Life at Marine Conservation Philippines can be very busy at times. As such, we understand if our volunteers wish to take a day off now and then to see other nearby attractions.
When you wish to have days off, you can let us know. This may be to experience other islands elsewhere in the Philippines (go diving on Siquijor for example) to go for a visa-and-shopping run to Dumaguete, explore the area on a motorbike, or just to have a day to yourself and laze in a hammock with a book. While we feel the work we do is important, we don’t expect you to take part in everything all the time -especially if you stay for months. (But if you want to, you’re most welcome!) We understand most volunteers are not intererested in working all the time, and luckily, there are many nearby sights to occupy you on days off.
Malatapay Market (Wednesdays Only)
Really close by is the (cattle) market of Malatapay where you can go every Wednesday to see the locals at their day-to-day business. People from the whole province and sometimes as far as Mindanao come here to sell their cattle.
Close by Dumaguete is the mountain town of Valencia. It is very beautiful area with a bit cooler climate due to it’s location in the mountains. There is a lot of geo-thermal activity from Mount Talinis. So if you are looking for hot-springs, this is where you should go. Waterfalls such as Casaroro Falls give a nice fresh water reprieve from the heat in the dry season and the twin lakes are a great area for bird enthusiasts.
All this natural beauty exists due to the mountain ranges in the south of Negros. These mountains of volcanic origin are topped by Mount Talinis. This mountian is still an active volcano of 1903m high can be climbed in two or three days. It is a serious hike with a trail difficulty of 6 out of 9, so not for everyone. But the trek through humid forest with many giant ferns, great views, waterfall and camping by one of the lakes along the route make it well worth the effort.
If you would like to go shopping or are eager to eat a western meal and movie, the shops, mall and restaurants of Dumaguete are what you are looking for. Although it is still a relatively small city, most things you need you can get there. It also has quite a large community of foreigners and together with the university students make that it has some nice bars and restaurants. Don’t expect a bustling metropolis though with trendy clubs. It still retains it’s provincial atmosphere which is it’s charm. If you don’t like the shopping, you can also have a stroll along the boulevard, look at the belfry and church or catch a movie.
Read more about Dumaguete here.
To the south of Zamboanguita, in the province of Siaton is Lake Balanan. It is a beautiful lake where you can have a walk, cross the lake in a small boat or go to the waterfalls. The nature surrounding the lake is beautiful.