Posted by: jinoe | November 20, 2007

The City Next Door: Dumaguete City

Whenever I hear about Dumaguete, Siliman University and the Rizal Boulevard comes to my mind and nothing else.  I mean, what is there besides those two?  Usually, these are the only places people will associate with Dumaguete.  So a trip to Dumaguete would sound boring to me.  But Portia, my high school friend,  says there is more to see in Dumaguete.  Besides, going to Apo Island and Siquijor will be easy from there.  When Cebu Pacific had a promo, Quennie and I booked a trip to the city and had a 5-day vacation to three different places: Dumaguete, Apo Island, and Siquijor. 

First Leg – Dumaguete

120 From Bacolod, we took the bus to Dumaguete via Mabinay.  The fare is around 250 per person.  We took the first trip at 3:00 am.  This mean we would arrive early and will have more time to visit places.

The fog at Mabinay was thick and the bus needs to slow down.  This delayed our trip.  But even if I was a bit sleepy, I can’t help but be amazed by the countryside.  It’s not very often I get to see a fog and cross through mountians.  I would wake up once in a while during the travel, take pictures, and enjoy the fresh air.

131 We arrived in Dumaguete and Portia was there to welcome us.  We were a bit hungry so we were looking for a good breakfast.  Since its only our first day, its not a good idea to spend right away for a big breakfast.  We opted to eat some local specialties.  Portia brought us to the public market and had some hot chocolate and budbud for breakfast.  The budbud is a local delicacy made of rice and wrapped tightly in banana leaves.  I find it similar to ibus in Bacolod only smaller and tastier.  It only costs 6 pesos each.  I ate four pieces.

Hidden Wonders

After breakfast, we drove to the Lake Balinsasayao.  It is one of the Twin Lakes in Dumaguete.  I was told it was previously a volcano crater.  Its no longer active.  Instead, a lake formed in its place.

152 Along the way, I got a glimpse of the Bell Tower, Siliman University and Rizal Boulevard.  It only took a few minutes to see the places Dumaguete is known for.  So I said to myself, that’s it.  I have been to Dumaguete.  What I didn’t know is that there are well kept secrets in Dumaguete and I was about to see one.

Going to the lake was less than an hour drive.  It was up in the mountains of the town of Sibulan.  We stopped over a small lake called Lake Kabalin-an.  It doesn’t even look like a lake.  It looks more like a big puddle to me.  But it was scenic.  I love the trees that grew in the lake.  They look old and spooky.  The clear lake provided a beautiful reflection of the adjacent mountians.

It started to rain.  Good thing that they have built small huts that provided us shelter.  There is also a small entrance fee which can be paid in the main cottage.  When the rain stopped, we drove for a few more minutes to reach to the Twin Lakes.

The Twin Lakes are Lake Danao and Lake Balinsasayao.  They were previously craters of a volcano and is now hidden behind the mountains of Dumaguete.  We had to walk down a steep road to reach to the lake.  From a distance I already saw how beautiful it is.  The place was full of trees, flowers and birds.  Some rare species of birds live in this area.  That’s why this is currently being protected by the government.  You could do swimming, boating, trekking and kayaking here.


It started to rain harder this time.  So we were stuck for a few minutes.  I started to get bored.  I already knew we won’t have time to go to the other lake.  So I started playing with my camera and got this video instead.  Notice the rain how the waters would dance as the gentle winds would blow above its surface.

We tried to wait for the rain to stop but it was hopeless.  We braved the rain and run to the car to go to our next stop.  We went back to the city for lunch.  We had lunch at Jo’s Chicken Inato.  I was craving to eat some chicken inasal.  This is the closest I can get.

Marine Lab

227 Our next stop is at the Marine Lab of Siliman University.  Portia is currently finishing her Master’s Degree in Marine Biology at the university.  She had access to the Lab and we were given a VIP tour.  I saw giant clams being bred.  Displays of whale shark skeletons, turtles, shell collection, star fish collection, a crocodile and an aquarium.  How I wish I can brings some specimens at home.  The crocodile would look great on my feet.  Joke lang Pots…

We attended the opening of an exhibit.  Portia has some of her photos on display.  She and her husband, Arne, have great underwater pictures of fishes, turtles and corals.  Some of them were taken from Apo Island which will be the next leg of our vacation.

Finally, we had dinner at Portia’s place.  Great food.  Great way to cool down and call it a day.  Tomorrow, we will be leaving early for Apo Island.

More photos from our Dumaguete trip here.

Coming back for more

Alhtough I have now visited Dumaguete, I may go back here again to visit other places I have missed in Negros Oriental.  The city of Bais which is north of Dumaguete is also a good place to visit.  It is famous for the whale watching.  I also wanted to get back to the Twin Lakes and try the different activities there like swimming.  If I have a better camera, it will be nice to go bird watching at the lakes and capture photos of the exotic birds.  Mount Talinis is also good for hiking.

Next stop:  Apo Island



  1. I’m from Cebu but never been to Dumaguete, next time i come home will try to visit and see around. Nice blog!

    You should visit. It’s a nice place. And once you are there, go to other provinces near Dumaguete too. It’s worth it.

  2. […] Read more on the places we’ve visited Dumaguete Trip – The City Next Door:  Dumaguete City […]

  3. The picture of the lake with reflections should be a wallpaper!

  4. i always enjoy reading ur blogs, i used to call dumaguette city, siliman city too. u’ve given me new perspective of the place. Keep on blogging. U take nice shots too. u myt want to make it a profession. regards to queenie.

    Hi Monday, thanks for dropping by. Kmusta ang kapid? 😀

  5. picture perfect or should i say perfect pictures. your shots are great jinoe, you’re a natural. will follow your footsteps soon. 😀

    Lapit na lg na lagawan. Indi na pagpadugay-i. 😀

  6. Hi! I’m planning to visit dumaguete this coming april and I intend to take a tour at siquijor and the twin lakes of lanao and balinsasayao. Do you have any idea of how much is the cost of the boat ride from dumaguete to siquijor and where exactly in dumaguete is the port? Also, if I’ll be visiting the twin lakes where in dumaguete should I exactly go to rent a boat or any ride that will take me to the lakes. Thanks!

    Hi, I cant remember the exact amount but the fare for Dumaguete to Siquijor is about 200 per head. The port is just beside the Rizal Boulevard. Facing the sea, it will be to your left. Trip schedule changes. Some trips are cancelled so be sure to ask for the current trips to Siquijor.

    A friend had a car and drove us to the Twin Lakes. I dont know how to get there by public vehicle. Let me ask her and I’ll try to send you an email.

    Enjoy the trip.

  7. Thanks for the info. By the way, does anyone know any local travel agency in dumaguete that I can contact? Regards!

  8. […] more on the places we’ve visited from our November Vacation Trilogy Dumaguete Trip – The City Next Door:  Dumaguete City Apo Island – Nothing Small About Apo Siquijor Island – Siquijor […]

  9. Hi, i’ve always wanted to go the lake balinsasayao. we’ve frequented dumaguete every year and every year has always been a surprise. dumaguete is really special. my question is how do you get to lake balinsasayao from dumaguete?

    please reply to my e-mail instead.

    Thanks very much!

  10. […] more on the places we’ve visited from our November Vacation Trilogy Dumaguete Trip – The City Next Door:  Dumaguete City Apo Island – Nothing Small About Apo Siquijor Island – Siquijor […]

  11. I used to be recommended this web site by way of my cousin. I am no longer certain whether this post is written through him as nobody else realize such certain approximately my difficulty. You are incredible! Thanks!

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