Friday, March 6, 2009

Discovering Dumaguete 4

It has been said that the newness of a distant land creates in us a spirit of adventure, instilling a sense of discovery and renewal. As I traveled around the Philippines I was always excited to see new cities, meet interesting people, and expand my horizons by visiting mountain villages and remote scenic destinations. Now having been here for over three years, those first impressions are dear memories. I still enjoy touring the countryside on my motorcycle, but those first discoveries and adventures hold a special place in my consciousness.

I planted those first memories in Dumaguete, so now this place holds a closeness for me, something other than the friends I have made, and the experiences met. Thinking back, it is hard to remember why Dumaguete hooked me. Perhaps it was the verdant mountains looming to the west. Maybe it was the dormant volcano Talinis standing as a sentinel over the city, silently issuing forth plumes of steam and creating it's own weather system in the clouds ever present around the summit.

I suppose Dumaguete just hit me in the right spot. It was a good fit for me. Now that I owned a motorcycle, touring was easy, and for finding a house to rent it was a real advantage. Locating an apartment or house to rent is a process which is quite different in the Philippines. Basically you have to just drive around and look for places with a sign out front. There are Realtors, but often they don't list much, and what they do list are high end, high price properties. I ended up renting a house in Balugo, a small Barangay on the outskirts of Dumaguete. It was a peaceful place, a farming community. I located this cute little house in Balugo for 5.500 Pesos a month. It was very small, but suited me fine. There were coconut and banana trees, and a porch. There was also a gate and a full time caretaker living on the property so security was no problem. It was my first home in paradise.