Saturday, May 25, 2024

Where to go when you finally come home

By Jean Salgados | May 31, 2022

More likely than not, you have not seen Silliman University. Less likely than that, you have not seen Dumaguete City—it’s alright. Our present scenarios are simply too unpredictable to have the financial support for your education wasted. Living expenses will eat up your allowances far too quickly, it will leave you blind. Another thing you must consider, and this is for our brave students who are already here, you may be on your own! Not everyone can be in Dumaguete, so being the first to set up here might take a toll on your mental. Don’t worry, for those who are still coming, we’ll get you up to speed on where to hang out.

Just a little warning, the fare is now 20 pesos as of the writing of this article—it is negotiable.


The iconic, the beloved, the one placed on the right, its Oriental Hall. Formerly a dormitory for female students many years back, it is now the center of student activity. Anyone who has studied in Silliman will have been to the Oriental Hall at least once in their time. It also houses the Office of Student Services, the Weekly Sillimanian, the Portal Yearbook, and the office of the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG), among others. To get there, the landmark you want to look for is the Silliman Church. You can then find a building with “Oriental Hall” plastered on its facade.


Ausejo Hall, known better as AH, is the most-visited place in Silliman, as it houses almost all the GE classes in college. With four floors, and connected to the Katipunan Hall and the Science Complex, it has been set up as the academic hub of the university. It is also the place for the College of Arts and Sciences. Another thing that ties in to AH’s popularity is how memorable it is. Almost everyone in recent times has had a post or story in the AH, at least those who have been there. If you enter through the Katipunan gate, it will be the building behind the Katipunan Hall.


Are you hungry? Come sit down at one of the kiosks. For many, it’s all three meals of the day and the snacks in the between! Towards the middle of the second semester, student kiosks will open up with students from the CBA serving up food as a requirement for one of their majors. There is a kiosk in the Nursing Building run by their Alumni, and one in the SHS building. And of course, the Nutrition and Dietetics Department also serves food—it’s their pride and joy.


There is nothing quite like peace and quiet. Aside from the massive red “Toblerone” outside, the Silliman library is a place for all your academic research and intellectual needs. Located next to the Luce Auditorium, it houses plenty of books, and specialized learning materials. If you are in the city, it also serves as a venue for special events. Traditionally, it’s a nice place to study, and to meet with your thesis mates, but it can also be a prime place to rest your feet and mind from a hectic day.


This is the stretch of beach in the detached Silliman Farm, located close to Dumaguete Airport. Perhaps you want to head over there after a long day of school or during the weekend, more likely. After a long stretch of seawall to the north of Escaño, you will find a quiet stretch of sand and water. If those aren’t your thing, there are plenty of street food stalls before you cross over to the beach. Whether you’re a little slurry or perfectly fine, the last stop is Silliman beach.


Only those who use the Laguna gate near SUMC will understand this. Right outside the Laguna gate is a karenderia named Nay’s Eatery, fondly called “Nay’s.” Don’t let its simplicity fool you, for in its rustic charm is food that reminds you of home. Plenty of medtech students  and even the engineering students from afar  would come to Nays to have a taste of home-cooked dishes that are affordable and nostalgic. And if you want to simply sit around and drink some water before going back for the afternoon class, Nay’s is more than welcome, just be nice and courteous. Being rash around the elderly leads you nowhere.


This is quite different from the previous entries. Just before reaching Silliman beach, is an open food court named Northpoint. Being a recently opened joint, even those who have been to Dumaguete may not know about it. With a wide array of food choices, it is a great place to dine and unwind after a long week’s work. If you don’t mind the price range, you’ll be sure to find something that will satisfy your cravings—don’t expect any fastfood there. If you are a fan of food with music by the sea, you’re in the right place


This is another breed of hangout spot. Between the gym and the Luce Auditorium is the Ariniego Art Gallery. Released a little over 4 years ago, it has become the gallery for the projects of COPVA students, particularly the Fine Arts Department. The exterior design is unusual, but that in itself is its charm. Fast-forward to the present, and it has seen some plenty of exhibits, with exhibits usually towards the end of the second semester. It has also seen events tied with the LGBTQIA+ community and is a place for great photo opportunities.


The first you’ll see when Dumaguete becomes visible is a stretch of walkway going south. Over the years, the iconic boulevard has seen some extensions here and there, but its idyllic atmosphere, especially at night, still remains. Though the center of activity has moved slightly down the road to the recently finished reclamation area, it doesn’t mean that the former center is without benefit. For one, it has lesser people but with the same atmosphere, and of course the sea. No matter if it’s final’s week, you will see a friend post a story of themselves in the boulevard.


You are protected here. Just outside the provincial capitol is the Aquino Freedom Park. It has seen improvement and renovation over the recent years and is now more than just a large patch of grass. Just like the boulevard, it is a great place to visit at night. The sprawling space means you can run around, maybe set down a blanket to have a picnic, or just laze about and take a break from the frantic world. It has been the site of peaceful protests much like Quezon Park, but Freedom Park guarantees your right to peaceful public assembly, but that’s for another time.

These are just some of the places you can hang out in Dumaguete City. Here’s the bonus part, this article has not touched on any places outside of Dumaguete. So with that, you are free to explore yourself, or ask around. If you ever need to go back to your hometown or province, just know one thing: Your second home will be ready to see you again.


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