The country’s “City of Gentle People,” Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, has its own bevy of incredible places to check out. Aside from the prestigious Silliman University, there are many stunning places worthy for families or friends to discover in the city.
Painitan sa Tiangge
Painitan sa Tiangge is a popular breakfast spot in Dumaguete, said to be popularized by Joe Pro Teves, the city mayor for 9 years, who always stops at this place every morning and afternoon. It is the perfect breakfast place with tsokolate (native chocolate drink) at Php5 per cup, best paired with budbod (Visayan for suman), a famous product in Dumaguete. There are two kinds of budbod: budbod tanjay made of white, long-grained glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, with either mango or chocolate or both, and has a sweet and nutty flavor; and budbod kabog made of millet seed called kabog that’s rich in vitamins and nutrients. They also serve puto, steamed glutinous rice (tapol or organic rice), cooked with coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves.
In the afternoon, there are snacks like shakoy made of milk, sugar, flour and egg yeast, plus coffee and tsokolate. Painitan sa Tiangge is located at the Dumaguete public market.
St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral
The city is also known as the home of beautiful churches like St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, which locals call the Dumaguete Cathedral, and built in 1754 and finished in 1776. It was built to give comfort and be a true place of worship, known all over the world for its lavishness and complexity but evokes feelings of peace and admiration.
Dumaguete Cathedral’s attractive well-formed shape rests in bricks. If you happen to visit this church, the oldest in Negros, ogle at the four stone pillars at the entrance gate, with the four statues of Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Saints Peter and Paul also have their statutes at the entrance to greet visitors. St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral is the main Roman Catholic church in the region and the seat of the Diocese of Dumaguete.
After Dumaguete Cathedral, try going to Quezon Park, which is near in the parish and the Department of Tourism office in Dumaguete City. It is a best place to visit for relaxation with family or friends, surrounded by old trees and plants. It even has a playground for children that’s recently developed by the government. Aside from the playground and relaxing ambience, check out the street food at the park.
Every Charter Day of the city, which starts November 25 until Christmas Day, the park looks very festive and full of people to celebrate the city’s biggest day. Every Christmas, there are lots of local artists who perform in the park.
Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries
Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries is known as the home of one of the popular delicacies in Dumaguete, whose main product, Silvanas, makes tourist love Dumaguete even more. Silvanas, the cookie version of sans rival, is made of egg white, sugar, milk, butter and cashew nuts, and has a fresh, buttery taste. The popular blue box of 10 pieces of Silvanas costs Php165. Aside from silvanas, this shop also serves other pastries like cookies, muffins, sandwiches and cakes, plus pasta and paella. The main branch of Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries is located at #3 San Jose St. Dumaguete City and is open daily between 9 am to 7 pm and they have a shop inside Robinson’s Mall in Dumaguete.
Good news for other areas that have fallen in love with Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries, which started their business in 1977. There now have stores in Cebu, Glorietta 4 in Makati, Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong and Robinson’s Magnolia in Quezon City that offer only sans rival and silvanas, coming all the way from Dumaguete.
Subida Souvenir in Dumaguete, started by young couple and graphic and visual artists Mark and Jana Alano, promotes fair trade and responsible tourism. Known as the home of master craftsmen in the whole region, they make some of the most beautiful and best souvenirs in Dumaguete. It has a wide array of stunning memorabilia and collectible items seen only in Dumaguete, which define and symbolize the culture, people and of course, the craftsmanship of Negros Oriental. They also have another shop in Valencia and just like in Dumaguete, it is a tourist stopover not just for souvenirs but also for its art gallery. There are lots of local products manufactured, produced and upcycled within Negros Oriental and nearby islands like souvenir shirts, fashion accessories, toys, mugs, bags, pens, refrigerator magnet, key holder, and many more.
Through the couple’s skills, they made their crafts into stunning art pieces. As of now, Subida Souvenir showcases their crafts through their online store, where you can see all the products they sell so even if you’re in Manila and you want to have these charming souvenirs, you can shop online via https://subidasouvenirs.com/welcome-subida-souvenirs/
By GERALDINE ELA