Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dumaguete: Not Your Usual Things to Do

Our plane touched down Dumaguete and our CouchSurfing host promised to pick us up at the airport. The airport was already nearly empty since most of the passengers have left and we were the only ones there. After a quick call, we learned that he was still in bed, nursing a hangover, but promised to be with us within 5 minutes.

And there he was in his trusty ol' car. After the short pleasantries, we instantly headed to the public market to have a local breakfast of puto and native coffee. It was fascinating to witness the rhythms of how they served it. Puto, which is actually glutinous rice, is served on a saucer, and on the side, the delectable liquid cocoa topping is on a separate cup. Eating it is very interactive. You have to pour the chocolate on top of the puto and enjoy it in small bites, while slowly downing your cup of native coffee with it.

puto stall in Dumaguete

the art of breakfast: puto at natib kape

We didn't go far, because soon as we finished, we just crossed over the market to grab some fresh fish for our seaside lunch. Since our host is a renowned chef (he actually does not like being called a chef), he is quite proud of the Dumaguete market as one of the liveliest fish markets in the Philippines. And yes he knows his craft, as he is buddies with the fish mongers already, giving him discounts and that special cut for the kinilaw and the inihaw. 

Dumaguete's lively fish market

our host sizing up the freshness of the fish

Off to his friend's beach house. We were welcomed by Berto in his rustic, beach themed home. Our morning was spent preparing lunch. While the others were getting the fire ready for the barbecue, I felt honored to help out my host prep his "world-class" kinilaw. Rinse the fish with calamansi, not with water. Add fresh coconut milk. Season. Top it with fresh lettuce, chicharon, and peanuts for that extra crunch. Serve.

the world class "kinilaw" I helped prepare

our seaside lunch

Soon, we were joined by some Russian Couchsurfers who have made Dumaguete their second home. It was interesting to find out that they're living a comfortable life here in the Philippines, surviving mainly through their apartment rental in Moscow, blogs, and internet gigs. It was a new concept for me, and opened up the idea that anything is possible and it can be done. Besides, the Philippines is a lovely country to be in specially if you're a nature lover, and the cost of living is not really that expensive when you're earning in other currency. 

pair the kinilaw with "Bahalina".
enjoying my glass of bahalina to the dregs.

The rest of the day was spent just chilling-- either playing a pool of billiards, chit chatting, taking a dip by the sea, drinking some tuba or bahalina. "Bahalina" is the local alcoholic drink, which is actually sweet. Don't be fooled. Behind the sweet taste, is a slow creeping traitor. You'll want more of it thinking there's no alcohol, until boom! You've already been hit. We capped the day by setting up a bonfire, and dozing off as we  enjoyed the sound of the soft ocean waves crashing the shore. 

the lovely beach house where we stayed
photo by: ©Masha of traveliving.org

Dumaguete bonfire
photo by: ©Masha of traveliving.org

I know some bloggers would give you a list of top things to do in Dumaguete--visit Silliman University or stroll along the Boulevard. Well, I'm not that kind. Because I haven't done those. 

For me, this culture immersion would still top the charts in terms of things to do in Duma. 

Your turn, what other thing have you done in Dumaguete?

This is Cheap Travel for Women's entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' September 2012 Blog Carnival themed "The Visayas Roundup".

Hosted by Ding, The Pinoy Explorer.

CLICK on the Carnival Logo to read the other PTB Blog Carnival themes and entries.


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