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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Dumaguette, Philippines


I flew from Cebu in the Philippines to Dumaguette, a city of about 130,000 people on the island of Negros Occidental. I wanted to tour the scenic surrounding areas of the city, especially the mountainous region in Valencia.


I I flew on Cebu airlines, a small airline, I have never flown before. I landed into the small airport and quickly found out there are no taxis or motorbikes available to take you into the city. You have to take a dedicated van at their greatly inflated price to go there. Of course it's very reasonable for an American, but for the locals it is a very high price. It's about $15 to take the short ride into town.


This post is mostly about the city itself. Actually, it's even more focused than that, as the main attraction of the town is the waterfront. A place called Rizal Boulevard.


There is a huge sign down by the waterfront, letting you know the name of the city. I never really understood what Dumaguette means, but I'm sure it has some meaning for them.



The boulevard itself is very clean. It's actually quite impressive with the nice paved walkways and how clean it is kept.



During the day you don't see too many people around. I expect because of the heat most people don't get out and walk around the boulevard.



The area is well landscaped and has ample amount of benches to sit on. You can also sit on the waterfront wall that serves as a storm break against the crashing waves.





But the cleanliness of the area doesn't have much depth. The streets are kept clean, and the roads are kept clean as they have full-time street sweepers to do the job. But what they don't have is people to clean up the beaches. And I have yet to see a clean beachfront in the Philippines. It is always littered with garbage that nobody seems to pick up. I think a lot of people just throw their garbage into the ocean. It just washes ashore.




But I did my best to overlook this and stayed mainly in the square area when I visited Rizal Boulevard. I would often take a morning walk along the boulevard and see other foreigners, jogging and walking as well. This is the main areas where foreigners stay, although I stayed several blocks away from the boulevard.




But it is at night when things liven up. It seems like the whole city shows up at the boulevard at night. There's a lot of activity along the here including many good restaurants and many bars as well.


I actually ate at the same restaurant every night at the boulevard because I was so impressed with the food the first night, I just continued to return.










There are many kiosks in the boulevard to buy trinkets, food, clothing, about anything you would like. But I didn't buy anything personally, as nothing was of interest to me. I really didn't see a lot of people frequent those kiosks.




But I like to go down there in the evening just to people watch. Lotta groups would go down there and have their activities. Such as this church group who is playing various games in the parking lot having a lot of fun.


They also held their prayer meetings there in the park, and really seem to enjoy themselves. One of them came up to me to preach the gospel, he was just a young boy of maybe 16 years old. I told him how much I appreciated his efforts, and he felt good about himself I think.





Although this is a city of 130,000 people? it really felt small to me. Maybe because the boulevard just had a small town feel to it. But I will say that this is the best city in the Philippines that I have visited. I really don't care for the bigger cities of Manila and Cebu, they seem much dirtier to me. Also, there's just not a lot of appeal to those areas.


But this city had a unique flavor, and it was surrounded by some incredible beauty with the mountains, lakes, rivers, and ocean. This may be a place I actually return to one day, although I don't usually go back to the same place. I just felt really at home here.

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Roger Wells
Roger Wells
3 days ago
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love the photos. I can’t imagine a country not taking care of their beaches. Very sad. 😞

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Kirk
Kirk
2 days ago
Replying to

It’s actually quite common in many countries, unfortunately

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Mar 30
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

That is sad that people have to live this way. Health and sanitary places that we take for granted are not plentiful everywhere in this world. If this is how you have been brought up that's all that you know. We are very fortunate. Thanks for sharing

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Mar 30
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

It is sad about everywhere that people don't respect the country and throw trash. It is every where it's sad that we have to hire people to pick up after these individuals .

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Kirk
Kirk
Mar 30
Replying to

I agree. But I will point out an extenuating circumstance for many countries and that is they often don’t have the public services offered there to remove their household garbage. Many times they are forced to burn it themselves as they have no means of transportation to remove it. They often take the easier and most cost effective means of just dumping it wherever they find a suitable place.

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