[Dumaguete] ~ The Day We Say Goodbye

In your quiet and simplicity, what is not to love, Dumaguete? – 08.19.13


For I always say that being on your last day on every trip feels like being in a relationship that you can sense is about to end. Heartbreaking, yes. But somehow, you just have to make the most out of it.

Day 3 Collage

And in case of Dumaguete, here is how.


It is ironically on my last day that I was able to do the only thing that I was certain  I would do prior to the trip – go visit the famous Silliman University. With Dumaguete referred to as a “university town”, I couldn’t skip paying a visit to this school that is known to be the first American private university in Asia. A dear friend of mine happened to study in that school as well.

I decided the best way to go there is by foot as I want my last hurrah with the boulevard. I already know where the university is. But since I was again being my usual ‘you-can-get-me-lost-anywhere’, I was still kind of lost as I could not locate the entrance. And what saves the day during situations like this – asking  helpful strangers. And so I asked.


Saw this busy day for this man on my way to Silliman.(And side note: the paint matches the color of the shirt of motorcycle man in the background haha)



This is a ‘blah’ photo but it took me many takes to get this as I was trying to take one without vehicles. But yes, this one is still fail.


My first stop, just because it was what I first saw, was the Anthropology Museum. This is housed in another famous structure called the Silliman Hall. According to some article I read online, what makes this building significant is how it is the oldest American structure. Interestingly also, I have read that parts of the building were debris of a theater in New York. In the past, it used to house the library, classrooms and faculty but today, this three-storey structure houses several exhibits in the museum, with topmost floor giving a nice view of the boulevard.


Yep. Another vehicle. I just like to think it adds up ‘touch’ to the photo. Photo fail justified.


Museum from outside

Turns out it was a good move to postpone visit to museum as it is closed during weekend.


Unfortunately, taking photos is not allowed on the first two floors which I personally think held the more interesting collection.  On one gallery on the second floor, for instance, I was mesmerized by the collection of what they call “ethnomedicine”. On display were twigs, herbs and other plants that are used to cure various kinds of diseases. Next to that collection is an even more interesting display of items on some kind of sorcery or witchcraft, called “kulam” in Filipino.

I was particularly mesmerized by an illustration of a “kulam” I have been hearing about. It is called “barang” which apparently is done by tying three insects to a thread and telling those insects to go to the victim. The insects then get in the victim’s body to hatch eggs inside. The victim then eventually feels some stomach pain, after which many insects start coming out of his body. (And yes, I remembered because it was so interesting I actually wrote it down!)

Another sorcery that caught my attention is one called “buyag” which happens when a person compliments someone that she is beautiful then that person starts getting rashes.

Of course, there are those types that are more common  as we always see it in films and other works of art. One is called “haplit” which is ritual of using a doll and needles to hurt the victim. Another is “lumay” or “gayuma” which is a love spell that makes use of a concoction (coconut oil, perfume) and 3 Latin prayers.

On the other side of the room were archaeological items found during explorations and excavations.  What caught my eye are the skulls, tombs and other burial materials, a boat coffin and “babtok” which is a tattoo needle. (God, I really wish picture-taking was allowed!)


Boo. Freakin’ boo.


On the third floor were dated items that used in the university – from electric fans to microscopes to benches to balusters and soundproofing materials.  There is also this Andrada Room that houses the collection of bills from all over the world by one of the dormitory residents named Commodore Jose (you guessed it, right) Andrada. I think this spot was given to him because he was one who fought against the demolition of the building.

Museum 3rd Floor

I love the roof symmetry. 



And I also love this lovely view of town from one of the many windows on that floor.



I remember wondering whether this was meant for sitting.


Old items

Too many adding and checking machines. 




Amazing soundproofing stuff. Though I have no idea how these work.


IMG_7582Text says “Door that leads to the FUTURE roof terrace of the university club building”. Hmm, that quite confused me. 


100-year old balusters.


