The restless in gentle ground

Immediately after Christmas Day, the sisters and I traveled all the way to Dumaguete to have a much-awaited catch-up with our dad, who was assigned there for his job since mid-2013. Roaming around the little city was also on the agenda as we first timers wanted to discover what this new, uncharted land had to offer.

As it turns out, Dumaguete was the perfect place to unwind and chill, especially after spending half the day at sea then on the road, getting there via ferry and bus. On this mini-vacation, we lost track of time as we mostly lounged at our dad's place, playing endless rounds of tong-its and pusoy dos, channel-surfing through reality television shows, or updating our social media networks through the tiny screens of our cellphones.

We did get to explore a bit, visiting a couple of sites here and there. Dumaguete is quite small compared to the other cities I've been to around the country, but it's quaintness is definitely part of its charm. Our first order of business was rummaging through stalls upon stalls of ukay-ukay finds and haggling for a fair price to the pleasant vendors. As usual we came out victorious and celebrated with Mexican and Italian deli at Coco Amigos plus a relaxing view of the bay on the side.

The Gabby's Bistro, Rana Verde, and plaza area, located in the Florentina Homes Complex, has got to be my favorite spot of all. With such a romantic backdrop, I felt as if I was transported to the alluring alleys of Europe and was nowhere near our tropical country. We truly enjoyed and took our time taking photos (selfies included) amid the stunning surroundings and savoring every bit of our orders from the diner and ice cream parlor.

Our stay was as laid-back as the city and we're loving every second of it. For a historical touch, we checked out the city belfry, caught a glimpse of the cathedral, and walked through Quezon Park. Without any hesitations, we hogged and had our shots taken with the huge I ♥ Dumaguete sign. Later we passed by the famed Siliman University and strolled down the promenade along Rizal Boulevard, like the Roxas one we have in Manila. We took a quick stop at the Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries shop for some merienda and while we were at it, grabbed at least ten boxes of their heavenly silvanas as pasalubong and new year's treat for family.

Surely there was more to the city than these restos and cafes I usually gravitate towards...and I would love to come back and spend a longer time to be able to find out. Until the next visit, dad and Dumaguete. (But I would much rather take the plane next time and spare myself of the day-long and hassle round trip...) Thanks for having us crazy four!

P.S. Shoutout to my good friend Carlie who told me one of the nicest and sweetest things I've heard in a while. I wish you luck in every way, dear! Thanks again.

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