Monday, September 9, 2013

Uni Town: Dumaguete

I once asked my dad, "Dad, how do you get to Dumaguete?"

He replied, "You need to keep heading South."

"How will I know I've arrived?" I asked.

"You'll know it's Dumaguete when the people start speaking in Cebuano and when you notice that there are more motorbikes than there are people." (For those of you that don't know, Ilonggo is the dialect most used in our little island of Negros :) )

Thus was conferred to me the crude, yet accurate directions on how to get to the University Town of the south. Dumaguete is a busy town in the south of Negros Oriental (Bacolod is in Negros Occidental.) It's roughly a 5 hour drive through the mountains if you're coming from Bacolod City. What started out as the first American university in the Philippines (started by Protestant missionaries to be exact), has now blossomed into the crown jewel of the town that has sprung up on this school's massive success.

I knew this school was pretty good since it attracted students from Cebu, Iloilo and other far flung towns of Visayas to take long ferry boat rides just to study here but I never knew it attained such acclaim as to be known as one of the top 150 schools of Asia or the 4th best university in the Philippines according to some studies. [Link Here] (Okay, okay, I used Wikipedia as a reference. So sue me)

Anyway, our family took a short vacation here to escape the consecutive two day brown out that regularly plagues Bacolod City. (Brown outs are as common as the carabaos each Bacolodnon keeps in his back yard. I kid). I really liked the architecture that the old colonial Americans used to build their school houses. I was only able to cover a few things in town, so I must make a mental note to come back.

Silliman was founded in 1901 which makes it one of the oldest universities in the Philippines as well.

The Silliman University Church. You can see an open ground in front of it which serves as the amphitheatre. Students gather here regularly for meetings and stuff.

Another sight to see in Dumaguete is the promenade along Rizal boulevard (seen below). This place offers a pretty neat sunrise and is the most popular hangout in town as it has a lot of hotels and bars lining the street opposite it. Must take a picture of the sunrise next time.

Coming home to Bacolod from Dumaguete is another picturesque adventure as you're treated to a beautiful coastal road (as seen below) with long stretches of road bordered by a deep blue sea. You can also see the island of Cebu as you coast along. You'll also go through some twisty mountain roads which are fun to drive through if you take the Mabinay-Kabankalan route to get to Bacolod. (Must take pictures next time).

To cap it off, here's a picture of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental. This was close to home and mom decided to stop over (like she always does) to pray for the soul of this poor unfortunate and sinful man typing these words.