I have moved, after living in Dumaguete for 4 months it was time to leave. People wonder if I will miss the place.
Long story short?
I do not miss Dumaguete.
I wrote about it a few months ago, that I miss the magic of Dumaguete.
And after moving back here and living here in a Barangay just a few minutes walking from Robinsons Place, I still miss that magic.
Time for me to move.
Maybe it is because I do not retire.
Maybe because I do not live up in Valencia or down the road in Bacon. But than again, it is Dumaguete that is mentioned as the number one place to retire int he Philippines, right?
I cannot see why.
The city is polluted to the max. Gutters being emptied creating big piles of dirt next to food places and drying up in the sun, waiting for rain to flush it right back into those same open gutters.
I’ve been around in the Philippines a lot now, but I have never seen so many rats running the streets and being flushed out into the sea during heavy rain as in Dumaguete.
The air is sick, due to the diesel fumes off the zillions of tricycle that drive around being all noisy with no mufflers on the exhaustion. Heavy trucks and lots of busses add their share to it, so on windless days you see this grey haze above the city hanging there. Dust from roads half finished, mix that with the gutter stuff laying to dry and that is what you breath.
Nope, not to my opinion.
The whole day you are accompanied by the smell op open sewer systems and garbage. Now the last is a major problem in the Philippines and Dumaguete is not in the top 10 of filthy places when it comes to garbage, but it is not even close to clean.
Dumaguete offers resonable healthcare, a fair share of nightclubs and bars, but than again, that is available everywhere in the Philippines in a middle class city like Dumaguete.
The only plus is that it is central, many busses and ferries leave to any destination and there is a small airport.
Well, hurray for that.
If that is all you want to be a happy retire, be my guest.
There is one reasonable mall, Robinsons Place, that offers little to nothing special. The clothing department in the department store is a complete waste of space, specially the ladies part. Fashion seem from just after WW II.
Lucky for all of you Dumaguete fans there will be a brand new City Mall to open soon, close to the Provincial Capital building.
But that doesn’t add much positive weight to the scale.
And than there is Lee’s Superplaza filled with cheap Chinese import goods, as is next doors Novo and Unitop at the same block.
Tricycle drivers are greedy, unfriendly and so ready to rip you off that it is scandalous and so far away from the friendly Filipino hospitality that it is shameful.
The famous Rizal boulevard at nightfall time turns into a pick up place for old Western guys looking for young, sometimes even underaged, girls and boys. Those same girls hang around there in the hope to earn a few bucks or pick up a rich guy, I have seen them easily hand over their phone numbers to foreigners, and the place is full of tourist police trying to prevent that. Is that the place you want to retire to? I wonder.
Lucky for me I’m not a retiree.
And maybe that is the reason why I miss the magic of Dumaguete.
Typing this I clear my lungs with fresh air on a nearby island, just across the water. I can see Dumaguete from here on a clear day, and life here is so much better. As are many other places in the Philippines.
I do wonder why people stick around in a place that is so dirty and so extremely noisy. And I do wonder why Dumaguete is so popular. The surrounding villages are ok, like Bacon and Valencia, but that is not Dumaguete.
Believe me, there are such better places to retire in the Philippines,
to name a few I would love to retire to if I reach that age:
- Iloilo (number one!!)
- Puerto Galera
- Naga City
or on one of the smaller island like:
Dumaguete for me, after living there over 5 months in a total of 2 visits is an absolute no go. Maybe I return for a short visit to meet up with friends, but Id rather dare them to go beyond their comfort zone and come and visit me and leave the place that is number one on the worlds listing of best places to retire too.