Having traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South Asia several years ago as part of our work, we’ve been exposed to these regions’ various cuisines. So when several restaurants offering fare from these countries began mushrooming in Metro Manila a few years back we could easily satisfy our cravings whenever we miss food from these regions. While many of these restaurants have modified their dishes to suit the Filipino palette, there were enough of them that remained true to their roots.
In a previous post we mentioned Dumaguete as having one of the densest concentrations of cafes and restaurants in the country. This ranges from hole-in the-wall types and small food stalls to diners, local cafes, restaurant chains and fancy dining places. Our only problem was choosing which place to go with our limited time in the city. Among the first we tried were those specializing in local and sea food dishes.
The sleepy town of Mauban, Quezon has become popular in recent years due to Cagbalete Island. Unknown to many, however, the inland section of the town is home to caves, forests and – according to the locals – more than twenty waterfalls. Most of the waterfalls have not yet been documented. But at least three are well-known by now and readily accessible. Just recently we decided to visit the most popular and accessible cascade of the three: Dahoyhoy Falls.
In between waterfall-chasing in Negros Oriental, this city was the place to chill out, enjoy good but inexpensive food and relish an easy stroll. Dumaguete is not, by all means, a quiet little town today but compared to the crowds and traffic in Metro Manila and other major cities in the Philippines, the pace here is still remarkably laid back. And there are still several pockets inside the city where you can enjoy an even slower pace.
One of the reasons why we love the city of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental province is because of its proximity to so many outdoor destinations, making it a suitable base for travel and sightseeing. One of the nearest tourist attractions to the city may be found in the town of Valencia, the municipality next to Dumaguete. There are two major waterfalls in this hilly town: Casaroro Falls and Pulangbato Falls.
When we first read about this waterfall from a travel blog a few years back we hardly entertained thoughts about visiting it. Not only was it located a considerable distance from Dumaguete City, the nearest city to the falls with an airport, the final leg of the trip was over some very rough roads. But just before another trip to Dumaguete last week we discovered that much of the road going to Niludhan Falls in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, was recently concreted, making the waterfall much more accessible.
We were the only visitors during the first time we came to this white sand beach in the early 2000’s. Part of the Coron Island loop tour even back then, Banol Beach was our lunch stop for the day. It was practically deserted with no human-made structures in sight. Resting after our exhilarating snorkeling experience at nearby Skeleton Wreck, we got to enjoy lunch, packed for us by our resort, under the shade of the trees. The serene scenery all around us made for an ideal afternoon rest.