I’ve been pretty idle in the blogosphere recently. Sure, I’ve been active on my personal Facebook account, but aside from that, I’d say I’d been a terrible blogger lately. Nonetheless, February passed by in a whim and before I could even look at the calendar, the last day of the month is already drawing up! So anyway, I went to Dumaguete last February 21 to speak (I don’t know if I even call it that, haha) in a convention spearheaded by one of the organizations in Negros Oriental State University, the Hospitality Management Society. Here was how my weekend went:
The view in our hotel – so refreshing to see the strong waves against the sky’s backdrop.
Prior to getting a permission to soldier on a 5-hour trip to Negros Oriental’s Dumaguete, it was challenging for me to persuade my parents because it will be a first time for me to travel out of the city by myself. Luckily, I wasn’t really alone on the journey because I brought two of my old friends with me at my own expense (but the organizers were really generous to shoulder some of the expenses, which we didn’t have a chance to decline to). I wasn’t really ready to go on a solo travel, so I brought other first-timers just to see where we’d end at.
There is an endless array of food spots in Dumaguete
Upon arriving in our room, we spent a good couple of minutes lounging around while I finish up my talk presentation. Yep, I wasn’t able to prepare well since I’d been bombarded with lots of work weeks and days prior to the event. 🙁
Around last month, I got an invitation to become a speaker for the convention entitled “A Journey into A Gastronomic Tourism”. Apparently, they came across my blog whilst searching on the web and discovered my food photographs. Honestly, it was flattering to think that they even appreciate the photos that I post here when I could barely see the beauty of it, but they did.
We reached Dumaguete just before sundown of February 20th and met up with the organizers. As much as we’d all want take a nap and call it a day, we thought what better way for a food blogger to do in a new city other than food trips?
We chanced upon a quaint and vintage food spot near Silliman Ave. that sells yummy breakfast foods!
So we hopped from one food spot to another until late in the evening. Dumaguete is still very alive and charming, even at night. The bars and restaurants are brimming with energy and good vibes, plus the sea (which happens to be our view as the boardwalk is just a few steps away from our hotel) is very calming.
Right in front of the hotel is the wonderful sea that stretches along its streets.
We were situated alongside the boulevard and the dining spots are just in close proximity to one another that we could just take a walk whenever we wanted to have a bite. You could guess that our trip mostly consisted of food, and then another and lots of round of it again.
The day of the Convention
On the day of the convention, I had a horrifying idea to back out right in the middle of the talk because I was having my stage fright attack, but later on I was able to regain my composure and face my audience.
I’m so awkward, I know. And look at those flabby legs. Props to my friend, Ry, for letting me borrow her dress!
There were approximately 300 students who attended that day. My mind was choking.
During the Q&A portion. A lot in my audience were curious about my job as a food blogger!
Left to Right: The students’ adviser, Miss Sheena, me, my fellow speaker who is young and successful, Chef Gabby of Gabby’s Bistro, and HM Department Chair Sir Ryan.
Passing up those few moments of numbness and embarrassment was such a relief for me. After I finally warmed up, I was already good to go in talking about food blogging + photography. Good thing it was a kind circumstance that my audience understood how nervous I was that they only let the initial situation slip by.
My ever supportive old friends since elementary days, Ry and Jay! Thanks for supporting and coming with me, guys! <3
Together with Laurence and the rest of the organizers and their adviser. Thank you for giving me this opportunity! 🙂
After the convention, my friends and I had a blast talking in our hotel room about how hilarious I was onstage. We watched the Presidential Debates 2016, but figured out later on just how lousy some politicians are.
Hanging out in our room before we stroll around the city one last time.
In that moment, the sunset was magnificent in its golden glow as it sets back into the horizons of the sea. We couldn’t fathom that it was our last day in Dumaguete and we’ll be boarding a ship by midnight to take us back to Cebu.
It feels very, very surreal to have my name written on their huge tarpaulin and invitation cards as well. It makes my heart swell with humble pride.
Despite that fact, we still gave our best shot and last bit of energy to presume our food trip by dinner time in a popular bistro nearby, then went to chill at a bar restaurant near the sea. It was pure bliss.
If you’re in Dumaguete, don’t forget to check by in this place! It’s called Hayahay, and it’s located just right by the sea. There are fresh catches of seafood here + they make the best pizzas, too!
I haven’t toured much of Dumaguete, but it was enough for me to say that it has the potential to become a favorite city of mine. It’s filled with local dining spots, pubs, beachfront living with the sea nearby, and calming nights – I wouldn’t wonder ever why this city is one of the best places to retire around the world.