Fitness Clubs in Dumaguete
Because so many foreigners are retiring in the Dumaguete area, a vibrant fitness industry has developed here particularly over the past five years. Several high-quality fitness clubs have opened to cater primarily, but not exclusively, to the ex-pat community. Cycling is very popular here. A large number of ex-pats can be seen daily cycling from Dumaguete up to Valentia and beyond. Running clubs are popular among ex-pats as is golfing, swimming, hiking, and mountain climbing. But working out in Dumaguete fitness clubs also plays an important function in the lives of ex-pats living here.
At Retire Dumaguete, we recently visited the 4C FITNESS CENTER. It’s located in downtown Dumaguete near Silliman University. It’s a large facility with six treadmills to the right as you walk in. Behind them are a large variety of work out machines and bodybuilding equipment including weights, punching bags, and exercise machines that focus on various parts of the body. On the left, a large floor area is reserved for strenuous, classes given by an instructor using fast-paced music to stimulate their movements. Spacious male and female changing rooms with good quality showers are located in the rear of the building.
The day we visited; the club was half full. That apparently is the norm. Those working out were mainly men but a good number of women were also present. The participants were predominantly ex-pats. We spoke with several of them to get their opinion about the quality of fitness opportunities here and how the fitness clubs compared to what they had been used to in North America or Europe.
*Anthony *is originally from London, England. He’s forty-seven and lives in Dumaguete with his Pinay wife. They have two businesses here. “I appreciate the ability to work out in this facility which provides all I want or need.” Said Anthony. “I come here there days weekly. The facilities are excellent, similar to what I’d experienced in England, but the fees cost a fraction of what I used to pay in London. There always seems to be room available to work out. I’m very satisfied. It’s simply another reason why I love living in Dumaguete.”
*Gord*, originally from Canada, is in his late forties. He’s the managing partner at the PHILX group of companies. “Living in Dumaguete, with the people being so warm and friendly, and with many options available for exercising, makes it a compelling reason for ex-pats to come and live here. I cycle three times weekly. There’s a large ex-pat community here who take advantage of the many biking options available around Dumaguete. While I really enjoy cycling, I also look forward to regularly working out here especially on the punching bags and weights. I used to box professionally and still like to keep in shape. The fitness clubs here in Dumaguete offer excellent choices to us ex-pats. There are now several clubs that cater to the large ex-pat community. I particularly enjoy this club because it’s close to my office and has excellent facilities. If anyone is new to working out and wants a program created for them, there are several trainers available to help with that.”
*Efren*, who is 22 years old, was born in Dumaguete. At a young age, he moved with his family to live in Manchester, England where they had business interests. His family recently returned to live in Dumaguete. They own and run a large dairy products company. Efren recently opened up his own business offering high-quality health drinks to the public. “I come to this club because fitness plays an important role in my life and overall health. This club is of a standard comparable to those I used to visit in Manchester. It’s comforting to see how developed Dumaguete has become while still retaining its small-town sensibilities.”
*Jerry *is a healthy-looking 70-year-old American. He comes to the club four times weekly. “Other ex-pats in Dumaguete carry out other activities available here, but for me, this club is my source of wellness and fitness. I hired a trainer when I first came here three years ago. He worked out a program for me. He changes it as needed to adapt to any issues I’m having or to increase my level of fitness. There are never any problems about equipment being unavailable, or the club being too crowded. That wasn’t always the case at my club back in Seattle, USA. I’m grateful to be living in Dumaguete. I was nervous at first about coming here. I didn’t know if I’d fit in. But it’s been a wonderful experience. Working out in this club helps me in so many ways to remain healthy. It’s also a source of community for me.”
The growth of high-quality fitness clubs in Dumaguete is a reflection on the overall approach designed to cater to the needs of ex-pats who have become an integral part of the Dumaguete community. Based on all available research, more ex-pats than ever before will continue to make Dumaguete their retirement destination in the future. And rightly so!