Welcome to Negros Oriental!
Negros Oriental is a province located in the region of Central Visayas Philippines. And Dumaguete City is the capital city. It is known as “ The City of Gentle People”. It’s also one of the world’s best places to retire, a perfect for enjoying island life. In fact, Forbes Magazine article listed it as one of the “7 Best Places to Retire Around the World”.
I’ve been living in this place for almost 5 years (1999-2004) but I never got a chance to explore since my life then was a routinely school, boarding house and vice versa. I wish I turn back time and wander. From the city to the mountains, this place has a lot to offer. It is so wealthy with many things. You will learn more from our experience of our 4 day trip within Negros Oriental. Here we go!
From Manila we flew to Dumaguete City. We arrived at Sibulan Airport late afternoon. We went directly to the hotel where we booked 2 weeks prior to our trip. We then rented a car for our 4-day adventure.
We stayed at Hotel Essencia, one of the biggest hotels in the city. We had a great experience staying at this hotel. The staff were very helpful and so quick to respond to any of our request. Our stay came with free breakfast. We will definitely stay in this hotel if we got a chance to go back to Dumaguete.
The hotel is just 5-minute ride to Rizal boulevard where you will find plenty of great restaurants. We tried Sans Rival Bistro. I thought they only offer cakes and pastries but they also serve food for dinner. They are so famous with their sans rival and silvanas. If you travel to Dumaguete, you should try this place.
We then strolled around Rizal boulevard. Wow! The place was packed with locals and tourist. Behind us, people are eating Dumaguete’s famous pinoy food “balut” and “tempura”.
Second Day: Cathedral Church ( St. Catherine Alexandria Cathedral)
Cathedral church is the largest church in Dumaguete. It was built in seventeenth century. It is located along Perdices Street, fronting Quezon Park where the Dumaguete Tourism Office is situated. Who wouldn’t love the IG-worthy view of the Cathedral? So hop on and take that best shot.
Right next to the church you can see a belfry tower. A historical structure built in the year 1811, it is a very famous architectural landmark in the city.
We visited the belfry and offered prayers at the grotto of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. There’s a small souvenir shop near the grotto that sells candles, rosaries and other religious items.
I also went strolling with my family at the Quezon Park, located just across the Cathedral church. It has a playground, vintage cannons and a gazebo; it’s also utilize as a great hosting venue for community events. I used to come and play at this park during my college days.
It is a popular landmark in Dumaguete. It was named after our National hero Dr. Jose Rizal. It’s clean and peaceful. It’s nice to walk or just sit here and feel the cool breeze of the ocean.
The building behind us is the Silliman University. Established in 1901, it is the first American university in the Philippines and the entire Asian continent.
In the afternoon we then took a roadtrip to Valencia, Negros Oriental.
There are a lot of things to do in Valencia. We visited the Tierra Alta. We experienced their rush zipline. We then went on strolling around the beautiful place.
Third day: Tejero Highland Resort and Adventure Park
We planned our adventures but we did not call and booked the place for reservation. So, when we came and visit this place, we did not know that there’s a company party. Since we can’t get inside the place, or even just take pictures and see what it looks like inside, that’s the only picture we had. It’s the side view of Tejero Highland Resort and Adventure Park.
Forest Camp Nature Resort:
It is one of the main attractions of Valencia Negros Oriental. Well, still got no so lucky since it’s fully booked. So we just took that photo and go on the next trip.
It’s a great hike. It’s about 340 stairs going down and up to see the falls. It was rocky but it was worth it. Truly, “DIFFICULT ROADS OFTEN LEAD TO A BEAUTIFUL DESTINATION.”
Before you go, make sure you bring water and towel. You will enjoy with this amazing waterfall. It’s worth the trip. It was fun though challenging especially in climbing up the stairs when you come back. Just be careful the rocks are slippery.
Japanese Shrine: The Filipino Japanese Amity Memorial Shrine
We still got time to visit the Japanese Shrine at Valencia. It’s a destination for summer camps, outings and vacations. The view is spectacular. If you are not familiar with the place, it is best to bring with you a tour guide or a driver that is familiar with the place because the road is winding and hazardous.
We ended the trip of the day with swimming. As we are heading back to the city, we saw this river. It was so clean so we decided to go on swimming to cap off our day. Though we have many failed trips, but it was indeed a fun day with my family.
Day 4: Manjuyod White Sandbar
Our plan for the day was to visit the Lake Balinsasayao first, located in Sibulan, and then go to Manjuyod White Sandbar. Since it was raining, so we decided to go directly to Manjuyod. Upon our arrival at the Tourism of Manjuyod, the truth slapped us. It was again fully booked. (SO PLAN YOUR TRIPS AND DO EARLY BOOKING AS POSSIBLE).
Since we are all excited to experience the White Sandbar we considered renting a boat for us to get there. Of course a little bit pricey but it’s all worth it though! And there, we really have enjoyed swimming only because we didn’t got a chance to see the white sand 🙁
We stayed there for many hours waiting for the low tide just to see the powdery white sand. So I suggest if you want to visit the place make sure you have booked your trip so the tourism team can reserve a boat for the whole package. Ask them when is the best time to go there to avoid waiting for so long until Sandbar surfaces. Anyways, we did not see the powdery white sand but still we have enjoyed. I will just charge it to experience.
That’s all for our wonderful trip to Negros Oriental. It was a memorable adventure with my family.