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Negros Oriental is among world’s best islands to live on
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: *
Date: 2007-09-25
Negros Oriental, and its capital Dumaguete, lives up to its moniker "the city of gentle people" as US-based Islands magazine listed it as one of the 20 best islands to live on.

The province joins the list of other exotic addresses such as the Grand Cayman, Gozo in Malta, Carriacou in Grenada and Vieques in Puerto Rico, which all offer a mix of indigenous culture, friendly neighbors, uncomplicated living and adventure attractions.

Islands magazine is one of the widest circulated and most trusted travel publications in the United States. Its readership of 500,000 comprises mostly of frequent tourists who take more than one annual holiday and stay for an average of seven days at any given vacation.

Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said this recognition for Negros Oriental speaks of an exceptionally hospitable experience that makes people want to stay for the long haul.

"More than the attractions in a particular province or city, it is the people who play a big role in creating a welcoming and positive impression to travelers," he said.

Durano called on local government units to continue their efforts in building up the tourism potentials of their jurisdictions. While infrastructure is essential, programs should also include creating a community mindset that is tourist-friendly and puts forth the world-famous Filipino brand of hospitality.

Ideal country living

Published in the August 2007 issue, editors of Islands magazine chose 20 islands around the globe that have the best living conditions for foreigners who would like to relocate. Deciding factors included weather, languages spoken, ease of immigration and accessibility to hospitals. Expats were also interviewed for an insider’s opinion.

Negros Oriental earned three out of five flip-flops, or rating, from the magazine. Of note was Dumaguete City’s youthful vibe courtesy of the prominence of academic centers. Also mentioned was the city’s picturesque Rizal Boulevard, the seaside promenade lined with cafes and art galleries. German expat Georg Bender, who moved to the island in 2001, spoke of the great diving experiences awaiting scuba and snorkeling enthusiasts.

Located in Central Visayas, Negros Oriental offers divers colorful and teeming marine life around Apo Island, located in the Negros Oriental Marine Conservation Park. Tourists can also chance upon playful dolphins and pygmy sperm whales in Tañon Strait at Bais Bay. Meanwhile, the 400hectare Bird Sanctuary and Mangrove Park provides sightings of rare birds and wildlife. The province also boasts of spelunking, trekking and beach attractions.

Dumaguete City, the provincial capital, prides itself as the City of Gentle People after the winsome and hospitable residents who help create a tranquil and genteel way of life. Dumaguete is also known as a university town, with several institutions of higher learning located in close proximity to each other and students comprising a fourth of the population. Most notable is Silliman University, the first Protestant college in the Philippines and the oldest American-established tertiary education center in Asia.

[ Siliman University Wiki ]

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