Dumaguete means more than Sans Rival and food tripping. Dumaguete, to me, equates to family and wonderful memories with family. Because of the proximity of Dumaguete to our island and because our grandfather was once assigned as a district engineer in Negros Oriental, we frequent the quaint city like it was just next town. Transportation has greatly improved, thank heavens, but the waves are still the same — huge and all-consuming. During the Independence Day weekend, our family was in Dumaguete to witness the renewal of vows between my uncle and aunt and celebrate the opening of their second auto shop branch.
The first order of our first day was to secure our accommodation. I was with 12 members of my family and we were on a budget and wanted a place that is near the city proper. We tried to book with Harold’s Mansion but found that the stairs to the second floor where our rooms would be located are too steep for my grandmother. So we settled with the ever-reliable Avenue Park at Gov. Perdices St. This pension house is right smack in the middle of the city, which made it very convenient as the wedding ceremony was held at the Saint Catherine Cathedral.
After booking three rooms at Avenue Park, we had ample time to drink coffee and eat snacks at Lee Cimbali, the coffee shop/bakery at the ground floor of Super Lee Plaza. We drank cold brew coffee. Unfortunately, it was nothing like home-made cold brew coffee. Finally, we were back to our uncle’s place in Sibulan for lunch before traversing back to Avenue Park to prepare for the 2PM ceremony.
The highlight of my Independence Day this year was meeting former Azkals chief Chiefy Caligdong at my uncle’s wedding reception. The day was tiring, as we shuttled back and forth Sibulan and Dumaguate, but it was fun and filled with memories, especially with the family.
The following day was another treat as we made an impromptu trip to Forest Camp in Valencia. But before that, I’d like to thank Kuya Antonin, my mother’s cousin, for giving us special discount in Jolibee. I’ve been to Forest Camp a couple of times already but it was the first time for most of my family. I was amazed at how cramped the place was that day — especially because it was a long weekend and many other families also decided to spend the day together in the camp. My older nephew and youngest cousin swam in the pools, while the rest of the family spent the time talking and eating Forest Camp’s buko halo-halo.
At 5PM, my family went home to Siquijor, while my husband, I, my sister, my aunt and my cousin indulged in a classic chicken barbecue dinner at City Burger.