Dumaguete: Home is where ‘very nice’ lives

Vendors selling food along Rizal Avenue on the boulevard with Silliman Hall in the background. Dumaguete’s growth has brought with it big-city problems such as traffic and noise.

First impressions will always ruffle feathers.

A few people took umbrage at my whining about how hot and humid it is here in Dumaguete City.

“It’s the tropics. What did you expect. LOL,” wrote a detractor.

Fair enough.

After three days on the ground in my hometown, a little rest and a few San Miguel beers have adjusted my outlook on this wonderful place I proudly once called home.

Don’t get me wrong this place is still crowded, dusty and dirty. Don’t even get me started on that smell. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you’ve never been down the port of Dumaguete or the market downtown.

The traffic is insane. How many motorcycles are there in this town anyway? Valet parking for motor bikes? Really? Only in Dumaguete, I say.

Just about every street corner in Dumaguete is packed with parked motorcycles.

Then I started to meet the people living here and I have never felt more at home than I am today.

John Nelson, of Montreal, Canada, said it best while lounging on the boulevard: “People here are very nice.”

Our bellhop at the Bethel Guest House, Stephen, is the epitome of nice. I can’t bump into him in the lobby without getting a warm “hello sir”. And I have not tipped him, yet.

Sidro, the tricycle driver we hired to go to Amlan, stopped his ride on the boulevard to come over to say hello to Meg and I as we sat enjoying an afternoon beverage. I know he made bank on our transaction the other day, but good luck getting that kind of sincerity from a cabbie in Los Angeles, Calif.

I am beginning to see that quaint little town I once called home. The warmth and hospitality of the people here is endearing.

“Now that I have have had enough sleep I can see things a bit clearer,” Meg said. “I love how everything is done here. It is all so personal.”

Well said my love. This place knows how to do nice.

“Filipinos just aim to please,” she said. “Some tourists can be so demanding. (And the people here) stay very nice the whole time.”

Amen to that.

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