Monday, January 22, 2007

You've got to admit it's getting better

For all the ridiculous gloom and dispair you hear about from TV and newspapers ("Only hell can be worse", William Esposo says!), there's a whole lot of exciting progress and development going on in the Philippines.

Whenever I go home to Dumaguete -- which is about every 3 weeks or so -- one of the highlights of my trip is seeing all the stuff that's changed in the city. It's visible even from the window of the bus once I arrive, and the progress always surprises me: Newly cemented roads, newly painted buildings, new construction projects, new renovation works, new beautifications... I even try to give myself a walking tour around downtown to check out all the stuff that's new. I'm only away a couple of weeks at a time, but it seems whenever I come back there's a bunch of catching up to do.

I took this picture yesterday at the Boulevard, where they're paving the floor with bricks. It's looking really great and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. There's still some construction dust on the floor here, but this pic is already perhaps my favorite city scene.

Aside from the Boulevard renovation, other Dumaguete developments to watch include the city's first McDonalds, the Robinsons mall, Dumaguete Business Park infrastructure, Negros Oriental Hotel and Convention Center, the rebuilt Po's Marketing, Check Inn Pension House, Silliman Medical Center annex building, Silliman Portal West Building, another under construction hotel near Lee Plaza, a bunch of newly cemented roads, and so many more other little things.

There was an unfortunate fire in the city last week that destroyed a few nice downtown buildings. But on the bright side, when ever something burns down in Dumaguete something better has taken its place.

I like Dumaguete, I really do. Maybe working and living in a major bustling city made me realize how charming and livable Dumaguete really is. People can live simple happy somewhat-rural lives. It's a big city with the aura of a small town where everyone knows everyone. Cebu's downtown area is relatively post-apocalyptic.

Cebu is actually chugging along very nicely too, in spite of the dirty places. Lots of developments and skyscrapers rising. If the rate of development in Dumaguete and Cebu are any indications of the rest of the Philippines, we've got a whole lot to be thankful for.

Reminds me of that happy Beatles song:
I've got to admit it's getting better
A little better all the time (can't get no worse!)


  1. It is nice to hear some positive news from a native of opposed to shocking news stories from sources far removed and only interested in selling advertising space.

    I was there 2 years ago and none of the developments you speak of were under way at that time. After a long 2006 filled with seemingly daily stories about vigilantes, robberies and a few senseless high-profile crimes I feared Dumaguete might be on the decline...and in danger of being the Gentle City no more.

    Well, I need to start reading less news, apparently :)

    It's great to hear about the positive growth. Dumaguete will have pains associated with this growth, but people will adapt and appreciate the new blessings in their town.

  2. All those local newspapers are much more eager to report the soap opera-like aspects of the news like murders and political drama. It's unlikely to hear much about practical developments from them. I have actually read very little about the construction of the Robinsons mall and Dumaguete Business Park, which will likely transform Dumaguete drastically in coming years. And I have read nothing about the renovations at the Boulevard.

    SkyscraperCity is a nice forum for people that like to discuss and report on developments (see the Dumaguete thread), though I don't post there often.

  3. The Sun Star and Visayan Daily Star tend to be the sites I frequent to hear what is going on in Dumaguete. As you say, though, they rarely speak of positive developments.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing that forum link. Some of the photos on that thread really bring back wonderful memories. Indeed, there is a certain charm about the place. While growth is good, I hope Dumaguete will retain its character.

  4. try to visit cafe antonio when you visit dumaguete again. its the only "real" coffee house in the city. great coffee and cool ambiance would sum it up.