuyen

Location Google Map: Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines

Deja Vu
With Tuyen's scheduled scuba diving course and Apo Island adventures awaiting for her, I decided to be in on the fun as well. I thought Dumaguete was a distant blip on my radar after having moved on, but almost immediately after landing and seeing the familiar places, the good food, and bumping into old friends, the reason why I lived and stayed here for 2 years came coming back. In my analogy, if a destination can be compared to a woman, Dumaguete is bridal material.



Neva's Pizza
Perhaps Dumaguete's most under-rated pizza, Neva's Pizza continues to titillate my palate without boring a hole in my pocket. For loose change, you get a good sized pizza baked in a wood-burning oven, and for taste and quality, it compares with the best out there. You should really try to eat there whenever in Dumaguete. Tuyen and I practically had most of our meals there. Any tricycle driver will know where it is - and it's tucked away in some local neighborhood, so don't expect to chance on to it as you take you tourist walk around town.

Revisiting Dumaguete with Tuyen
savoring Neva's Pizza

Hot Cocoa, Local Coffee and BudBud Cabog at the Painitan
One of Dumaguete's charming offerings is a hearty breakfast at the market - at the Painitan, where one could have a native hot chocolate drink (sikwate) or the local coffee. Combined with their famous sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves (budbud), it makes for a truly satisfying way to start the day. There are many types of budbud - the chocolate laced Budbud Tanjay, the plain Budbud Pilit and the prized budbud of them all, the Budbud Cabog (made with millet harvested from the mountain)!

We stayed a day at Dumaguete Royal Suites Inn. Too bad Tuyen is a vegetarian. I would have let her try the hotel's staple dish - Sizzling Bulalo. It's perhaps the only hotel made famous by it's house specialty.

The next few days found us at Harold's Mansion. It remains the backpacker haven for Dumaguete. The most surprising thing was Harold himself. He looks 10 years younger! Apparently, he doesn't drink alcohol anymore, sleeps right and doesn't party as much. His diving enterprise is now full-on with 2 boats and an actual commercial dive shop fronting his hotel (his dive equipment used to be stored in his house). Way to go, Harold!

Ellen Florendo
Back in my younger days, we were officemates at PNOC. It was purely by accident that we bumped into each other in Dumaguete. Now, a visit to Dumaguete is not complete without saying Hi and catching up. Tuyen and I stopped by twice and were hosted to a lavish merienda cena - good eats, good company and pleasant conversation. She and her sister were so generous to lend us a motorbike during our entire stay in Dumaguete. This allowed us to take a ride and explore more of its tourist offerings - Balinsasayao Twin Lakes, Casaroro Falls and the Japanese Shrine.

Balinsasayao Twin Lakes
On top a mountain peak sits two deep craters borne out of a volcanic eruption (time of eruption is not known). Through time, rain water filled it up to become the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao. They rest about 1000 meters up and the lakes go about 100 meters deep (depends who you talk to). It takes a powerful motorcycle to carry two people up the steep but paved road. There were no kayaks (all broken) so we took the bigger boat to carry us to the other side. It's interesting that these 2 adjacent lakes are only meters away from each other. I am not sure if the two lakes connect but since their water level is the same, I will have to assume they do. There is a resto providing an excellent view of the lake from its deck.

Casaroro Falls
On a different day, Tuyen and I took the high road to Valencia to see Casaroro Falls. En route, we passed along mountain roads offering spectacular views of the water - you could see Cebu Island, Siquijor, Sumilon Island and even Apo Island. Foreigners can't resist buying land here for their summer cottage or their retirement home. It takes over 300 steps to go down to the falls. Some of the infrastructure has been destroyed by the torrential flooding a few years ago, which claimed many lives. The falls has a foreboding plunge pool where the pencil-narrow but cliffside-high falls make its splash. This place is spectacular - but it's not easy getting here.

Japanese Shrine
Straight from Casaroro Falls, we drove the unforgiving mountain dirt road to the Japanese Shrine. At some points, we thought about turning back - the roads were too steep, too technical and too rocky. One guy even rode the motorbike for us over a very technical section. There is actually a more forgiving route, but it would have been farther. Finally, we reached the Shrine where intense fighting between the Japanese and the combined Filipino and American Allied Forcees took place in the ending days of WWII. A monument resembling an obelisk and a wall structure with Japanese inscription stand to commemorate the historic event that took place. Again, given its altitude, the view of the Negros Oriental coastline could be seen from the Shrine. You could see Dumaguete and the neighboring islands.

My Manangs
When I was still living there, I would hangout at the market for hot chocolate drinks or local coffee and have conversation with the elderly women - my Manangs as I would fondly refer to them. During this visit, I made it a point to stop by just to say Hi. I'm glad they still remembered me with affection. I have Manangs from the Painitan at the Dumaguete market, at the market in Valencia. It was an introduction to Tuyen but a nostalgic revisit for me.

Ending Thoughts
Tuyen and I could have stayed much longer, but Dauin and its scuba diving promise awaited.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

Leave a comment?

