So it’s my first 2 weeks in Dauin, just a bit south of Dumaguete, on the lovely island of Negros, Philippines!
As you know if you are reading my blog, I am now at a scuba diving resort right on the beach under palms! The first 2 weeks were intense, with the resort’s owner, Silke, showing me where to find everything and how to do this and that and get the dives organized and so on. Many thanks for the good introduction! The resort staff also has been great so far, friendly and fun to work with. The guests are really nice to chat with.
Dumaguete is a fun little city, on the coast of Negros facing the southern tip of Cebu. A nice boulevard runs along the ocean, with large trees giving shade and vendors selling roasted peanuts, balloons or souvenirs. A large “I heart Dumaguete” sign is constantly used as a portrait background in the evening.
There is a sizable expat community in the city, mostly retirees. They like to eat their homecountry’s food, and you can get really nice pastries and Swiss/German/Austrian food in some of the specialty stores along the boulevard. One place had Brezen and Weisswurst (pretzel and the traditional Bavarian white sausage) as well as Bavarian wheat beer on offer. When driving out of the city to the south, the volcanic chains of Negros’ interior tower over coastline – can you name another place where you can eat Weisswurst under a volcano?
The Philippines are such an alive place! The city life is buzzing with activity. It’s full of people on every corner. Old folks with long beards and their fighting chickens, schoolkids, pretty ladies, cool dudes in NBA jerseys. There are markets with toys or exotic fruit, and lots of tricycles and mopeds on the road, sometimes with riders seemingly relatively uninterested in remaining among the living. Hoking is standard practice; as a pedestrian no one will try to kill you but you also have to get out of the way sometimes!
The jeepneys, delivery vans changed into public buses, must be the most fun type of public transport to watch In the whole world. They get top paintjobs, but not according to some boring-ass corporate scheme, rather just like the owner feels about his vehicle and the world. Today I saw one which said “In God we trust” on the top and “Very Sexy” on the bottom of the back of the car. That kinda sums the Philippines up in a way.
This morning when I stumbled into the bathroom still half-asleep, a good sized gecko – about the size of a kitten – fell from the ceiling on top of my left shoulder. What a way to wake up. I love to be immersed in nature. It was a really pretty animal too, with orange spots all over. I was still too sleepy to take some pictures of it, unfortunately.
Right now we are waiting for the arrival of the powerful typhoon Ruby – which has slowed down on its approach to the Philippines. It’s amazingly calm right now, and the ocean is flat like a mirror. That might change in a few hours, but hopefully not too harshly!