Side Trip to Dumaguete City
My 2012 started with a side trip to Dumaguete City. And what is good about it was it was a solo trip. Finally I was able to get to a place again just by myself. I was really eager to do a solo travel again but I can’t find time to do so thus; this side trip gave relief to that.
Dumaguete City is a city of Philippine province Negros Oriental. The city is also known as The City of Gentle People.
Going to Dumaguete City
Because of the expensive fare to Cebu during Sinulog, me and my friend booked a plane ticket – Manila to Dumaguete to Manila. We were just very lucky that our inbound flight from Dumaguete to Manila was cancelled thus we had it re-routed from Cebu.
Me and my friend have different flights. I took the earlier flight while she had the next flight with almost 5 hours interval. I asked her that I’ll just meet her at Sibulan port to get to Cebu and so she agreed.
Because I was on a budget, I opted to go to the airport through the cheaper way, public vehicles. From EDSA-Taft, I rode a NAIA terminal shuttle bus going to Terminal 3, fare is around PHP 20.00 (cheaper than taking a cab). What I learned about this ride was since the drop off point was at the arrival area, it’s easy for me to get inside the terminal because there are no long queues compared to the departure area gates.
I checked in and waited for boarding announcement. 11:15 came and I boarded the plane off to Dumaguete City.
I was kind of excited during the plane ride as after a long time I was able to travel again solo even just for a short period of time.
At around 12:40 PM, we landed at Sibulan Airport.
When exiting the terminal, there were people offering tours and transport. It’s expensive to rent a tricycle inside the airport so I opted to catch a ride outside the airport. I walked out from the airport until I reached the highway and from there I took a tricycle to get to the city. Most tricycles in Dumaguete City takes passengers from the road like a public jeepney here in Metro Manila unless you rented the tricycle in special.
Dumaguete City in 5 Hours
My first stop of my side trip was the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral of Dumaguete City. The tricycle driver charged me PHP 50.00. It feels like I got deceived since the passengers that I got along with only paid minimum fare. Anyways, I don’t want to spoil my trip so I just paid the amount.
It was already around 1:00 PM when I arrived in St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral of Dumaguete City. It took me 15 minutes travel time to arrive from Sibulan Airport.
“The seat of Archdiocese of Dumaguete, it is also most commonly refered to as the Dumaguete Cathedral. Built in the early 1700’s, it also doubled as a garrison due to rampant attacks of marauders from Mindanao.” – godumaguete.com
Just beside the cathedral was the “Campanerio”, the Dumaguete Belfry.
“Erected in 1811 as the bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Catherine of Alexandria and watchtower to forewarn townfolk of impending attacks by marauders, the Dumaguete Belfry was restored in 1985 and skirted with a garden ten years later. Also known as the Cathedral Belfry, this landmark has become the city’s most photographed attractions, endowed with history and stories.” – godumaguete.com
And just across the street, fronting the cathedral was the Quezon Park of Dumaguete City.
Also can be found at the park’s vicinity is the Tourism Office of Dumaguete.
I crossed the road and passed through a street to get to the Rizal Boulevard.
The street was named after Jose P. Rizal, making it one of the most historical sites in the city. It has been said that he had made a brief visit and took a walk here before going to the neighboring island of Dapitan, Dipolog City.
As I walked along the boulevard, I saw people playing along, wandering, staring blankly and just strolling. There were also restaurants and hotels along the road. Despite of its progress, the boulevard still maintain its peacefulness and cleanliness.
It was already past 2:00 PM then so as I walked along the Rizal Boulevard I looked for the Sans Rival Cafe. I intended to have my lunch there because of some good reviews I’ve read online. After awhile, I found the cafe. Sans Rival Cafe is situated at San Jose Street.
There were number of diners when I entered the cafe. I felt overwhelmed that I can’t decide what to eat. I forgot to take notes regarding the reviews I’ve read so I just ordered the dish that looked appetizing.
Of course I’ve got to try their specialty, I asked what’s the best seller and told me that it’s sans rival and silvanas. I opted to order sans rival. It tasted OK. But, just recently my office mate took home a box of silvanas from Sans Rival Cafe, and that tasted better. I will take a lot of those when I get back to Dumaguete City. After I finished my lunch, I’ve decided to get to my next destination. For me not to be deceived again by tricycle drivers, I asked the cafe staff if how much the tricycle fare was and told me its around PHP 7.00 to PHP 10.00.
So I walked to the main road and rode a tricycle going to Siliman University, fare is PHP 8.00 (I think).
Dumaguete City is also referred as university town because of the number of universities and colleges in the city.
Siliman University is too huge to explore so I just went to Siliman Hall. Since it was weekend and it was closed, I just checked out the surroundings and took photos of the other halls.
It was already 3:00 PM, with nothing else to do I’ve decided to get to my next stop. From Siliman University, I took a tricycle to Aquino Freedom Park. There’s an on going parade in honor to Sto. Niño when I got to the park. I watched the parade first. Seeing the parade made me feel excited about the Sinulog Festival in Cebu. Upon witnessing it, I can’t wait to witness the colorful parade of Sinulog Festival.
Then, I went inside the park’s area.
I love the grassland. After awhile, my friend sent me an SMS message confirming that she already boarded and in an hour she’ll be in Dumaguete City. I let the parade be finished first before I left the park. Then, I asked the guard in one of the internet cafes across the street on how to get to Sibulan port. He told me to ride a multi-cab with “Sibulan” signboard to get to the port.
It didn’t take long for me to wait a multi-cab. Fare to Sibulan port from Freedom park is PHP 11.00 with approximately 30 minutes travel time. Indeed, it’s cheaper than taking a tricycle.
I arrived at Sibulan port at around 4:30 PM. After 30 minutes or so, I got bored waiting so I went out from the port and roamed around Sibulan. I went inside the church near the port, San Antonio de Padua Parish.
Fronting the church is Sibulan Public Plaza.
There were a lot of kids in the plaza. I felt awkward as people noticed me as I took pictures of the plaza, feeling touristy. The kids were actually calling me to say “hi”. And I said “Hi” back to them. These kids were pretty kind and very happy playing around. I missed my childhood, simple and just playing around.
I sat in one of the ruptured benches and watched the people around. As soon as I received a call from my friend that she was already on her way to the port, I went back to Sibulan port and bought our boat tickets to Lilo-an, Cebu.
How to get to Cebu from Dumaguete City via Sibulan Port?
There are two ways to get to Lilo-an; (1) fast craft and (2) pump boat.
(a) Fast craft if you’ll be riding a bus to get to Cebu City
(b) Pump Boat if you’ll be riding a v-hire to get to Cebu City.
That’s what the port staff told me. These transports has an hour interval per trip schedule with 4:30 AM earliest trip for the fast craft and 6:00 AM earliest trip for the pump boat and 6:00 PM last trip for both.
We opted the pump boat ride as we planned to ride a v-hire to get to Cebu City. Travel time was approximately 30 minutes. Fare is about PHP 45.00. It’s cheaper than the fast craft. When we arrived we paid PHP 2.00 fee before we exited the port (for what? I didn’t bother to ask as we’re in a hurry but just paid for it), then a lot of tricycles were waiting outside for passengers. Unfortunately there were no v-hires anymore so we didn’t have a choice but to go the highway and catch a bus to Cebu City. A bus arrived and so we boarded. It took us about 3 hours to get to Cebu City.
It was a great side trip to Dumaguete City. I know my trip is too short to show how scenic and wonderful the city is. There’s still a lot of places to discover on this city of gentle people. Apo Island is one of them. I can’t wait to go back to this province and explore more of its attractions and its nature.