Reader Comments:

Tuyen NguyenTuyen Vietnam
(July 20, 2015) I like the fact that you became friend with some Manangs in the market and they like you. Yes, I love Dumaguete!

Teenie FleischerTeenie Fleischer
(July 20, 2015) You amaze me as always. Here we call it 'pula ug lobot' (red butt) - i think it was coined after an insect, meaning you can't stay put. Thanks. I'm glad you revisited Negros Island not as Lone Rider.

Steven RoselloSteven Rosello
(July 20, 2015) Awesome food destination. Also a good place to Swim with sea turtles

Next Traveling story: Scuba Diving in Dauin with Simon Speight's Dumaguete Divers

More on Dumaguete:

Dumaguete Map

Google Map Dumaguete, Philippines

tourist attractions in Dumaguete tourist attractions hotels in Dumaguete - hotel
Hotel Essencia Hotel Essencia - 9-storie hotel in the heart of Dumaguete
    39 Real St., Corner San Juan St., Dumaguete City - 09°18'32.1"N 123°18'20.3"E
scuba diving in Dumaguete scuba diving
  • Mario Scuba Diving and Homestay Mario Scuba Diving and Homestay - homestay in Apo Island, scuba diving, restaurant
    Apo Island - 09°04'40.08"N 123°16'09.19"E
  • Dumaguete Divers Dumaguete Divers - scuba diving in Apo Island, resto / cafe, accommodation
    Dauin - 9°11'18.6"N 123°15'54.3"E
cafes in Dumaguete cafe

Dumaguete >> Cebu City by bus/boat

Dumaguete to Cebu City route is done by bus and boat. Ceres bus leaves almost every hour from the Ceres Terminal bound for Cebu City. It goes to Tampi and boards a roro until it reaches Bato, Cebu. From there, it resumes its land travel until Cebu City. xxxx hours, PHP xxx.

Dumaguete to Cebu City

Dumaguete >> Siquijor (Siquijor Proper & Larena Port) Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)
  1. Montenegro Lines - at Dumaguete Port, P234.00/pax, P169/bicycle

  2. Montenegro Lines, Dumaguete to Siquijor

  3. Aleson Shipping - at Dumaguete Port, 8 am and 6 pm daily, 10 am M-Sat, Regular P200.00/pax, Aircon P250.00/pax

  4. Aleson Shipping, Dumaguete to Siquijor

  5. Ocean Jet - 40 mins, docks at Siquijor Port, 0919.066.5964,,

    Ocean Jet
  6. Please check first if Atlantis Yohan Express is back in operations

  7. Atlantis Yohan Express - Siquijor Port or Larena Port?

    Atlantis Yohan Express

    Atlantis Yohan Express
Dumaguete >> Lazi, Siquijor by boat

Dumaguete to Lazi, Siquijor route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early September 2023. Before, going to Lazi meant going to Siquijor Proper first, then catching the 2pm jeep to Lazi (last trip), adding 1 hour on the trip. Now, Siquijor Proper can be completely bypassed.

  1. Dumaguete Port - take Kho Shipping to Lazi, Tu-F-Sun, 3 hours, Dumaguete departure 1 am, arrival in Lazi Port 4 am, economy P300, tourist P500.

  2. Dumaguete to Lazi

Dumaguete Itinerary restaurants Things to Eat in Dumaguete:
  • Eat at Neva's Pizza. They have a wood-burning stove and make the best pizza in Dumaguete
  • Eat the local version of Tempura, fish ball, balut at Tempurahan, an adhoc outdoor section by the City Port entrance.
  • Eat Paklay, a local delicacy made of pork inards. Popular in Dumaguete's roadside eating places
  • Try any of the lechon manok (chicken roasted on a spit) that's scattered all over the city
  • Try the torta bread (bread made with fermented coconut nectar) - you find that along the highway in Dauin...or the Dumaguete Public Market
  • Eat the breakfast combo - Budbud Cabog (Dumaguete's specialty suman) or puto + tsokolate (sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf + native chocolate drink)
tours Things to Do in Dumaguete:
sightseeing Sightseeing / Activities Near Dumaguete:
  1. Valencia
    1. Forest Camp in Valencia - a mountain resort fed by the Banica River. Great for getting wet and picnics (blog by Lakwatsero)
    2. Go to the Japanese Shrine and Casaroro Falls - 100 meter falls and site of a fierce WWII battle between Japanese, Americans and Filipinos
    3. Head out to Camp Lookout in Valencia for great views. Famous writers stay there for the Silliman University National Writers Workshop.
    4. Stop by The World War II Museum in Valencia and talk to curator/owner/collector, Constantino "Tantin" Cata-al.
    5. Splash on Pulangbato Falls and Hot Spring - via Palinpinon road towards PNOC. Great to dip-in after a day's hike or for hot lazy days
    6. Climb Mt. Talinis. At 1864 meters, it lords over Negros Oriental, and home to endemic and rare species of flora and fauna.
  2. Dauin
    1. Dive on Apo Island - best for scuba and turtle watching
    2. Dive on Dauin's District 1 Marine Reserve - best spot for snorkelling - 10K grouper, turtles, cuttlefish, Titan Triggerfish, etc. This is only one of many marine reserves dotting the Dauin coastline.
    3. Soak in Baslay Hot Spring
  3. Sibulan
    Go to Balinsasayao Twin Lakes - two lakes almost 1000 meters above sea level
  4. Siquijor
    Take the ferry to Siquijor - stay in Siquijor overnight
  5. Zamboanguita
    Visit Malatapay Market on a Wednesday and try their lechon, tuba, and grilled fish
  6. Bais
    Go dolphin watching and swim on the sandbar
  7. Mabinay
    Rappel down Mabinay Caves
  8. Siaton
    Experience Lake Balanan

