Chada Valencia: Camp Look-out
Our next destination after the Municipal Plaza is Camp Lookout. Camp Lookout, according to GoDumaguete.com, “Offers panoramic views of Dumaguete and islands to the east.” This spiked my interest as I enjoy sight-seeing so much. I mean who wouldnt want that? You’ll have a panoramic view of the whole place and it’s neighboring towns and islands while inhaing the fresh cool air of the mountains. Talk about being in one with sea, land, and sky.
My team of adventurers are also thrilled to visit the site but since all four of us have no idea how to reach our destination, we decided to drop by Valencia’s Tourism Office. There, we met Johnny. Johnny is one of the registered tour guides of Valencia. He was kind enough to offer to guide us Camp Lookout.
Welcome to Rose Lamb Sobrepena Writers Village!
To tell you honestly I am surprised when I set foot here. I really thought that Camp Lookout is different from the Writers Village. Little did I know that the Writers Village is IN Camp Lookout.
By the way, this area is a PROTECTED area. This is what I like about the Valencia. They really have high regard when it comes to the environment. Johnny mentioned that they have strict rules about visiting not only the eco-tourism sites but in the whole Valencia . Even in Forest Camp, there is a huge reminder about protecting the area.
There is no entrance fee, not even a request for donation to get into the place. You will be welcomed by the lush vegetation and quiet, relaxing ambiance.
The picture on the left is the two-story main function hall.
The furnished second floor includes living area, sleeping quarter, and toilet and bath.
From the terrace you’ll have the panoramic view of the whole area. Johnny recalled that few years ago, you can see the neighboring islands of Bohol, Cebu, and Siquijor. Now, it’s all covered by the tall trees.
My friend/navigator Reymund and the supposed to be “lookout area” to the east.
I just recently learned that the whole area was useful during the war in Philippines. The soldiers would tactically camp in this area because they can easily see incoming enemy convoys. Aptly named, isn’t it?
Anyway, going back to the present, the ground floor of function hall, you’ll see several poems hanged on the wall. This serves as the meeting place of the writing fellows.
*click to enlarge image*
Rose Lamb Sobrepena Writers Village
This plaque is in tribute to Atty. Enrique Sobrepena Jr., 1973 Outstanding Sillimanian Awardee in the field of business, whose dedication to the arts has helped establish Silliman University’s role as a hub for literature and creative writing in Asia. His generosity has led to the construction of this Writers Village, named in honor of his wife Mary Rose Lamb Sobrepena.
Today, this site is theprimary venue for the Silliman University National Writers Workshop, founded by Drs. Edilberto and Edith Tiempo in 1961. The Writers Village is part of a long tradition of gifts to the University from the Sobrepenas, avid patrons who have also helped keep the workshop alive as keen supporters through the years.
Groundbreaking rites for the Writers Village located in Camp Lookout, in Bongbong, Valencia, were held on 15 November 2009, and dedication rites on 13 April 2010. The Village was first used for the 49th National Writers Workshop in May 2010.
National Artist for Literature Edith Lopez Tiempo is Director Emeritus of the workshop, which is the oldest-running workshop of its kind in Asia. Its first Director-in-Residence is Dr. Rowena Tiempo Torrevillas.
The Writers Village is now home to the writers of all persuasions. Its establishment helps promote the arts and culture at Silliman University and in the Dumaguete and Negros Oriental community.
The compound also has 5 duplex cottages, beautifully stylized to look like log cabins. These units are calamity-resilient as they are made from container vans. Each cottages is equipped with two bedrooms, bathroom, living room, and a kitchen. Before the compound is a private property and only accomplished writers get to stay here for some solitude and peace. Now, all are available for rentals. (contact them for more info)
We checked out the place for a few minutes, took some pictures, and just admired the whole place.
*click the images to enlarge*
The place is so beautiful and very calming. All types of artists will appreciate this place. You’ll be very motivated to write, paint, compose, and create in a place like this. The soothing breeze will definitely kiss your stress away.
The estimated terrain elevation of Camp Lookout is 550m above sea level. So just to give you a heads up, reaching this place can be a bit of a challenge especially since some parts of the road is still not pave. But hey, this place is worth it, so dont hesitate to drop by.
Obligatory commemorative picture
- Wear something that can both protect you from the heat of the sun and cold temperature. We started travelling around 10 AM so Mr. Sun is already up and temperature’s high. But when we reach certain altitude, we no longer feel the scorching heat. Slowly the temperature drops and you’ll feel cool. The fog covers the area in the afternoon.
- There are benches you can sit on but a picnic blanket may come handy. You may bring food and water as well as they are no stores or food carts in the area, but always ClAYGo.
- If you’re going there using your private vehicle, make sure it is well-conditioned for the trip. The road is sloppy and there are parts that are still not paved.
- For inquiries about the Rose Lamb Sobrepeña Writers Village rentals and other facilities, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or you may contact Johnny (Tourism Office) at 09263834114
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