Saturday, April 25, 2009

Discovering Dumaguete 5

Living in Dumaguete is especially good if you enjoy nature and outdoor activities. Dumaguete itself has some charm, but it is a typical small Philippine municipality. It does have several major universities, including Silliman University. The city's ambiance and tranquil, moderate way of life make it conducive to learning and intellectual pursuits. Dumaguete has become a melting pot of students, professionals, artists, scholars and the literati coming from different parts of the country and the world.

Silliman University is the dominant institution of higher learning in Dumaguete, providing the city with a distinct university town atmosphere. It is the oldest Protestant university in the country and the oldest American-established university in Asia. The 610,000 m² campus is adjacent to and intermixed with the city's downtown district.

Other Dumaguete universities are Foundation University, Negros Oriental State University, and Saint Paul University in Dumaguete.

What really makes Dumaguete a good place to live for me are the many adventurous destinations within a days drive of the city. Many are well publicized and can be reached by hired car or tour bus. Others are little known to tourists, but have an indelible charm. Hot springs abound in the local mountains and foot hills of the volcanic mount Talinis. Waterfalls can also be found by exploring the steep mountain roads outside Dumaguete. One such place is Pulang Bato.

Where is Pulang Bato you ask? Well it is a little known small series of waterfalls in the mountains near the PNOC Geothermal generating plant in Valencia. Recently upgraded with stone lined natural swimming pools, and a nipa pavilion, it is a small out of the way place you have to just know about.

Pulang Bato is the place of red rocks. The rocks are red stained from all the minerals issuing forth from the shear rock walls on the way up the small paved road to the falls. Many come just to bath in these waters for medicinal reasons. Bamboo tubes protrude from the rocks in certain spots, delivering the healing mineral waters to bathers. Further up the road lies the swimming area and water falls. The entire region is rife with volcanic stem vents and sulfuric mud slides.

Particularly scenic during the week when few people are there, you can hike into the hills and discover remote falls with absolutely no one around, pristine natural Philippine wilderness.

Dumaguete offers many things to many kinds of people, but its central location in a rural farming province, and proximity to so many natural wonders are most interesting for me.

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