Insider Tips on Dumaguete
Carla Basa-Martinez gave us some Insider Tips on Dumaguete. Why it’s such a great place to live, work or visit.
Carla is a mother, traveler, nature enthusiast and avid cook. Their family moved from dreary Manila 5 years ago and live in sunny Dumaguete. Carla is very enthusiastic about Dumaguete and loves to explore the places in and around here.
If you’re thinking about moving to Dumaguete either for work or retirement, or are planning a holiday, check out Carla’s Insider Tips below.
Q. How long have you lived in Dumaguete?
4 years running. I also had my HS Education here. My dad is a Negrense.
Q. What made you decide to move there?
Frankly, we were getting tired of the traffic, pollution and cost of living in Manila. For the same amount of money we are renting a whole house in Dumaguete; whereas in Manila, we only had a tiny apartment. It’s a good cross between a city and a province. We have a child so we needed a place with good schools and hospitals but still with that laid back vibe.
Q. How is Dumaguete different from other places you have lived in?
Advantages: The beach is on one side, the mountain is on the other. 30 minutes to go to either one! You don’t have to travel so far, to go out of town. There is an abundance of natural resources (sandbar, hot springs, lakes, mountains/hiking, waterfalls, diving, etc.) The restaurants are good and you get legit local produce and meat at good prices.
Disadvantages: Job opportunities are not abundant. There are call centers here and stuff and there are jobs but the wages definitely do not match Manila. There is only one large mall. However, you can easily travel to Cebu or Bacolod for that. One thing I miss (having lived in Boracay) is that the sand is not white. But Siquijor is so close and that yearning can be satisfied quickly.
Q. What do you love about Dumaguete?
I love that everything is so near! 15 minutes usually to get anywhere. Traffic is only during rush hour and only 30 minutes at most. It’s a university town so there are lots of students and activities. One thing a noticed is that there is always a fiesta! Multiple fiestas throughout the year.
Q. What are some of your recommended well known tourist attractions in Dumaguete?
Manjuyod Sandbar and dolphin watching, Twin Lakes (Balinsasayao), Apo Island (snorkeling with turtles!), Pulangbato Falls and Hotspring, Tambobo Bay, Camping in Mt. Talinis are the more famous ones but we also have caves (Mabinay) and more. This is also a great place to learn to dive. Some of the best dive and snorkel spots can be found here.
Q. What are some of your recommended little known tourist attractions in Dumaguete, or off the beaten track kind of things to see and do?
Casaroro Falls is not really off the beaten track but it may be a bit challenging for some.
I have seen quite a few waterfalls in my lifetime but the power and sheer force of Casaroro is breathtaking. You cannot swim under the falls; please secure a guide.
Mt. Talinis hiking/camping is also something else.
Q. What are some of the restaurants you can recommend in Dumaguete?
- 2-Story Kitchen
- Soban Korean Restaurant
- Royal Suites Inn
- Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries
- Lab-as Seafood Restaurant
- Restaurant Kri
- Alima Cafe
- Chicco’s Deli
- Cafe Racer
- Tres Bistro
Prices are not expensive here in Dumaguete. You can already eat for P200-P300 at a nice restaurant.
Q. How much would one need to save up in order to experience Dumaguete?
It really depends on the length of your stay and where you decide to stay. Maybe Php 10 to 15,000? Book your flight way in advance for cheaper rates and also pay for your hotel in advance so you only have to worry about pocket money.
Q. How many days does one need in order to fully experience the magic of Dumaguete?
For me, I think you’ll need a week. Because most of the activities last the whole day —- unless you’re Superman and you have to energy to squeeze more than one thing a day.
Q. What are the different modes of transportation that people can take going to Dumaguete?
Plane, boat or car (via Cebu or Bacolod).
Q. What advice can you give to tourists who are visiting Dumaguete?
Prepare yourself because we have no traffic lights. It’s the Wild West out here and there are tons of motorcycles so be safe if you decide to rent a motorbike.
Q. What advice can you give to someone who wants to live in Dumaguete?
Secure your means of income first (job or business). Once you have that, everything should be okay.
Q. Can you describe the climate throughout the year?
Unpredictable. It’s flanked by the ocean and the mountains. It could be rainy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon but in general, summer months are March to May and rainy typhoon season starts September.
Q. What are nearby places to go to outside of Dumaguete? What is there to see there and how many minutes/hours away are they?
Siquijor! It’s magical and breathtaking. Like Boracay before the commercialism. It’s an hour or two away by boat. If whale sharks are your thing, Olsob is nearby (30minutes away by Roro). Sumilon Island is also very close.