Out of Town! Destination: Dumaguete City

Out of Town! Destination: Dumaguete City

Text by: JP Fernandez   | Photos by: Reymond and Doyzkie Buenaviaje


When Doyzkie asked me to join him in Dumaguete for the weekend, I was hesitant for the sole reason that the trip would happen two days after his invitation.  It sure has been a while since I last visited Dumaguete so I thought that it would be worth it.

To save ourselves from waiting for each other at the bus terminal on the day of the trip, we decided to stay at Doyzkie’s place. Weekend came and as we were on our way to the terminal, Doyzkie and I managed to convince Zanjo, who happened to join us for the sleepover, and Reymond, who just arrived from work, to join us in our sudden trip.

We arrived at the South Bus Terminal around 9:30 AM where we hopped on a Ceres bus heading Lilo-an, Santander where we would greet our fast craft to Sibulan, Negros Oriental. The bus ride was very affordable, only 169 pesos per person, a 4 hour trip which we used to doze off and rest.

Cebu South Bus Terminal

By the time we reached Lilo-an, Santader, the fast craft to Sibulan had just arrived and passengers from the last trip were vacating the fast craft. We got our tickets for our 45 minute ride which was only 62 pesos per person and walked our way to the fast craft when the go signal was given.

Liloan Santander Port


Zanjo, Doyzkie and JP


Doyzkie, JP and Reymond

When we reached Sibulan Negros Oriental, our hosts Duwic and Daryl were already there waiting for us. So we hopped on the car and decided to grab our lunch at Gaby’s Bistro.  If you think that the fast craft was a short ride, well, the ride from the port to the heart of Dumaguete City was shorter.

Outside Gabby’s Bistro

When we reached Gaby’s bistro, we settled and ordered some of their best selling dishes. What I really liked about the place was that it was not your ordinary restaurant. It had a sense of home in it. It was like you were just in your sala except with strangers. LOL. But other than the ambiance that Gaby’s Bistro offered, it was their food that I really liked. For price range of Php150 to Php300 the food we ordered were delectable. Eating their dishes, you just know that the creator had an awesome sense of taste.

Gabby’s Bistro

Gabby’s Bistro

Gabby’s Bistro

After our late lunch, we went to Island Leisure Boutique and Spa where we would be spending the night. The place which is known for their red fountain at the entrance was simply fantastic despite the fact that there were still some finishing touches to be made. What I liked about the place was that some of their furniture was for sale. So if you fancied something you actually have the chance to purchase it. Other than the fact that you can buy their furniture, they have their own spa and Jacuzzi.  It was unfortunate for me though because when we were there it was not yet open to public yet so there were no therapists yet. T_T But nevertheless, we had the chance to rest for a while in our very much comfortable and beautiful room before going on to another adventure.


Island Leisure Hotel and Spa’s Red Fountain

Island Leisure Hotel and Spa, Dumaguete


Island Leisure Hotel and Spa, Dumaguete

Island Leisure Hotel and Spa, Dumaguete

When we woke up from our naps, everything was set for our next adventure. Our next destination? Tierra Alta! I have to say, Tierra Alta was one of my favorites places that we went to. I have been to Dumaguete a couple of times but I haven’t really had the chance to tour the whole city per se. Tierra Alta was like a haven for me. It was really peaceful there, except for the wedding reception which took place during our visit at the club house. The only turn off for me was the pricey fee of Php 200 per person just to go and see the lighthouse and tour the club house.  But nonetheless, the place was a fresh air for me.


Tierra Alta, Dumaguete


Tierra Alta, Dumaguete

At Tierra Alta Dumaguete

Next stop was downtown. If you’re from Cebu don’t think Colon because Dumaguete City’s downtown is nowhere to the image of Colon. Dumaguete’s downtown is  clean and unlike our downtown; you won’t really find shopping markets or the like. Instead you’ll find fancy restaurants and an awesome view of the dark abyss of the sea. I really love Dumaguete’s downtown cause in one end of Rizal Boulevard you’ll find a ballot place where seats and washing areas are provided so you can eat one of Pinoy’s delicacies in laid back manner. So true enough we walked the stretched of the boulevard and decided just to have dinner close there.

Boulevard, Dumaguete



There were a couple of choices but for the night, we decided to go European and ate at Why Not. Why Not is the place you find a lot of foreigners eating with their dates or families. But at the same time you can still find locals having their meal there. Price wise, it’s pretty costly with price ranging from Php 200 to Php 500. But the food was sure worth it and for the record; their serving is of sharing size. We ordered three main dishes which we didn’t even finish. Talk about big serving!


European Dinner at Why Not Restaurant Dumaguete


It was around 8 pm when we finished dinner and everybody was full. To my surprise our host still had something in stored for us. Pizza. T_T Pizza after dinner? You’d think it would be dessert! But no! it was Pizza! They said it was a to die for pizza so despite being full, Doy, Reymond, Zanjo and I said “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”

So we arrived at the Hayahay Treehouse and Viewdeck past 930pm and I thought was  really cool. They had live band and a tree house where we stayed and ordered a 12 inch pizza and two pitchers of alcoholic mixed drink. The pizza was good but I guess I would have appreciated it more if I wasn’t THAT full. We stayed there until around almost 11pm and just had some chitchats and good conversation. It was a really nice way to end the night.

For our last day in Dumaguete City, we had a chance to visit Dumaguete Cathedral and Silliman University which was located at the downtown area. Duwic, who is an alumnus of the university, was our tour guide. The place was huge and very spacious. It was a funny tour cause most of the time we were teasing Duwic.

Dumaguete Cathedral


Dumaguete Bellfry – the oldest in the province

Siliman Church







After our tour and ,ahem, photo shoot at the campus, we again visited the boulevard and saw the ship that was half sunken cause of a certain typhoon that hit Dumaguete. Subsequent to that, we decided to have brunch at Atilanos where it was eat all you can from 10am to 2pm for only Php 399 per person. Their food was absolutely fabulous. It was so good that we ended up staying there until we were the only customers left. Their salad was surely the group’s favorite because everything was really fresh! Their dessert was great too. But it would have been greater if only they set them on ice to keep them cold. But overall it was superb!

Napkin at Don Atilano

Not that we were not contented with our brunch, we still decided to have more dessert at the place where everyone should go to if they are in Dumaguete, Sansrival. That place is just paradise! Heaven maybe for people who has a sweet tooth. When we were there, we couldn’t really decide if we were getting anything since we were so full. But it was a waste if didn’t try something. So I decided to get something light so I got their Black Sambo which was only for Php 30 and boy I’m glad I did. It was delicious. Daryl ordered a whole cake which we shared and brought back to our place while Doy bought a bunch of Sylvannas as pasalubong.




Iced Mocha at Sans Rival

When we reached Island Leisure Boutique and Spa at around 3pm we decided to rest for an hour first before heading to port back to Cebu.

It was a short trip but boy did we do a lot of things.  To think that was only Dumaguete City that we toured. Coming from the hectic city of Cebu you’d really think that Dumaguete is laid back. No taxis, no jeep, just motorcycles and tricycles. Dumaguete is just the right place that will make you stop and see a different point of view of life. A place which can prove that at time we should really take it slow.