Dumaguete honestly turned into one of those cities that you visit and quickly start envisioning living your life there. I know, without a doubt, I will expat there for a few months within the next year or so because I fell in LOVE.
Sometimes though, it really is about the people that you’re with that make a place so beautiful and I made a life-long friend in Jacque (pronounced – Jackie) when she took me under her wing and showed me the beauty Dumaguete had to offer a gal!
We started our day very early in the morning and went to the local markets for breakfast, guess what we ate. Carbs. Carbs basically for breakfast 😛 We had sticky rice and chocolate peanut butter sauce, which was….delicious….but….not the thing I would usually go for at 5:00am but as Jacque explained, it’s what the locals of Dumaguete eat to give themselves the needed energy to last throughout the day, and it’s cheap!Also, we passed by a stall that had like 5c clothes items, which I could have easily spent a few hours at but luckily Jacque was there to pull me away! But, note to readers, Dumaguete has the goods!
Our next pitstop was the Sulfar Vents on the way to Red Rock where I climbed up a wall for a photo op, as you do 😀 we stopped at the Red Rock Springs and the day kind of took a left turn when I crashed my drone first thing. But Jacque was there as a constant reminder to let it go and that we would get it fixed later! (Which I’ll fill you in on at the end.)
The springs are a place of spirituality and healing and it was important to feel in the moment and absorb my surroundings, even with my drone anxiety. Sometimes life presents you with ways to let things go and put things in perspective – like the value of an experience over a material possession, at the time, it was harder for me to get, but looking back, everything really did work out and all happen for a reason. So I suppose Dumaguete has a very special place in my heart because of the lessons learned and friendships strengthened.
After bathing in the springs we headed to Red Rock Waterfalls which were SO stunning to behold! I’ve never seen rocks so red other than Las Vegas when I lived there, but they definitely didn’t have such lush green surroundings or heavily flowing water like this one in the jungles of Dumaguete! The earthy tones were incredible and I may or may not have done an outfit change to make the most of them!
Our last stop before lunch was Tierra Alta which is a beautiful hotel with a stunning viewpoint from the lighthouse of the whole of Dumaguete city. I couldn’t imagine staying there because of the distance, but the grounds were definitely beautiful and worth a trip out to at least to take in the view – and get a good workout up those lighthouse stairs….whichever way you want to climb it (smh at myself!)Lunch, had to be my favourite part, not just because we tried traditional Philippino food…which. I. INHALED.But the location we dined at would be 1,000,000 percent where I will come back and stay one day – Forest Camp is even better than it sounds, there are like 50 thousand waterfalls and pools and so much green and blue around everywhere. There’s treehouse cabins, water-slides, literally was the most beautiful and peaceful place with so much to do and just absorb.
Probably my highlight of Dumaguete for sure because of it’s beauty at every turn and also probably because I felt so calm there, after having such a big day, it was great to eat, break some bread, disconnect from technology and connect to nature, laugh with friends, play like children and just have fun!
So, I said I would fill you in and I will: After crashing my drone, the only place I could get it fixed was Cebu, but I couldn’t contact the owner of the shop, so I wasn’t sure if I should send it to Cebu and risk the postage times, I had to have it back, fixed, within 4 days maximum for a shoot. I finally threw out the idea I wonder if I should just go to Cebu, Jacque perked up and exclaimed that her and her husband were flying to Thailand tomorrow and DRIVING to cebu, which was perfect because they needed to leave super early and since I needed to get up and down in one day – it was the perfect option.
They drove to pick me up from my hotel, an hour away from them (out of their way, meaning they woke up even earlier) and drove us to Cebu, dropped me where I needed to go and went off to catch their flight! I ended up getting it fixed in two hours, jumped on a bus back down to Dumaguete to just make the last ferry to Siquijor that evening – crossing 4 cities, 3 islands and 5 modes of transport in one day!
I wouldn’t have been able to pull off such a crazy feat without the help of new friends and I will forever be grateful for Jacque and her husband’s selfless nature and willingness to help me out. It’s not always where you go, but who you go with and I will forever have a HUGE place in my heart for Jacque and Dumaguete.
If you want to meet this fabulous human being and take her tour and laugh and just basically have the best day around this positive ball of energy that is Jacque then head to her site to contact her yourself. She is just the most lovely person and I feel so blessed to have crossed paths that will now lead into life-long friendship!