The memory of sitting in the bouleyard waiting for the sunset sans my camera never fails to make me smile. I had a taste on all the foods being offered by the vendors and I never refused to talk to anyone who approached to say "hi" or asked if I am alone or if it is my first time in the city so when this musician approached me and played a couple of songs using a musical instrument that looks like an accordion, I was entertained. He was quite surprised when I requested him to play the popular Visayan love song entitled "Usahay"(Sometimes), a favourite folksong of the Visayans both residing in the Visayas and Mindanao islands). He obliged and to his delightful surprise, I sang along which attracted quite a few " sunset watchers" as our audience in seems to be a "street performance." The most articulate of them remarked " We did not realize earlier that you are from this country, are you? We thought you are a tourist- how come you know that song?". Of course I do! I answered them in the native dialect that they used which elicited few smiles and laughter. I am up for more conversations with thise who bothered to gather around me and the musician in that " boulevard performance" but the friend I was waiting for came to fetch me. I just smiled and waved them goodbye. I was unable to tell them that I consider myself a tourist (albeit a local one) and it was my third visit to this city. It has been very memourable because it was my first time to watch sunset by the bay, in my biding own time- alone. I was unable to tell them that although I loved the music accompanying the song, I was able to perfectly memorise its lyrics- ironically, while doing my studies abroad.
I was unable to have a taste of all the the native delicacies that this city offers. My brother who was able to visit this city ahead of me insisted that I have to find where the fried ice cream is. I never had the chance to have a taste of that fried ice cream that he loved, but during my visit to this city by the bay thrice, I have always got the friendly smiles of the people whom I have eye contact with- some smile quite shyly, quite warm but most of the time I got friendly smiles. I have heard that this is the city of "gentle people" and somehow, I have felt how gentle they had been to me. I spent the entire day touring every nook and crook of the city while waiting for the afternoon flight back to Manila and all that I experienced were the kindness of the people in this city, from the English speaking with American accent waitress in a restaurant close to the boulevard, the attendants of the local bakery where I had bought native goodies from Negros provinces, the security guard who gave me assistance on how to tour the Silliman University campus, the sales staff of the Handumanan(a Visayan word meaning Remembrance) Souviner shop where I got my favourite heart shaped capiz earrings for twenty pesos(around half a dollar) and the tricycle driver who brought me safely to the airport who was very hesitant in receiving any tip for a job very kindly well done.
I will be going back to Dumaguete for the fried ice cream and for a day or two in one of its beaches, catch up on my readings, watch the sunset, hopefully the sunrise too and take more photos. These and many others, are the reasons why I believe I have to go back to Dumaguete, the city of "gentle people"