Dumaguete, The Philippines: The Yellow House, And The Incredible Family

So it was goodbye to Bacolod and hello to Dumaguete. I had already planned to stay here for around a week because of the recommendations I had been given about the place, but in the end the city itself was not why I fell in love with the place…

I was about to meet the second girl from the internet who went by the nickname off Kakaii. We immediately hit it off when I joined the site and felt comfortable around each other – at least online anyway – from the get go. I told her I was in Dumaguete and was looking forward to visiting ‘The Yellow House’, as when we had Skyped she took the laptop around the house and I noticed everything was bright yellow. She said she would come to my guest house to meet me the next day.

She came with her Auntie, who was very smiley and polite, and we got a motorized tricycle to The Yellow House (registered trademark) and the whole family was there, some spoke brilliant English, while others tried their best to communicate with me. They then cooked me lunch, refusing to let me pay for anything. Although I wanted to stay for a while, I didn’t want to take advantage, so I made my excuses and left. I made sure I got a picture with her mum though who had taken me in like a member of the family.

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We then went back to my hotel to hide from the sun. The plan was to relax for five minutes as it was so hot outside before heading to a restaurant where I would treat her to dinner (it was the least I could do) however five minutes turned into nearly three hours when I showed her my book. She then proceeded to read the whole thing from start to finish. It was one of the most beautiful things I had seen; watching one of my friends completely engrossed in a piece of work that I had written. I left her to it trying to disturb her as little as possible as I tried to sort out my laptop (after waiting for it to load for over an hour I gave up) and messing around on Facebook on my phone as I patiently waited for her to finish it.

She did, and I got her dinner, she hilariously preferred to go to Jolibee (a fast food restaurant) than go to a nice restaurant by the seafront, which suited me and my wallet perfectly fine. We then took a detour to McDonalds, where I devoured a burger with some serious grease on it while she elegantly ate some chicken and rice (yes you read that right; in Asia they do rice dishes in places like McDonalds…)

The next day the whole family and I went to a place called ‘Area 24’ which was a large public pool. I say pool, there were about 5 different pools scattered around for kids and adults alike, and if you preferred to swim lengths or relax in the hot water. The family had taken a picnic with them, and again they refused to let me pay for anything. I felt overwhelmed by the fact they had accepted me almost like a member of the family so readily. Kindness like that is so rare nowadays…

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I got talking to Kakaii’s little cousin, a 13 year old girl who wanted to become a writer. Her English was very good and I gave her some tips on how to succeed, hopefully I inspired her. Then as we were nearly there she said to me loud enough to everyone in the minibus could hear if I will come back to Dumaguete one day. I told her without hesitation that I would.

“Ah; you’re going to come back for Kakaii…” She said, nodding toward Kakaii. The whole minibus erupted with laughter.

“In The Philippines it’s OK to love your lover…” She added, full of confidence. Everyone burst out laughing again, including me, the only person who wasn’t laughing was Kakaii, who looked a bit embarrassed. I high fived her cousin saying that I would remember that forever, and instantly knowing that it was going to go in my blog.

After swimming for a while I was cream crackered. Then another one of her cousins, a 20 year old bloke with abs of steel, asked if I had ever tried Tanduay before (a local rum), I said no so he broke out a 375 ml bottle and the three of us (me, him and Kakaii) took turns to neck the bottle. We finished it in about thirty minutes and I was steaming. I don’t know about the other two but I was done. On the ride back I was playing a game on Kakaii’s phone matching the colours in a puzzle game, which would have been simple if (a) I wasn’t drunk and (b) I wasn’t colourblind…

We got back to her house agreeing to drink some more Tanduay, but when I got back I didn’t have it in me. We then went down the road to her brother’s house. I was expecting some burly bloke ready to kick the shit out of me saying “What are you doing with my little sister?!?!?” But that side of the family were also really friendly. They instantly won me over by giving me a beast of a chocolate cake. Again, showing how genuinely nice they all were.

Finally I went to another pool hall with Kakaii’s uncle. He loved the fact that I was interested in pool and when we got to the hall he set up for 9 ball, which meant I was about to have my arse handed to me, and it duly was. In the end I was clapping as I marvelled at some of the shots he was pulling off. He then introduced me to a common Filipino game called 61. It’s basically like 9 ball but with 15 balls on the table, and you add up the numbers you have potted until you get to 61, then you win. I didn’t win…

And that was it for Dumaguete. The city was OK at best, but I’ll definitely be coming back to visit my new friends, or shall I say my Dumaguete family. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to go travelling around the world, and hopefully one day I can return the favour

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I was showing the family some football tricks and Kakaii’s little brother looked very interested and tried to do some tricks with me. So I gave him my Watford shirt as long as he promised that he would continue to practice football tricks, and by the time I came back to Dumaguete he would be performing at a high standard…

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One thought on “Dumaguete, The Philippines: The Yellow House, And The Incredible Family

  1. Pingback: Stop 35: Dumaguete, Second Season Syndrome… | sirlewisofclarke

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