Thursday, August 14, 2008

Who is Visiting Dumaguete?

I pulled this interesting statistic from a local news article. It shows quite clearly the trend in tourism and visitors to Dumaguete. A 13% increase in visitors from other countries with Koreans leading 3:1 over Americans, the next highest number of foreign nationals.

"Negros Oriental Alien Control Officer Peter Bueno disclosed that his office collected P13,826,110 (US$307,797) in 2007, almost 14 per cent higher than the 2006 collection of P11,915,029.65.

Bueno said the bulk of the fees collected was from tourists who visited the province last year.

Records show that in 2007, almost 1,000 tourists had visited Negros Oriental, with Koreans topping the list at 330, followed by Americans, 105, British, 46, and Germans, 25, and Japanese, 22.

The Bureau of Immigration is an attached agency of the Department of Justice and collects fees from foreign students, tourists and aliens taking up temporary or permanent residence here."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dumaguete to Cebu City by Motorcycle

I often go to Cebu City for various reasons. Sometimes a visa run, other times shopping or other business. This time tired of riding ferries or Ceres Liners, I decided to ride my motorcycle. I figured I could shave at least a half hour from the trip if I got lucky with the ferry connection to Bato from Tampi.

I actually left from Siaton not Dumaguete, so my trip was lengthened by 40 minutes. I made it from Siaton to Tampi in just over one hour, a rather fast time as it was Sunday and the traffic was light. As I approached the dock at Tampi the barge was loaded and just about to leave, the dockmen waived me on and I scooted onto the ship as they raised the ramp. Timing is everything, and in this case I was very lucky.

Disembarking at Bato after a thirty minute ride on the ferry, I sorted out my things and took off for Cebu City. On a Sunday, as I mentioned before, the traffic is very light making the first two thirds of the trip relaxing and very enjoyable. The road winds around through Oslob, Argao, and Dalaguete. A motorcyclist's dream of switchbacks, chicanes, and sweeping turns are an adventure and joy to ride. Just be very careful of the Ceres liners that also ply this road in abundance.

The coastal road has a decidedly Mediterranean feel (except for the flora), and the resorts and large homes carved into the seaside cliffs add to the ambiance. It is a beautiful ride, and very different from riding on the bus.

After getting to Car Car, the traffic increases exponentially. Not as relaxing, driving speed is still about 60-80 KPH, but you are surrounded by other motorists. A careful eye and dilligence is required. The fun goes out of the trip by the time you reach the outskirts of Cebu, but it is not so bad that anyone could not handle it.

In the end, my trip from Bato to Mactan Island Island took under three hours. I did in fact shave off a 1/2 hour to the south terminal where the bus normally would stop. A nice ride on a Sunday mid morning, and even on my 150cc underpowered steed, very doable.