Dumaguete reminds me a bit of my hometown, Bicol. It doesn’t have a small-town vibe like Siquijor, but it’s not like Manila, too. The pace of life is still slow enough to enjoy. The people are relaxed. The environment still has a quiet, non-frantic quality. And there’s still so much space that makes exploration by foot an appealing idea.
Where I Stayed: Coastal Inn
I chose this place because it’s affordable and within walking distance from the port—just a short walk after my boat ride from Siquijor.
The place is simple with a bit of a rundown look from outside, but the rooms are good. I stayed in the standard single fan room, which came with basic amenities such as cable TV, shower, towel, etc. There’s a general store adjacent to the lobby, so buying personal stuff isn’t a problem.
The staff were also helpful, and they even allowed me to use the freezer in their store for the storage of some of the pasalubong that I bought. Good job!
Things to Do in Dumaguete
I only had one night in the area and a few hours to look around, but it was great that most of the must-see for visitors with limited time here are near each other. I was able to explore all of the places below by foot:
Walk along the boulevard for some fresh air.
There’s this long strip of seawall in Dumaguete that’s popular among both locals and tourists. I only had to walk along this boulevard to reach Siliman University, try the much talked-about specialty of the vendors in the Tempura Street, find some local pasalubong, and reach the San’s Rival Bistro.
Visit Silliman University, the oldest university in the Philippines.
The grounds were closed during my visit since it’s a Sunday, but it’s easy to get a glimpse of the university and the campus grounds since it’s just along the road.
Enjoy a gastronomic adventure in the Tempura Street.
Tempura Street is apparently very popular among visitors of Dumaguete. It’s a hawker street lined with vendors selling Dumaguete’s own version of tempura–kikiam shaped like a tempura and served with a special sauce. There are small plastic tables and chairs on this street, where you can have your meal together with other locals and visitors.
I had my dinner in this area, and I was able to buy not just their tempura but also balut. Some vendors also offer other street food such as fish balls and kwek kwek.
Buy Silvanas in Sans Rival Bistro.
If there’s one pasalubong Dumaguete is popular for, that would be Silvanas. It’s a melting goodness in butter or chocolate flavor that is offered by Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries. The original store is located in the inner part of Dumaguete, along San Jose Street, but there’s a newly opened Sans Rival Bistro along the boulevard. I was able to buy a few boxes at Php140 per box of 10.