48 Hours in Dumaguete
CEGP convention, pots on the street and other pretty things
Dumaguete City, Negros
Oriental is one of the hottest cities in the Visayas, especially during
the summer. This year, it has become even hotter. No, that’s not
BY TERENCE KRISHNA
Contributed to Bulatlat
Negros Oriental is one of the hottest cities in the Visayas, especially
during the summer. This year, it has become even hotter.
No, that’s not
That is because of
the gathering of 110 student writers and some of the country’s most
respected names in journalism, art and literature.
Get this: the likes
of Isagani Yambot, Bonifacio Ilagan, Bobby Tuazon, Jun Cruz Reyes, Richard
Gappi and Gelacio Guillermo giving lectures and workshops to young student
writers and artists inside the Silliman University. Man, that is just
That was the 67th
National Convention of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP),
held last April 13-17.
The convention is the
annual education festival of the guild wherein member publications from
the different regions in the country are given lectures and workshops on
topics such as Editorial Writing, Lay-out, Cartooning, Photojournalism,
Theories of the Press, Libel and Ethics, Scriptwriting, Theatre Arts,
Short story writing, Poetry and Literary and Art Criticism among others.
It is also where the
best college publications are awarded via Gawad Ernesto Rodriguez Jr.
The winners for this year are The Matanglawin of the Ateneo De
Manila University for Magazine, Philippine Collegian of UP Diliman
for Tabloid and alternative form categories and Heraldo Filipino of
De La Salle University- Dasmariñas for Broadsheet.
literary great Gelacio Guillermo is this year’s awardee of the Gawad
Marcelo H. Del Pilar, the guild’s highest citation bestowed to alumni.
Previous winners were National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera,
Prof. Jose Maria Sison, and people’s martyr Emmanuel Lacaba.
Being one of the
invited speakers of the convention though, not to mention being just a
transient of the city, I had to see more than just Silliman University
within the mere 48 hours of my stay.
Dumaguete may look
small coming from the port. It looks like just a simple old town with
signs of little developments here and there. But no, looking closer and
getting in, Dumaguete is everything but small.
So, acting as if it
was my first time again, I walked through the city’s peaceful but busy
streets, quiet but bold. Under the summer sun, I sipped coffee in one of
their cute little coffee shops, the sea with its shimmering water, close
With more walks,
tagging with fellow speakers or with new friends and sometimes alone, I
got to see again the inner soul of Dumaguete.
At day time, only
brave hearts with hats and eye shades can dare walk through its intestines
of streets, with the summer heat and all. However, with just little more
than six pesos, one can enjoy this almost iridescently charming
Then again, happy are
Dumaguete City is
just glorious and gracious with everything one needs close by. Look, in
other towns in the country, at least one thing is lacking or even missing,
unavailable for travelers and wanderlusts like me. With Dumaguete, you’ll
never run out of anything.
Food is overflowing
everywhere, restaurants or turo-turo, Filipino or foreign, by the
sea or by the highway, the choice is yours.
There are the old
houses and buildings on old streets that are enchanting, no kidding.
There is even a
street that displays pottery of different forms, sizes and textures by the
Believe me, this is
one of the things that struck me the most. Every passer by, tourist or
not, is surely delighted with the sights of these pots.
There is the church
and the bell tower known for its age and history.
There is ukay-ukay
almost everywhere. This one I had to say, any traveler understands
The famous boulevard
is just amazing, with the waves of the sea almost touching me when I sit
by its breakwater.
The boulevard is
where almost everyone goes at one point, inevitably. And at night, it
actually becomes a flickering buffet table of everything palatable. And
yes, that is literally everything.
That’s right. At
night time, Dumaguete is a shimmering splendor. With the brilliance of
streetlights, the unending rows of disco, videoke and music bars, cafes,
and all, it surely is a wonder how it happens.
Do not be deceived by
its peacefulness because at night, from twilight until later than
midnight, this city is filled with these lights and shiny happy people
from everywhere. They pop out from every corner, and from all walks of
life, I tell you.
I believe the people
are the real charm of the city at night.
There are people
coming from work going straight to their hang-out places. There are
students who fill-up the city with their laughter. There are middle-aged
men and women just walking down the boulevard and there are the vendors of
everything that can be sold (no pun intended).
Some of these vendors
are kids of really, really young age who stay up until dawn to sell
things. And although this is saddening, it is honestly one of the things
that add intensity to the drama of this shimmering, glistening splendor.
Honestly, I should
stop this spoiler. I wonder if other speakers did as I did in Dumaguete.
Did they also feel the same ardor I developed instantly for Dumaguete? Did
the student writers enjoy the city’s heart and soul or wrote poetry beside
the sea or under the trees? I am not certain.
For sure though, that
48 hours in Dumaguete was definitely the most memorable 48 hours of my
life and it isn’t the last time. Bulatlat
© 2007 Bulatlat
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