[Dumaguete] ~ Love is sweeter the second day around

In your quiet and simplicity, what is not to love, Dumaguete? – 08.18.13


Though tired and bruised, I remember waking up to a beautiful morning. My friend was still sound asleep when I woke up so I first decided to check my favorite view from the terrace. As of the previous day, that second day was supposed to be when we visit Siquijor. But realizing the pain our butts were feeling from the intense habal-habal ride, my friend and I decided to postpone it to next trip. We just agreed that it was food trip and a visit to that not-so-know hot spring my friend just googled on the Internet that day. Yes. We are planners and breakers like that.

DGT Day 2

But before doing our instaplan for that day, we had an errand to run. Since it was a small town where most is reachable by feet, we walked our way to the pier situated at the end of the boulevard where she could buy her ticket to Cebu as she was leaving that night.


Never too late for some morning walk



Busy bee.


At just the right time, we grabbed lunch at a cafe recommended by a friend who spent her college in this town. Dumaguete is actually known to have quite interesting diners and coffee shops that I was able to make a list of places to try – Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries, Rana Verde, Scooby, Café Noriter, Gabby’s Bistro and 2Story Kitchen just to name a few. For that meal, 2Story Kitchen, it was.

This Korean cafe-inspired restaurant is right in the midst of town – in one of the streets parallel to the famous Rizal Boulevard. The moment we came in – we were asked whether we wanted to dine upstairs. But we got so distracted taking photos of the cute place that we almost didn’t mind the question (We would later on realized why they were asking us that to begin with). We immediately ordered food and had time for photos (including many many selfies) while waiting for our food.

I think what gave the place its charm how it was both neat and cluttered at the same time. Whether deliberate or not, the place ends up a combination of little random somethings that ultimately give it a perky vibe. There was too much to see and I wanted to take a photo of everything.

2 Story Entrance

I want to live here. 


2 Story Counter



2 Story Wall

It’s in the walls, baby.


2 Story Corners

And in the corners


2 Story Details And in objects of affection.



Food porn. And that was a precious Coke Light because it was the last. 


After we finished our food, we decided to check out the second floor and as hinted earlier, the second floor offers a different kind of experience. We didn’t regret eating on the first still but the other eating area gives a different vibe which I shall describe as an odd combination of ‘gypsy romantic’. Well, next time I am with someone I want to have some romantic vibe with, we shall dine on the second floor (Boo. Where did that even come from?)

2 Story Travel



2 Story 2nd floor

So do you get the odd combination of gypsy and romantic? 


Then armed with no knowledge of the place (not even our friends who lived in Dumaguete knew about the place we were heading to), we rode a jeep to Dauin (which is at the opposite of Sibulan), where according to the Internet, we could find the Baslay Twin Hot Springs. I was excited because it was my first time to see a hot spring and also because it was supposed to be some kind of ruins as the place was closed when it was destroyed by typhoon Sendong in 2011.


More “mahaba-habang” (quite long) habal-habal ride. Play with words. Woot.


So I was excited about the ruins but funny thing though is that when I saw it, it was hard to imagine what was actually ruined because I could not imagine how it looked like before as I have never been to a hot spring. So I was just like, okay, this used to be not like this.

All game to bathe that day, we were surprised at how the water was scorching hot, ‘you-cannot-take-a-dip’ hot. This was true for both the natural spring and the man-made pools. Well, except one pool which commonsensically was our pick.  Luckily though, my friend was brave enough to try a spot in the natural spring. And voila, there was our lovely spot.

Off to Spring

Down the spring. And we met who would not let us pass.



 A stream of green



That was some hot (and salon-smelly) sulfur.



Ruins of an unfamiliar ‘what-was’






Choose your green.



Our sweet spot.



While lying down, I could see those clouds moving.

I wish I could capture in photos how I felt while we just lied down there –face up feeling the warmth of the sun, my hair feeling the soft rush of the lukewarm water. That to me was both similar and different to how I feel whenever I am at the beach. The key difference I guess is that at that place, I could see not only the skies but all the green that was surrounding us.  Beautiful. We were in coma for about an hour before we went back to the proper.


 That bag was just off. o.O



I heart this photo. It looks like he is enjoying his food sooo much and he was not even eating it yet.



I am getting used to this ride.


Then we went to this tiangge called Tops and Bottoms. The intent was for Ye to just buy slippers because her shoes got wet. We however ended spending almost an hour at the store, looking around from shoes to underwear and kiddie toys. It was just a tiangge alright but it has got its “probinsya” (province) everything-comes-so-cheap feel that for some strange reason, we found ourselves lost into the place.


Where we wandered.


Up next was street food “tempura” chomping at the famous bay boulevard.  I had the first impression that it was really Tempura the Shrimp so I was amused when I found out that “tempura” is like skinny and longer kikiam (Que-kiam in Chinese, apparently. Wow, I learned something new). I am no seafood fan, by the way, but I love kikiam.

Sunset is my favorite time of day and though there is no sunset in town, I love the vibe that strip of tempura lane had to offer – tourists and locals enjoying their merienda on those monobloc chairs while the different stall owners were busy preparing their orders. Look up and see those birds that flew in groups going wherever they need to go as day was about to end. We waited there until it got dark. I loved the place more.


I love this lane by the bay.



Up in the sky.



Cute little kid who sings to earn. Adorable as he was a bit shy unlike those rude street kids in the city.


We headed back to our hotel – which we found out is a colorful electricity guzzler at night. (Funny how we didn’t notice that the previous night which just proved my theory that we were drunk already.) We freshened up, my friend packed her things up and on our way to the place where we were drinking, we passed by this stall that sells accessories from bracelets to necklaces to dreamcatchers. Though nothing is extraordinary, we decided to get a travel bracelet just as keepsake for the trip. Then we headed to this drinking place beside Silliman University. We drank but not to point of drunk as she had to travel. When she left, I watched a gig in the bar nearby and ended up drunking. Oh well, it was my last night. I felt heartbroken.


We felt like we were held up to buy expensive stuff.



But okay. Let’s keep it as memory.

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