Onward Destinations After Dumaguete

These are the nearest popular destinations from Dumaguete by boat

  1. Bohol - Bohol is an island northeast Dumaguete. Tourist attractions are Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Monkey, Loboc River Cruise, Beaches of Panglao, whale sharks (recent offering), freediving (recent offering)
  2. Cebu - Cebu City is the usual gateway into the Visayas. But in Cebu Island itself, there are many offerings - Whale Sharks of Oslob, sardine run at Moalboal,Thresher Shark of Malapascua
  3. Dapitan (Zamboanga del Norte) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.
  4. Plaridel (Misamis Occidental, Mindanao) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.


Dumaguete Dumaguete


  • Via Dumaguete for Neva's Pizza March 20, 2024
  • 2023

  • Shopping in Dumaguete July 21-23, 2023
  • Overnight in Dumaguete Feb 5-6, 2023
  • 2017

  • 11 Days in Dumaguete Apr 23-May 4, 2017
  • 2015

  • Revisiting Dumaguete with Tuyen June 5-9, 2015
  • 2012

  • Fun Time in Dumaguete at Harolds Mansion Sep 6-13, 2012
  • Dumaguete Deja Vu August 2-11, 2012
  • Dumaguete 'Must Experience' Article on SideTrip Magazine Jul 1, 2012
  • Goodbye Dumaguete April 25, 2012
  • Not Thinking Big Enough February 11, 2012
  • 2011

  • Radical Honesty November 25, 2011
  • A Quantum Conversation Nov 14, 2011
  • Dumaguete Travel Info, Map and Itinerary Oct 16, 2011
  • Fitting In Oct 9, 2011
  • Water Bucket Riddle Oct 8, 2011
  • Dr. Angel C. Alcala Sep 30, 2011
  • 7th Philippine Bird Festival Sep 23-24, 2011
  • Blood Pressure Guy Sep 5, 2011
  • Truth, Anyone? Sep 1, 2011
  • Painitan Breakfast Aug 6, 2011
  • The Harolds Mansion Experience Jul 31 - Aug 21, 2011
  • Of Motivation and Being Poor Jul 2, 2011
  • Rant About Blogging Jul 1, 2011
  • In Pursuit of a Hit-and-Run Driver Apr 25, 2011
  • Building Wealth from Within Apr 12, 2011
  • DACA Graduation and Casablanca Anniversary Party Apr 8, 2011
  • Silver Surfer Mar 14, 2011
  • In Search of the Weakest Linkk Mar 10, 2011
  • The Lamborghini Benchmark Mar 9, 2011
  • Stovetop Carrot Bread Mar 5, 2011
  • Big and Bold Feb 1, 2011
  • Grilled Pizza on the Weber Grill Jan 31, 2011
  • Kri - Resto Review Jan 28, 2011
  • Turning Point Jan 21, 2011
  • Creative Spark Jan 6, 2011
  • New Year Rain Ride Jan 1, 2011
  • 2010

  • 2010: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2010
  • Wealth Building with a Little Help from my Friends Nov 28, 2010
  • Riding with the Downhill Boyz Nov 23, 2010
  • 7 Months in Negros Oriental - The Aftermath Nov 17, 2010
  • 7 Months in Negros Oriental - Swallowing Hard Nov 14, 2010
  • No Fault Nov 10, 2010
  • The Silent Type Nov 9, 2010
  • Of Money and of Being Broke Nov 1, 2010
  • Aha! Moments Oct 24, 2010
  • You're Smart! Oct 7, 2010
  • Negros Oriental Real Estate Website Sep 28, 2010
  • Back to Yoga Sep 20, 2010
  • Nomadic Existence: A Return to the Default World Sep 19, 2010
  • The Return of the Silver Streak Sep 10, 2010
  • Nomadic Existence: A Rethinking Aug 8, 2010
  • Fun Ride with Rene's Silver Streak Bike Jul 15, 2010
  • At Random TV Interview with Aesha Villanueva Jul 6, 2010
  • Eco Adventure Race 2010, Dumaguete July 3, 2010
  • Night Ride with the ONEbikers Jul 2, 2010
  • Pintados - Body Paint Fashion Show Jun 20, 2010
  • Rene's Chicken Inasal with the QB Stove Jun 6, 2010
  • Life Altering Experiences Jun 1, 2010
  • The Puppy May 27, 2010
  • The Hare-Lipped Baby May 25, 2010
  • Neva's Pizza Apr 28, 2010
  • Dumaguete Apr 12, 2010

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