First Solo Backpacking 2017: Dumaguete City

March 2017.

     Pressure’s on every time you see this at the bottom of the title page of your thesis; thinking, ‘Can we finish this on time?’, ‘Will my stay here in the university be extended?’ and all of the other anxiety-fueled questions. This, by far, is the most unpredictable March. Not knowing what lies ahead, or unsure of what’s gonna come next.

     Stress was everywhere and I just couldn’t let it consume me. The Mockboard examination was the most anticipated exam for the whole five-year stay in the university. My preparation for the Mockboard fell short and as a result I was able to study only about 40% of the whole coverage. My review was neither intensive nor extensive. I was stressed. I was cramming.

     The next day after the two-day Mockboard examination, I packed my bag and took the long ride to Dumaguete City. My trip to Dumaguete was not as spontaneous as others thought it was. As a matter of fact, I had no choice but to travel because I had an appointment in DFA Dumaguete. My appointment was just right on schedule for unwinding and distressing myself, so yeah. All the combined stresses (lol) turned to excitement as I was about to have my first solo travel with not so much plan of where to go, what to do, and how to do it.

How did I do it?

     I rode a bus from Bulacao, Cebu to Liloan Port in Santander. The fare was ₱171.00 for ordinary bus and the travel time was 4-5 hours. Upon reaching Liloan Port at 1:40 pm, I went to the ticketing office quickly and luckily I was able to catch the 2-pm ride (as a matter of fact I may be the last person to hop in). It was my first time to ride a fastcraft. The fare was ₱55.00 and the travel time was roughly 15-20 minutes. From Sibulan Port, I rode a jeepney bound for Robinson’s at Dumaguete City for ₱20.00. (Travel tip: Since I am a native of Cebu, I am used to the “palihug-plete” practice and I didn’t know that the people in Dumaguete don’t practice that. Upon arriving at their destination, they will go to the driver’s side and pay the fare personally. Well, lesson learned). I arrived in Robinson’s, where the DFA Dumaguete Office was located, just right before my 4:00-5:00 pm appointment schedule.

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At Sibulan Port

     I was supposed to catch the next ride bound for Cebu right after my appointment but the wanderlust in me said “no”. So I decided to walk around the city and hunted for the cheapest inn. Based on my inquiries, the cheap inns price range from ₱350.00 – ₱700.00 per overnight stay. The Vintage Inn was a good choice, just across the Dumaguete Public Market with price starting at ₱400 pesos per overnight stay. Aldea Lodge was also a good choice, with just ₱350.00 you can sleep in a single, non-AC unit. But if you have the budget, you can avail the services of the hotels and traveller’s inns right along the Rizal boulevard which fronts the Dumaguete City Bay.

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When you don’t know where you are and where to go, Google Map to the rescue!
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Night shot at Rizal Blvd.
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Wandering lightly after dinner.
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Tried long exposure.

     The next day, I was excited of where to go next. This day’s trip was really unplanned so I searched for places nearby and I came across a blog that suggests the Casaroro Falls and Pulangbato Falls. Check out my separate blog up next soon.

     My trip ended around one in the afternoon and I was just on time for the 2-pm bus bound for Cebu City. I took the RoRo system trip (Roll-on/Roll-off) because it is more convenient but a little pricey than the bus-fastcraft-jeep option.

Breakdown of Expenses:

  • Ceres Bus Fare (Bulacao, Cebu to Liloan Port, Santander) – ₱171.00, ordinary bus
  • Fastcraft Fare – ₱55.00, student rate
  • Jeepney Fare (Sibulan Port to Dumaguete City) – ₱20.00/person/way
  • Overnight Stay – ₱500.00
  • Meals – ₱500.00
  • Ceres Bus Fare (Dumaguete City to Cebu City) – ₱235.00
  • RoRo Fare – ₱70.00
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Fastcraft rates and schedules at Liloan Port, Santander bound for Sibulan Port

     For some, this may be an ordinary trip because they get to travel from Dumaguete City to Cebu City or vice versa almost every week but for a first timer and on a solo trip like me, this is an achievement. Haha. Small joys.

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