[Dumaguete] ~ Celebrating Birth Years

Crazy weekend that’s one of few when it’s no travel solo. – 03.8-10.14


Dumaguete Collage

I have exceptional love for introvert travelling but this was definitely a fun and ironically despite many “I-forgot-what-I-said” incidents, an unforgettable trip.

IMG_9693A fellow March celebrant, my friend Jen and I have had these talks for years about going on a trip together on our birthday month. It was only this year however – that finally, it happened. It was a place close to both our hearts – to her, it was home during college while to me, it was a place I fell in love with a year ago.

We left Manila around mid-afternoon and the moment we met – it was all endless talking – which made the almost an hour of delay less painful. There was even this fun incident at the plane when we were just talking and talking and holding our pee because we were thinking that plane could take off any minute. After almost an hour and just when we decided we ought to pee, two attendants on their take off seats at the back of the plane gave us their ultimate panic faces and in their ultimate panic voices asked us to go back to our seats because the plane is about to move. We could not pause or fully silent our giggle. True enough though, the moment we reached our seats, the plane took off. Hmm, if we only knew that that could for some reason push the plane to move, we could have peed waaayyy earlier.

It was my favorite time of day (around 5) when we arrived. We checked in at our affordable hotel and was happy with that rain-type shower (yes, that is worthy of mention because it was quite a surprise for the price we had to pay and for the kind of ‘basic’ hotel we were expecting the place to be). We also had this funny realization that we were both illiterate in operating certain usually easily ‘operate-able’ stuff like aircon, cable digital boxes and remote control units. We had to call Front Desk many times to ask for help on how to make those work.


Oh that spacious pedicab is love. 



Go, hotel!


As soon as we were settled, she brought me to her college tambayan/hang-out called El Amigo where we had dinner and of course, beer.  (Side story how they even have unique ways of asking for beer and ice). We were later joined by her friends and then all the crazies began as I try to be the best girl friend. It could be the beer talking also but I ended up having what is beyond normal talkativeness, sprinkled with tons of hitting, facial slaps, selfies, multiple strategic seat-changing, that put my friend in the mood maybe of wanting to evict me and kind of forcefully make me want to just go pee. It was  a memorable night and an atypical night for me who has gotten used to being happy drinking beer alone or at most with 2 other people.


 What we could see.


El Amigo

Cheap food and fun, indeed.



Stolen collage from that night’s birthday girl


IMG_9693We spent our second and only full day putting a check on sole solid plan for the trip – beach! Well, to be precise, a sand bar. It was something I was excited about because I have never been to one. I initially even did not understand what it is that I first thought we could set up tent there. Well, I later on realized that yes, only if I can disassemble really quickly.

It was a few hours drive spent with equally crazy and fun-loving young people. They were talking mostly in Bisaya but I was not left out. I realized then that language is quite interesting that if you just know how to listen, you get most of meaning with intonation, well, maybe especially if talk is casual. Also realized how films are universal as we were sharing laughs while the ‘kids’ talked about this funny scene from a recent local film entitled Starting Over Again. Wow. My realizations then are quite many.


Must be the ant trees.



Some kind of a clown car.


Trip included stops to hunt for food. Little did we know that carinderias there tend to open late in the morning that looking for food turned out a challenging task. We were specifically looking for lechon manok (roasted chicken) so when we came across one in an ‘unbranded’ one across a town market, it maybe felt like seeing a watered well in the midst of desert. Had my chance at buying beer too so despite all that freaky staring from the locals, that stopover was redeeming.
Upon reaching port, had this ‘uh-oh’ moment upon knowing that we have to walk on those interconnected float blocks to get to the boat. I have very limited balance and zero swimming skills that such was an all caps CHALLENGE. I remember shouting “putang ina, ayaw ko pang mamatay! (Fuck. I don’t want to die just yet). That happened and well,  on top of that instant when my phone almost had its dive as I didn’t realize I tucked it in under an arm which of course I had to move as I was going down.

Off to boat



That fucking scary yellow ‘road’. 


I think we missed the real low tide that it was not that low of a tide when we arrived. We could have rented cottages but we opted to have the boat wait for us. I personally felt much better as it felt like having some sort of personal vehicle that you can park anywhere and in the middle of sea at that!




It was a fine sunny day and relatively peaceful (well, until those two boats filled with other guests came). We initially devoured that lechon manok then went for some wading and occasional beer sips. I made an attempt to even bring my cup while wading but there was this tiny wave that transformed my drink into some salted beer.

If there’s any regret, it has got to be not having the skill and courage to be in that darker part of the water where the sand bar ceases to exist. At times like then, I wish I could swim.


Hues of blue green



Selfie skill show-off.






Happy 28-year old kids!



Two huts.



Hello, scared person.



Hello, still scared person.


We took off a little bit after lunch and while we initially considered to have some rest time before going out again, we felt so hungry that we decided to have this burger at this joint. It was still too early for drinks but we then headed to another inuman place Hayahay for that “we’re so fecking tired but let’s push this because it’s Teng’s last night” inuman. We were talking in slow mo and while I was busily power drinking my beer (on a smaller bottle dose I have not held in ages), my friend was power drinking a pitcher of water because she was not feeling well. When we were again joined by many, I continued to play my role as seating arrangement nazi. I was just more tired that night that I was more towards the angry drunk meter.

Consequence of forcing ourselves, well, really more myself, to drink was that I ended up sitting down on a pedicab ‘floor’ and devouring that pizza before dozing off. I really had to push to have that pizza that we even ordered it from a 24-hour place. The following morning, as we were recalling past night’s events, my friend told me “inupuan mo talaga ang pizza, Tengy” (you really spaced-out sat there and ate pizza)


This is what happens when we get hungry.



Another hungry face.



I think “Hayahay” is Bisaya for chill?



Less crowded when it was early



Evidence from previous night’s binge-eating.


IMG_9693Last half day a retrace of university days as we visited my friend’s beloved school (and unexpectedly) her beloved professor who keeps this photo of their group on his desk. I actually have visited the university the first time I was in town but this visit felt a little bit different as it felt like having a tour guide.


 Please take a picture of our national flower.



 Couldn’t go in.



Going back.



What you looking at.






Our brunch date at Sans Rival Bistro. An adorable little boyfriend!



Dumaguete, you will be missed.


Left my friend (and my heart – what) in Dumaguete. It was a happy re-meet with that blind guy performer singing at the airport’s gate. Felt some romantic thrill with thought that when I was first there, I remember feeling kilig with thought of someone I like (love?) who is now my boyfriend. Whoa. Really just a cheesy side note. (And I cannot believe I am going to end this entry with that.)


It is again him and that cheesy song!


How to get to Dumaguete: 

I may have written about this in my previous entry. But what the heck.
Cebu Pacific flies to city twice daily from Metro Manila. Apart from the more difficult “tsamba” (lucky chance) piso fare flights, a promo could steal from your wallet about Php1,500 to Php2,000.

There are pedicabs at airport but best to ask hotel if they have pick-up service. Otherwise, try to get pedicab from outside the airport compound.

Getting around is mainly via walking and pedicab (that are ironically motor-powered) that is usually shared with other commuters. Fare starts at Php8. 

Here’s a review of the sandbar from my TripAdvisor account :

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