Dumaguete - The best time i had in the Philippines, pt.2
Updated: Apr 25, 2018
Last week I showed you that video I made in Dumaguete with my new friends, in case you haven’t seen it, here is the link again. It was a very special day for me, the beginning of a new friendship and I would really love if you could spend a few minutes to watch it.
Now let’s talk about the other reasons why Dumaguete was my favorite place to stay in the Philippines.
WHERE TO STAY
The Flying Fish Hostel (Following this link you can book a bed for an average of Euro 6.00/night).
It is the cozier hostel I had been so far while in the Philippines. Really fine detailed modern/industrial design, extremely clean, super friendly people working there, and with an amazing bar (try their mango margarita) with enough space for people to chill or work remotely. Definitely the perfect hostel for me.
The first night I spent there they invited an environmental organization called Gugma Gaia to host a panel about nature and sustainability. They also had a guest speaker about feminism. These are two very important topics right now in this country. The Philippines definitely need some help to keep this corner of paradise on Earth clean and preserved for future generations and Gugma Gaia is helping by educating the local community and tourists. Feminism is also very touchy subject right now. Unfortunately here, more than many other countries, females are not treated nearly as close as men. If you can, spend a minute to see what they do in details or on their website at: https://gugmagaia.org/ . They are local, they put an incredible effort into this and they deserve all the support they can get. Help them, they are legit.
WHAT TO SEE
Then it comes the waterfalls.
I chose Dumaguete as a base to visit the Casaroro falls. I had that fall as my first bucket list item in the Philippines, they did not disappoint. The road to get there is a beautiful one. You will ride through rural villages and forests. I suggest going there with your own motorbike that you can rent at The Flying Fish for just P350 ($7.00).
Once you arrive at the Casaroro falls parking lot, the entrance is to the left. Walk down about 200 stairs and then you are pretty much hiking up the river on a barely signaled “path”. Don’t worry, just keep finding your way up the river and you will see the falls. It’s a lot of fun. Bring the proper equipment, especially the right footwear to avoid to slip while you hike through wet and muddy rocks.
Self portrait taken at Casaroro Falls with Fujifilm XT-2 16mm, ISO 640, F 5.6 SS 1/10
Then i went to the Pulangbato Falls. I honestly didn't scout for them that much, i just saw that there was another waterfall on the map and i just went.
They turned out to be as special as the Casaroro one, if not more.
I got there right past sunset and tourists were gone already. I had about an hour to enjoy this beauty all by myself before it got dark. The energy coming from the waterfall was pretty intense. The strong water flow, the wind, that surreal surrounding of red rocks and bold green forest made me feel I wasn’t even on our planet anymore.
I set up my camera, walked toward the edge, started feeling all that breeze and all I could have done was just screaming in front of it.
Self portrait taken at Casaroro Falls with Fujifilm XT-2 16mm, ISO 400, F 8.0 SS 1".
Three months before leaving for this trip I had lost the job that I had been doing for 10 years. Of course, I was sad and a bit down but when I experienced that moment at the waterfalls, that was also the moment when I realized that losing that job was the best thing that could have happened to me so far in my life. Everything changed for me at that moment.
From a photographic point of view, in terms of light, it doesn’t really matter at what time of the day you go there. In both waterfalls there’s barely any sun illuminating the falls so just go there early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowd (which is never too much here anyway) and you can take your time to set up to get a good shot. Bring proper cloths to keep your camera dry. The waterfalls run pretty strong and there is always a good mist in the air that will wet your camera and lens.
To be 100% clear, in case i don't know you and you will ask me to tell you just one place in the Philippines not to be missed, Dumaguete will not be the answer. That would be Coron for which i am writing the next blog's post. However, Dumaguete was special for me, awesome vibes, beautiful scenery, delicious food, new friendships and memories that will stay with me forever.
As always, thank you for reading and if you have any question, please just get in touch.
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