Monday, July 7, 2008

Visiting Siaton

Since family ties are so important here in the Philippines, we have occasion to visit Siaton somewhat frequently. Siaton is a very small town at the tip of Oriental Negros. Traveling south from Dumaguete, it is about a hours drive if you go slowly. If you are a dare devil motorcycle rider(I am not) the trip can be done in 40 minutes.

The first thing that strikes you about Siaton are the bountiful and verdant rice plantations as you enter town. Fed and irrigated by two rivers, Siaton is an agricultural center in the region. In that way Siaton is more or less the main market town for Southern Negros Oriental. Much of it's bounty heads north to Dumaguete for distribution there. Truckloads of fish, rice, and produce find there way north to the larger markets.

Siaton is a quiet villiage, with only a few modern bussinesses. There is a wet market, town square, and a satellite campus of NORSU University. A sleepy town, with mostly bicycle pedicabs, Siaton has a quite charm of its' own. If you are an expat you will be looked at with curiousity although nearby Tambobo Bay supplies a limited flow of forein visitors to town. English is no as freely spoken as in Dumaguete, but as this is still largely a province town, that is not surprising.

The beaches of Siaton are expansive and consist mostly of brown sand, normally almost deserted as far as recreational use is concerned. You will find mostly native houses and fishing boats along the shore line. I had the occasion to spend a day at the families beach cabana a few days ago. the pictures show the way the Philippines was everywhere only a few years ago. It was a pleasant change fom the crowded beaches surrounding Dumaguete. Sitting there having a beer and eating barbecue, it was not hard for me to imagine being in the Philippines of 100 years ago.

Siaton, a worthwhile stop if you are traveling to Lake Balanan just south of town.