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Girls Of Summer: Gela Laurel-stehmeier

Gela Laurel-Stehmeier takes us to Dumaguete, the city where she grew up!
Girls Of Summer: Gela Laurel-stehmeier Gela Laurel-Stehmeier takes us to Dumaguete, the city where she grew up!

Published in Preview Magazine's May 2007 issue.

Where do you stay?

Our ancestral home in Taclobo, Dumaguete City.

What is it about Dumaguete that you love?

I can spend three days in Dumaguete and it feels like a month-long vacation. You can Get food at anytime of the day and it’s always yummy - not to mention inexpensive. I love that the place is so compact, that everything is near. Going to the beach doesn’t have to be über planned because it usually just an hour away. If mountains and cool weather are what you fancy, both are just an hour and a half away. The airport is so near that you don’t have to check-in three hours before the departure.

How long have you been going there?

Ever since I was born.

What’s your favourite memory about the place?

My childhood. Every summer was really a blast! My family is fond of having themed parties and we would have just that each time my grandfather celebrated his birthday. The best one was the “Mardi Gras” where everyone from the city (it’s a small city) was present. Everyone—from 2 to 85 years old—was dancing.

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What’s your favourite summer memory about the place?

Apo Island with all my cousins! It was so secluded and non-commercialized then, we couldn’t even fit in the cottages. Some of us ended up sleeping on the beach in sleeping bags. No mosquito bites or mites—nothing! Just a great tan.

What do you do when you’re there?

We have lunches prepared by my grandmother, eat sinfully rich, homemade leche flan for dessert. Play cards. Cocktails at sundown. Dinner and move to a bar to meet old friends. We go to Apo Island, or Bais for whale watching. A fifteen-minute drive brings you to one of my favorite eating spots, Malapay, Zamboanita, which has a Wednesday market where the fisher folk sell and cook fresh picks on the spot. My recommendations from there? Kilawin, and grilled blue marlin. Oh and the have the best lechon!

What clothes do you pack?

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Tank tops, clam diggers, swimming stuff, sarongs, beach dresses, linen pants, and a party dress.

What accessories do you use?

A hat for when I’m at the beach. A large sarong or scarf that I can wear from day to night depending on how I wear it. Sometimes I bring lariat necklaces, two pairs of earrings, a small sling/body bag.

What luggage do you use?

A vintage leather weekend bag given by my sister. For my carry-on and my Samsonite weekend trolly for checked luggage.

Where do you shop in Dumaguete?

Ukay-ukay and Super Le for necessities. There’s also a few antique stores for furniture.

Top five beauty essentials?

Sunblock by Lancome – tanning is good; burning is not. Body Butter by Victoria’s Secret because it doesn’t feel heavy or sticky. Carmex lip balm to keep lips from chapping. Lancome L’Extreme waterproof mascara because showing off your tan is better if you have pop-up eyelashes. Water – really the best all-weather beauty secret.

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Photographed by Bahaghari

Hair and makeup by Robbie Pinera

Sittings Editor: Anna Bella


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Hey, Preview readers! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, and Twitter to stay up to speed on all things trendy and creative. We’ll curate the most stylish feed for you!