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7 Things I Love About Dumaguete
(Posted: August 8, 2011)

2005 was the start of my birthday trip tradition – it speaks for itself; I go out of town for my birthday. In 2005, I visited Tagaytay with my family then in 2006 spent 2 days in La Luz in Batangas.

In 2007, a new tradition was added - Owee and I became travel partners. Dumaguete was the 1st destination by plane for my birthday trip tradition and I don’t remember what made us fall for Dumaguete but it was memorable and a test of our friendship, in a funny way. Haha

Sylvannas at Sans Rival

There is a reason why it is the best pasalubong from Dumaguete, it’s simply heavenly.

Siliman University

The university is synonymous to the city and anyone who wants to study Marine Biology head to Siliman. They have a beautiful campus reflecting the influence of the Americans.

Tempurahan along Rizal Avenue

Tempura kiosks line Rizal Avenue. Their version of tempura is different from the Japanese’s version; their tempura is actually fish balls together and breaded looking like the Japanese tempura. Nothing fancy but the ambiance was steady. Try it even just once. We ate a lot though. Haha

Boston Market

This restaurant was also on our must eat at places but we had a hard time finding it. With luck, we were able to see it and had our last meal there. The ambiance was bright and airy with a relaxed feel.

Garden Salad with Herb Dressing
I thought this was part of the Tuscan Fish but it was a separate order. The dressing was tasty with a light feel. It was as refreshing as a watermelon on a hot summer day!

Tuscan Fish with 7 Herbs and Spices
I could really taste the 7 herbs used in this fish. Well-seasoned and absolutely delicious! I could have this again and again.

Café Antonio

We heard good reviews about Café Antonio and it was on top of our must eat at places. We weren’t disappointed. The ambiance and food delivered. It was such a good place to hang out, we went there twice during our trip. We loved the swing seats but it proved difficult to eat on. Haha

Ridiculously funny paintings in Café Antonio

Apo Island

We had a rainy and gloomy day when we went to Apo Island. God was good to us though; it was sunny for a good 2 hours while we were snorkeling. Only thing was, it was low tide. It was good to see the fishes and corals that close but it proved to be a problem. Add the fact that the waves were really strong as well. I'd be swimming then the current would take me to a spot full of corals where there weren’t any stones to step on. Thus our war wounds of gashes, scratched nails, red spots, etc. etc! It was worth it though. Imagine if we went on a clear day? We had lunch at Liberty’s where the service was slow and the food was not so great.

Gateway to Siquijor

Originally we were supposed to go to Bais for the dolphins and the sandbar but locals advised us against it because wouldn’t catch the dolphins with that kind of the weather. Our plan C was to take a 45-minute boat ride to Siquijor. We didn’t have any reservations and it was a good thing our trike driver Kuya Fulgen was nice. He took us around until we were satisfied with the beach. We settled in at Dondenzo resort. Again, it was low tide so we didn’t get to swim but we were able to take a lot of great pictures. We were also able to roast under the sun but this was better, we were slightly submerged in water. We kinda got our sandbar wishes.

It was a quick getaway and I’m aching for more of Siquijor.

I mentioned the "test of friendship situations" earlier right? Well, here they are.

Our City Hotel

The first room they gave us was horrible! haha It was small, carpeted (read, it kinda stunk) and the comforter had animal HEADS as the print! We asked if there was another room, saw it and asked to be transferred. No problem! The bathroom was a little bit shady but we had alcohol and bathroom slippers, Owee's great idea. Whatever the place lacked, it compensated with the people and the service.

Our Apo Island Experience, the other side

We rode the boat going to Apo Island and MY GOSH, the waves were pretty big! Honestly I was scared....Owee and I were praying during the whole ride. I was so relieved when we were able to get to the island! We were 100% drenched cos of the boat ride. Ang lamig diba? We weren’t able to go to the usual drop off site because of the strong waves and the solution? MY GOD! We literally climbed 2 mountains. Mwahahaha It was a good thing 80% of the path was cemented.

The waves going back to the main land were even bigger. We didn’t talk the whole ride back and we both exclaimed a sigh of relief and started talking fast when we got back to the main land.

Our unplanned sleepover in Siquijor
We went to the port at around 5:30 PM for the last trip back to Dumaguete. Lo and behold, it was cancelled because of the strong waves! MWAHAHAHHA Owee and I DID NOT have enough money (around P800 between the 2 of us), the supplies or extra clothes! Diba, adventure? Kuya Fulgen recommended some resorts within our budget where we could stay at.

Koboy kung koboy accommodations! We bought our supplies in the nearby sari-sari store. It was a good thing we had the important supplies like Off lotion, alcohol and towels! Haha We scrimped and slept that night. We couldn’t go around cos we might not be able to get back to Dumaguete with our limited funds.

Kuya Fulgen gladly said yes to bring us to the port the next day to catch the first ride back since it was the day we were heading back to Manila!

"Boat ride to Siquijor, P160.
Yummy lunch at Dondenzo P200.
24 hours in a bikini? Priceless!"

Needless to say Owee and I are still friends and this trip is one of the stories we whole-heartedly share with others.

Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries
1 San Jose Street, Dumaguete City

Boston Market
Santa Catalina St., Dumaguete City

Café Antonio
2nd Floor Spanish Heritage Bldg.,
Sta. Catalina St., Dumaguete City

A producer by profession, Rica De Ramos is an over-packing pop culture sponge with a penchant for food, travel, fashion and everything lifestyle related. Though often mistaken for a foreigner (Hey Joe!), she's proudly Pinay.

Read more about her adventures at
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