The City of Dumaguete has its own unique way of charming me. It’s vibrant yet laid-back air makes me want to come here often. And even though Sans Rival Bistro has invaded Cebu, it’s still a different feeling when you dine to the exact place where it all started. The city is a beautiful concoction of urban and rural living. In the morning, the city is silently busy as locals go to work, students go to school or for some, run some errands. The silence slowly dissipates at noon as more and more tricycles (with the place being called the tricycle capital of the Philippines) invade the area bringing with them both locals and tourists. Later in the evening, the center of Dumaguete’s attraction is at the Rizal Boulevard as almost half of the city’s population dine on the lined- up restos, eat balut and tempura at the boulevard or converse and relax while sitting down at the sea wall. This is what a typical day in Dumaguete looks like.
Last December, we had the chance to enjoy the city yet again for 2 awesome days. We were there to enjoy good food and relax hence we didn’t put much attention in going to specific spots. We were there to experience Dumaguete.
We got up early and head for the early trip to Dumaguete via the Cebu- Lilo-an (Santander)- Sibulan route. So by 12 noon, we were already at the Sans Rival Bistro with stomachs ready to devour. haha
Expenses: Ceres Bus from Cebu to Liloan in Santander (4 hours)- 200/person;
Fastcraft to Sibulan (15 minutes)- 62/ person
Sibualan- Dumaguete – 20/ person
We had our lunch in Sans Rival Bistro. Their food is just as good as the first time I dined here. Plus, it’s reasonably priced and in large proportion. Their Sans Rival Spaghetti is a personal favorite.
Checked- in at Honeycomb Tourist Inn.
Despite reading some not so good reviews, the fact that it is located along Rizal Boulevard made us go for this hotel. We were not dismayed since our stay here was surprisingly pleasant. For 1, 200 php, we were given the Standard Deluxe room. The hotel is an old house built in the 1930’s and survived the World War II.
Vibrant yet simple. This is how I describe Rizal Boulevard’s nightlife. The strong winds gushing from the sea makes it a favorite chill spot among locals and tourists. Colossal trees lined along the boulevard gives of that refreshing provincial vibe. At the other side of the street are restos and bars strategically planned to face the harbor. If you are on a budget, you need not dine on expensive restos. You may order take out and eat at the benches along the sea wall or one may enjoy eating tempura and balut at one side of the boulevard. TIP: Too sad the tempurahan stand doesn’t offer puso (hanging rice).
Pulang Bato Falls
Going to Pulang Bato Falls is a bit of a challenge. From the hotel, we took a trike that would take us to the jeepney terminal to Valencia. Jeepney fare is 12 pesos and travel time is 15-20 minutes. At the Valencia terminal, you have to charter a motorcycle for 400 pesos ( two-way) to get to the falls. All the while I thought that the commute would be short but, it took us 30 minutes of bumpy terrain at the foot of Mt. Talinis to reach the falls.
On our way, we were aghast seeing Mt. Talinis’ geothermal steam vents. We got super excited and asked the driver if we can stay and take pictures for a while. It was our first time to see such natural phenomenon and we were just in awe.
It was really something extraordinary!
Pulang Bato Falls
Pulang Bato, as the name suggests has unique and natural red rocks and boulders surrounding it. It is yet another work of Mt. Talinis that made it’s rocks red to orange.
Entrance fee is 50 pesos. There are 2 others falls in the area and cottages are available for those who want to swim or stay longer. We took some photos and excitedly went to Red Rock Hot Spring.
Red Rock Hot Spring.
This is definitely the highlight of our trip. We wouldn’t want to miss taking a dip in a hot spring. Actually, when we were in Camiguin, we got so excited to swim in Ardent Hot Spring but we were dismayed since the water is not hot anymore (I wonder why?).
And Red Rock Hot Spring did not fail us, the water was just right warm.
Entrance fee is 40 for adults and 25 for children.
The place was small, built in stone bricks with cottages and tables for rent surrounding the pool. It can be a bit cramped but we got hooked to swimming here. The water is relaxingly warm and therapeutic. Swimming in a hot spring is far way better that doing it in a cold spring. It nevertheless, took our breath away.
Our trip to the town of Valencia and Dumaguete was short since we only spent two days yet when I thought I’ve exhausted all of Dumaguete from previous trips, I was wrong. We experienced two memorable things. First, we were able to watch a remarkable natural occurrence with Mt. Talinis’ volcanic vents and second, it was our first time (and counting) to swim in a hot spring.X