People Watching in Dumaguete


Dumaguete was only on our schedule as a point of arrival and departure at the airport. It was supposed to be a short drive from the dock over to the airport and back to Manila for a couple days of touring Taal and perhaps some more shopping before Paul and Nikki had to leave. However, we woke up on our last scheduled morning to a tropical depression and a canceled ferry. The pages of the newspapers the next day showed people in the sea with life jackets being rescued from another ferry that chose to sail Our canceled ferry meant that we would miss our flight and the rest of the day was spent calling, faxing and emailing the airline to try and solve the problem of rebooking our flights. It was a problem that needed constant feeding. Philippine Airlines were not cooperative, and we very grateful to have a travel agent to assist us. We never really got to enjoy our extra day at the resort because of the stream of airline demands and Manila arrangements needed canceling too.

The next day we took the first ferry out, which meant an unscheduled afternoon and night in Dumaguete. The short drive from the port to the hotel was enough to make sure I wasn’t too excited about going out to explore. I’d been around enough small, poor towns here to feel uncomfortable and almost voyageristic walking around. There’s usually nowhere to really eat, drink or hang out and you often get mobbed by beggars or small children. But I decided to venture out with Nikki and Paul anyway, thinking I could just turn back. But Dumaguete was a small, college town worth a look around.

Dumaguete Street

Nikki and I let loose in Dumaguete

Shopping in Dumaguete

I stumbled upon a fabric store. Perfect timing to buy some fabric for new tablecloths

We drew a circular route down the main street, and then back along the tree lined coast road to the Mexican restaurant where we planned to eat that evening. Latham and Robert joined us at our last destination and we watched the world go by for 2-3hrs, through the rush hour traffic along the coast, and on into the early night. It was fun looking at all the different passengers on the tricycles, trucks, cars and bikes that paraded by. School kids, people coming back from work, college kids, families, goats and chickens. Paul sat and clicked away at the procession and we drank margaritas and ate funky nachos. After the evening traffic died down, the street vendors came out and a makeshift street restaurant just materialized down by the water. It was a little bit of unscheduled fun salvaged from our disrupted plans and I was grateful for it. Sometimes its nice to have something unexpected in the mix.

Dumaguete Traffic

Watching the tricycle traffic in Dumaguete

Dumaguete Traffic

Family after family on bikes heading home

Dumaguete Tricycle

Every tricycle told a different story. So fun to watch everyone commuting back and forth

Dumaguete Tricycle

Young passenger waiting for Dad to come back

Kids on a bike in Dumaguete Traffic

As always, kids are often the best subjects

Dumaguete Roxas Blvd at Night

We watched so long the traffic subsided and darkness started to fall, with a little peace returning to the coast

Roxas Blvd Dumaguete

Seaward side of the coastal road. Boats lined up on the beach reminded us that island life wasn’t far away

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