Oriental Negros

Oriental Negros (or ‘Negros Oriental’) is one of two provinces on Negros Island, the fourth largest island in the Philippines. Dumaguete City is the provincial capital, and is (in my opinion) the coolest city in the Philippines. Negros has historically been known for its sprawling sugar cane plantations covering the green slopes of dormant volcanoes such as Mount Talinis which towers behind Dumaguete and overlooks the Tanon Strait. Apo Island is probably the most popular tourist destination in the province, and is one of the most famous dive sites in the entire Philippines. Other popular spots include Casaroro Falls near Valencia, Bais City for dolphin watching and a mangrove tour, Siaton for amazing sunsets and beaches, and Mt. Talinis for mountain climbing / trekking. I lived here for more than three years so at this point it’s like a home away from home.


Dumaguete Buglasan Rodeo: Palm Trees & Cowboy Hats
Standing next to the dusty corral I thought to myself if I blurred my eyes and couldn't see the palm trees I might think I was back in Montana instead of Dumaguete. As a part of the provincial Buglasan Festival…
Live Music at Hayahay: Frying Nemo Plays Dumaguete
After two months of playing and practicing around Dumaguete, Frying Nemo was starting to gain some momentum, although at the end of August Steve De neef our lead guitarist had to return to his home in Belgium t…
Snorkeling the Apo Island Marine Sanctuary
It's always great to have visitors from home stop by, and in July my friend/mentor/former boss Kenny Mendez from Trout Unlimited came over to the Philippines with his family to visit relatives on the island of …
Scuba Safari from Dumaguete to Apo Island
Before our friend Noriko, a JICA volunteer from Japan assigned to help teach new pottery methods to local people in Dumaguete, returned home we planned a group dive to go to Apo. It was a trip just for the day,…
Dumaguete Santacruzan Parade: Wanna Be Famous?
At one of the provincial tourism meetings I've attended in Dumaguete I was asked to be an escort for Santacruzan Parade in May. I was surprised to be invited, so I said "yes" right away. After getting my tradit…
From Dumaguete to Apo Island: Scuba Getaway
After a visit to the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary in Bohol, Kris and Kristen came over to Dumaguete to see Apo Island's famous marine sanctuary. Their friend Emily from back home was traveling through SE Asia, so…
Perfect Conditions at Apo Island’s Coconut Point
After two great dives in the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary, Kris and Kristen wanted to compare it with Apo Island. They had heard a lot about Apo, but hadn't had a chance to visit there yet. As it turned out their…
24 Hours in Dumaguete: Exploring the Gentle City
After leaving Palawan, Preston and I headed back to my Peace Corps site in Dumaguete. It was fun to show him around some of the highlights of the town here since he's the first family visitor, and I had to make…
Scuba Diving Apo Island During the Peak Season
Our first stop in Dumaguete when my brother Preston came to visit was Apo Island. He wanted to experience some of the best diving the Philippines has to offer, and to me Apo is the best place that I've ever bee…
Experiencing Apo Island Life at Liberty’s Resort
Since my friend Steve is the first visitor from home I've had to my site in Dumaguete, I wanted to be sure he had good things to say about the place when he got back to the States. Apo Island is pretty much my …
Shopping Dumaguete: Exploring the Local Markets
Buying fresh food is a part of daily life in Dumaguete, and the local produce market is the best spot to pick up the ingredients you need for breakfast (pamahow), lunch (paniudto), and dinner (panihapon). The D…
First Trip to Apo Island: Exploring Dumaguete
In May 2004 I visited Apo Island, a tiny former volcano located about 45 minutes by pump boat from a small fishing village south of my Peace Corps site in Dumaguete. In 1986, the forward thinking residents of A…
Things That Aren’t Supposed to Be Funny, But Are
Sometimes things that aren't supposed to be funny turn out to be hilarious. Maybe it is the neighbor who builds a 30 foot tall mural of himself in front of his house completely obscuring his otherwise nice view…