People go to Dumaguete for different reasons. I wanted to travel solo and Dumaguete felt like a place I can explore on my own. And so, armed only with a small backpack, three days’ worth of pocket money, and lots of courage, I flew to Dumaguete, with only my usual travel buddy Kitteh to keep me company.
I know that traveling to new places is a great opportunity to learn something, and going to Dumaguete proved this true. Here are three things I learned during my stay in the City of Gentle People:
1. Getting lost in a strange new city can be scary but also fun.
I spent my first evening in Downtown Dumaguete walking back and forth Rizal Boulevard, watching ship lights twinkle in the distance and other people taking a stroll like they don’t have a care in the world. I then spent an hour sipping chamomile tea and listening to a live acoustic band in Scooby’s & The Bean Connection Café at Silliman Avenue.
The next day, I visited Silliman University and strolled inside the campus, pretending to be a student and feeling right at home. My last morning was spent looking for online restaurant recommendations, relying on Google Maps and the hospitality of strangers to point me in the right direction.
2. Strangers can be kind.
I always marvel at how kind people could be even when they’re not getting anything out of it. Twice I had locals giving me a lift on their scooter because I got lost on my way to my homestay, and once I had a tricycle driver give me helpful tips on where to go and what to do in the city, without expecting any sort of payment.
3. Eating good food is fun even when you do it alone.
Dumaguete is home to so many delicious food and delicacies. Jo’s Inato serves tasty chicken inato that locals and tourists love. Neva’s Pizza at Hibbard Avenue serves filling and budget-friendly Kuripot pizza. Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries serves the yummiest sans rival I’ve ever tasted, and even Caltex (yes! Caltex!) offers premium ice candy for those willing to shell out P15 per stick.
Traveling solo is an experience in itself, and doing this in Dumaguete proved to be the right decision. I enjoyed my stay so much that I already promised to go back, with friends next time, hopefully.