The original plan was to fly to Negros Occidental and dive in the waters of Sipalay, an offbeat scuba diving spot south of Bacolod City. What’s in their depths? I really do not have idea, but I heard they have colorful reefs and promising sites. Scuba diving is pretty new there so I assume that their sites are unspoiled and unexploited. But Sipalay, although an urban city, is generally offbeat. It is at least three hours of land travel from both Bacolod and Dumaguete City…Continue Reading “A Weekend of Adventures in South Cebu and Dumaguete”


I spent a weekend in Dumaguete late last year on a trip made possible by Go Hotels and Cebu Pacific. On that trip, I was able to rediscover the city and had a taste of what’s the southern Negros has to offer – the foods, churches, historical spots and other places that define the city and the province. Known as the City of the Gentle People and University City, Dumaguete is the capital of the province of Negros Oriental in Central Visayas, a city by…Continue Reading “Rediscovering Dumaguete and Beyond”

After a day of diving in Apo Island, Ate Claudia and I crossed the Bohol Strait to visit the neighboring island province of Siquijor, a totally contrasting experience from the city life of Dumaguete. Only one hour by fast craft from the port of Dumaguete City, Siquijor is a small, mystical, laid back island with rich history and endowed with amazing natural attractions. The island, slightly bigger than Camiguin, has a 75-kilometer circumferential road that spans in its six towns of San Juan, Lazi, Maria,…Continue Reading “Siquijor in a Day”

In our continuous pursuit for great diving spots in the Philippines, Ate Claudia and I set foot in the central Philippine province of Negros Oriental to dive in one of the infamous dive sites in the country – the Apo Island.

School of Jackfish in Coconut Point

Straight from an hour flight from Manila, I arrived in Dumaguete City past eight in the morning and headed to the Scuba Ventures Dive Shop, just beside our hostel – Harold’s Mansion in Hibbard Avenue to meet Ate Claudia, who arrived earlier from Cagayan de Oro City Cebu. It was my first time in the Negros Island, and I was so anxious to finally set my foot in Negros!

An hour and a half away (by land and by boat) from provincial capital Dumaguete City, Apo Island is an inhabited island under the jurisdiction of the town of Dauin. It has land area of approximately seven hectares and a population of less than a thousand. The water surrounding the island is an underwater paradise teeming with very lively and colorful marine life where almost everything seems over sized. A Marine Protected Area and considered as one of the world’s best diving sites, the area has around ten dive sites.

Hawksbill in Coconut Point

With the Scuba Ventures guys, we drove down to Barangay Matapay in Zamboanguita, the jump-off point to Apo Island, where we transferred to our dive boat. Ate Claudia and I were the only divers of Scuba Ventures that day, we were scheduled for three dives around the island.

It was already half past the hour of ten when we reached the first dive site – Coconut Point. Located in the northeast of the island, Coconut Point is home to colorful soft and hard corals, huge Angelfish, Groupers, Jacks, Wrasses, Snappers, Parrotfish, Triggersfish, Batfish, schools of Bigeye Jacks and Sea Turtle.

When we descended, Samuel, our Dive Master pointed a very huge Bluefin Jack from a distance. We were around ten meters away from it but it looked so huge that I estimated it to be around three to four feet. It was a very big welcome.

School of small Stripe Fish in Mamsa Point
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Living up to its name, the cakes and pastries of Sans Rival in Dumaguete have really no rival. Thanks to Trinidad “Tita Trining” Teves-Sagarbarria, the founder of Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries, and her children who inherited the same passion and continued the baking legacy she founded.

The wide array of Sans Rival's yummy cakes and pastries

What started as a small-time garage bakeshop in 1977, Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries evolved into a cozy cafe. Now considered as a local icon providing Negrenses with the sweet and deliciously baked goodies for more than three decades now. To date, the bakeshop has become the place to go for a guaranteed sweet and  appetizing  food experience.

Well designed interior

Who would dare resist their trademark Silvanas or their house specialty Sans Rival, their best sellers. Personally, I have never tasted Silvanas as creamy as theirs before, I fell in love at first bite, and the taste got even better as I came near to my last.

My personal favorite - Date and Walnut Dacquoise

Other best sellers include my personal favorite Date and Walnut Dacquoise, Tiramisu, Capuccino Cake, Cookie Monster, Blueberry Cheesecake, Blackforest, Concorde, Mango Cloud, Banana Pie, Apple Pie with Streusel Toppings, Brazo de Mercedes, Prune Cake, Mocha Crunch, Chokahlua Gateau and so much more. They also offer cookies, pastries, pasta, specialty dishes and drinks in their dine-in shop, and they come in cheap prices 🙂

Continue Reading "Cakes and Pastries Sans Rival in Dumaguete"