Impressed – that’s what I felt after roaming around the capital and largest city of Negros Oriental that is Dumaguete, popularly known as the City of Gentle People.
Apart from being tagged as a university town, I can say Dumaguete offers a tranquil atmosphere but reflects that vibrant urban life that quite impressed me. There were lots of restaurants and cafés and other establishments that will spoil you with a taste of exciting city life away from the metropolis. Dumaguete really is a promising city on its own. With our set agenda, our morning city tour started at Tierra Alta.
Tierra Alta offers a thrilling zipline adventure. It was just unfortunate that it was Monday when we visited and they are only open from Tuesday to Sunday (9AM – 6PM). Fee is PHP 250 for a 600-meter zipline ride.
Silliman University’s Marine Laboratory
We next visited Silliman University’s Marine Laboratory. They have Marine Mammal Museum and Crocodile Breeding Area. In the Marine Mammal Museum, a collection of skeletal remains of marine mammals can be found. It was my first time to see such huge marine skeletons. However, bones were just dumped into shelves and tables that the place looked quite abandoned. In the crocodile breeding area, there was nothing to see as almost all tanks were empty.
The laboratory also had breeding areas for other marine creatures. Just near the Marine Mammal Museum were a number of tanks for grouper, giant clam and star fish. Just like in the Crocodile Breeding Area, almost all of the containers were empty. What we just saw were some pieces of huge star fish.
It was just disappointing that the marine laboratory was not well maintained.
After the laboratory, we headed our way to Silliman University, claimed to be one of the oldest American universities in the country and even in Asia. The campus was really big shaded by many giant trees. It has an anthropology museum but unfortunately, it was closed as it was a holiday then.
Campanario De Dumaguete
Near the university is Campanario De Dumaguete which was built in 1760 to serve as a watchtower
St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral
Just beside Campanario De Dumaguete is St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral which is also known as Dumaguete Cathedral. It is claimed to be the oldest stone church in Negros originally built in 1754 to 1776 and was reconstructed in 1885.
Bonus Massage Treat (Total Wellness Spa)
Aside from historical and foodie destinations, there are a number of spa and massage areas that caught our attention, one of which is Total Wellness Spa. This is also near Hotel Palwa. For only PHP 250, I tried their combination of Thai, Swedish and Thai massage. During their happy hour, price drops to PHP 180. They also offer back massage (PHP 150) and Thai massage (PHP 150, with oil – PHP 170). Ambiance is relaxing and private with a ginger (salabat) tea finale.