For the past week, our days consisted of diving in the mornings, swinging in a hammock in the afternoons and working hard on our laptops while sipping sundowners by night. We had found the perfect setting for our location independent lifestyle: Dumaguete on Negros island lies miles away from the tourist trail. Besides quiet beaches, it is best known for world-class scuba diving sites. I’ll be writing about our dives shortly, but before that, allow me to give you a tour of our office for the week.
Laidback Vibes of Dumaguete
After a few weeks of exploring the Philippines, we were ready to kick back and spend some time working. Traveling from the bustling Cebu City, we warmly welcomed the gentle sea breeze and relaxing vibes of Dumaguete. At our base in Monarch Sands, we felt our pace slow down and our minds relax; it was easy to unwind and let the waves take us.
Our rustic bamboo cottage at Monarch Sands Beach Resort sits high above a secluded crescent-shaped bay, overlooking the blue waters and surrounding fishing village. Every morning, we would awake to a view of swaying coconut trees reaching high into the clear skies and gentle lapping waves beneath our feet. It was a view that many would kill to have as their daily backdrop, and owner Ronald Coselman was the lucky few to call this home.
Having been visiting the Philippines on and off for decades, the native American decided to settle here almost seven years ago and now runs the beach resort with his Filipino wife. When asked why he chose the Philippines, Ronald said, “I never really liked a conventional life and the last thing I wanted to do was retire in Florida like everyone else – now I feel totally at home in the Philippines and cannot imagine living anywhere else.”
Over the next few days, we spent our time chilling on the beach, diving around the area, exploring the surrounding rural villages on motorbike and visiting the local market which explodes in colors come market day. In the evenings, we would work on our laptops with the sounds of the lapping waves in the backdrop. By night, we feasted on savory local dishes prepared by the atay (sister): from freshly caught calamari to tender sirloin steak and their signature mango shake that got me seriously hooked.
Our bamboo hut was simple and rustic, but we couldn’t have felt more comfortable dozing off with the gentle sea breeze in our hair. Every night, the moonlight would sip through the cracks of our hut’s walls and shine on us. It was easy to see how Ronald fell in love with this place – who wouldn’t?
Disclaimer: Our stay was hosted by Monarch Sands but all opinions expressed above are entirely my own.