Posted by: Jill | June 26, 2008

Dalaguete and my first piece of OCEAN

We woke up early this morning to catch a 6:30 a.m. bus down to the main town in Dalaguete, a municipality about two hours south of Cebu City. Public transit runs so smoothly here: buses leave regularly, there was plenty of space, and for 93 pesos each (about US$ 2) we had comfortable seats on an airconditioned bus, rolling along well-paved roads. Someone told us where to get off, and– ta-da! There we were.

Dalaguete is definitely a small town, but has plenty going on. There’s a good-sized market, several restaurants, internet cafes, food stands, schools, etc. Everyone so far is friendly and helpful and eager to wave hello to the white girls.

My first stop here was the monthly meeting of the marine sanctuary managers. It was really helpful to kick off my research: I got to hear what is happening in all the sanctuaries and meet a lot of people who will be important interview subjects in the coming months. The conversation was a mix of English and Cebuano (the local dialect), but I understood enough of what was going on. I also made a good plan for my research, and I expect to begin conducting interviews the week after next.

After the meeting and lunch, I walked back to the guesthouse with Anna and Theresa (the third UW student who is here doing research this summer). It is just what I like: on the beach, on a quiet residential street a few blocks from the center of town, with a big shady patio for sprawling and breeze-catching. We immediately got into the water and — back to the sea! It was clear, warm, full of fish and coral. I saw my first crown-of-thorns seastar, which was smaller than I expected but no less thorny. I was also barked at by my first local dog, and thus feel officially welcomed to Cebu.

St. Therese – home base in Dalaguete:

St. Therese - home base in Dalaguete

Fishermen launching their boat in the morning:

St. Therese from the water:

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