Creepy Stairs




Nothing extraordinary. But yes, maybe to honor Andrada who fought for the building.


After the museum, I spent more time walking around the campus, feeling a tad bit out of place while also feeling a part of me feeling at home. Maybe I was missing being a student. Strangely.

What is lovely about the campus is the big field of green in the middle that is lined with symmetrical giant acacia trees. I also have this favorite spot – view of the church sandwiched between two blobs of green. I also studied in a school where there is lots of green and it kind gave me this feeling of nostalgia staring at those trees while I was ‘listening’ to class lectures.

It was a relatively small campus, I thought, so I spent a few minutes walking aimlessly (enjoying air as relief from the humid atmosphere in the museum) and watching people. I was loving the student vibe and what added charm was that there was a group of students rehearsing for a performance. Chances are that would be for the upcoming Foundation Day celebration.


As if those trees grew from the pillars of the church.



There stood its mark.



Identical giants.



Far. Farther. Farthest.


Campus Vandal

Oh college vandalism, I like. I was looking for something really vulgar but found none.


I like the old feel of the buildings and even the signage.



Twins. Trees. People.



I am pretty sure he is Hibbard, eh?



My view while I was sitting on one of the benches.



Closer to my favorite ‘spot’



Another nice spot a few meters in front of the church.


Next stop was the Marine Laboratory which according to the Internet houses the 2nd largest whale bone collection in the world. I initially thought it was within that campus but it turned out I had to take a pedicab to go the museum. Manong guard graciously helped me get one.

It was farther than I expected and it turned out not like a tourist place but more like a small farm. I first went to this place with remains of aquatic animals like “dugong”, some unique kinds of fish and my favorite, sea turtles.

Outside Marine Lab

First stop.


Whale log

Interesting name, buddy! And interesting skeleton too. (Had to look closely because this sure looked like a log to me)


Armored Sea Robins

Armor spines.



Ugly. And apparently dangerous. Bad combination.



Cuuuute. Enough said.



This scared the hell out of me. 



Remains of a “dugong”


Sea Turtles

Weee. Giant versions of my pet turtles Freddy and Jason!


Right across the first shed I visited was another shed where they keep the whale bone collection. It turned out that the whale museum is being renovated so all the bones are kept that storage room. I was a bit disappointed, of course, and also a bit sad because I strangely ‘pity’ all those bones that were just stored in that seemingly lonely room.

Temporary House

Looks abandoned right. Sigh.



I love the visual play.



The bones are just everywhere.


Next stop was at Gabby’s Bistro which is another diner my friend told me not to miss. The place is funky with all those clutter combined to create an authentic American diner feel. The place has definitely got character which I think it owes to how it is not afraid to combine stuff in quirky and playful ways – from “banderitas” to planes to Angry Birds just hanging on the ceiling to those giant seats with mismatched upholstery.

It took me time to finish my food as it was salty (must be because I ordered too much mushroom). I lingered in the place and left only when it was close to about 2PM when I think I would have just enough time to drop by at Sans Rival to buy pasalubong sylvannas for my friend. I already left my bag at the hotel reception so I am all set luggage-wise so no hurry.

Food at Gabbys

Ordered too much mushroom – soup and some beef on mashed potatoes


Gabbys Area 1Area you immediately see upon entry


Gabbys Area 2

Then here’s area to the left.



Vibe is in the details and furniture play.


Outside Gabby

Gabby’s Bistro is actually a restaurant attached to a hotel called Florentina Homes.


Attention to detail

Quirky and colorful everything, including trash cans!

~~~Sans Rival

Time to get those sweets.


Though it was primarily boring waiting time at the airport (since my phablet’s battery again did a good job of being drained), capped my trip nicely with this adorable singing performer at the airport. He sang this very cheesy song that for some reason made me “kilig”. What a way to end my trip – a romantically thrilling song to end this three-day love affair.

Goodbye to us, Dumaguete. Temporarily, that is.


A first to see a performer in an airport but he was adorable.


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