Dumaguete City has always been tagged as a campus town; they say the atmosphere is laid back and very relaxed. My mind was already picturing long rows of trees, blankets of grass, lots of benches, pavilions, arcades and hardly any motorized traffic.
Boy was I wrong. Dumaguete City is nothing but laid back. The streets are busy with vehicles roaring in between avenues of tall buildings.
Everything changed though as we entered the gates of Sillliman University. The traffic ceased and the buildings were replaced by broad trees.
Before doing my research, I thought that the university was named after the place but it turned out it was after its philanthropist founder Dr. Horace Brinsmade who hailed from New York. The school was opened in 1910 and was initially made for elementary school boys before it became the first American private university in the country.
The sprawling 33-hectare campus is littered with trees and open fields. The guards were polite and let us in after checking in our ID’s. The grounds were alive with students; walking, talking, playing Frisbees and football and generally just hanging out. The whole scene actually reminds me of UP Diliman.
A regal church stands on one of the fields; it was unfortunate that it was closed during our visit though. There were also a few other interesting architecture throughout the campus; the blocky abstract Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium, the Neo-Classical Hibbard Hall, the stick style Silliman Hall (which unfortunately I was unable to photograph) among others.
Silliman University boasts of three museums; the Anthropology Musuem, the Marine Mammal Museum and the Gonzales Museum of Natural History. The three museums really sound interesting but due to limited time, we were unable to enter even one.
What we didn’t fail to do was to check out the nooks and crannies of the campus for food. There were quite a few stalls selling street fares at very affordable prices.
Most might find a tour of Silliman University to be boring and uneventful and I really would understand why. The charm of the university lies not with what you can find at its premises but really the entire campus itself. In Silliman University, I found the laid back and relaxed atmosphere that I had been reading about all along.
Address: Hibbard Avenue
Dumaguete City, Central Visayas
Telephone: (35) 422-6002
GPS Coordinates: 9.313093,123.305708
Click to View Location on Google Maps