Dumaguete City

Ever heard of Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, Philippines? If not, buckle up because you’re in for a ride! This charming city, lovingly known as “The City of Gentle People,” is a hidden gem that’s beaming with life and color. It’s like opening a box of surprises that just keeps on giving!

Ever been to a place where you instantly felt at home? That’s Dumaguete for you. It’s a blend of the past and the present, where old-world charm meets modern comforts. Imagine walking down streets lined with century-old acacia trees while the aroma of freshly baked ‘budbud’ wafts through the air. Sounds dreamy, right? But wait, there’s more!

This city is a haven for adventure seekers too. Ever tried swimming with sea turtles or exploring stunning coral reefs? Plus, the majestic Mt. Talinis is just a hop, skip, and jump away for those who love to hike. Now, tell me, does this sound like your cup of tea or what?

DumaGetMe sign along Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines
By Nuwordlife0rder – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

History of Dumaguete City

The city was originally called “Bou-luan” by the natives, which meant “a place where people gathered to trade”.

During the Spanish colonial period, the city was known as “Dananguet” and was a part of the province of Bohol. In 1855, Negros Oriental was created as a separate province, and Dumaguete became its capital in 1890.

The city played a significant role in the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule. In 1898, the Filipino revolutionary forces, led by General Emilio Aguinaldo, established a government in Negros Oriental, with Dumaguete as its capital.

After the Philippines was granted independence from the United States in 1946, Dumaguete continued to flourish as an important center of education and culture in the region. It is home to several prestigious universities, including Silliman University, which was founded in 1901 and is the first American university in Asia.

Dumaguete has also been the site of significant events in Philippine history. In 1901, the city was the site of the Battle of Odlot, which saw Filipino revolutionaries led by General Pantaleon Villegas, also known as “Leon Kilat”, defeat the American forces. The city also played a role in the Philippine-American War, with several skirmishes taking place in and around the city.

In recent years, Dumaguete has become known as a popular tourist destination, with its beautiful beaches, scenic attractions, and vibrant culture. The city is also famous for its delicious cuisine, including the local delicacy “silvanas”, a sweet pastry made with buttercream and cashew nuts.

Activities

There are many activities to enjoy in this city. Visitors can explore the city’s many historical and cultural sites, such as the centuries-old Belfry and the Silliman University campus. Nature lovers can explore the city’s many parks and nature reserves, such as the Mount Talinis Wildlife Sanctuary and the Pulangbato Falls. Adventure seekers can enjoy activities such as diving, snorkeling, and trekking.

What to Eat in Dumaguete City?

First and foremost, Dumaguete City is known for its mouth-watering local delicacies such as Budbud Kabog, Suman, and Silvanas. Budbud Kabog is a type of sticky rice cake made from millet that is wrapped in banana leaves, while Suman is a flavored sticky rice wrapped in coconut leaves. Silvanas, on the other hand, is a creamy dessert made from buttercream sandwiched between two cashew-meringue wafers.

Aside from these local delicacies, Dumaguete City also offers a wide range of culinary delights that cater to different tastes and preferences. If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll definitely enjoy the fresh seafood dishes served in most restaurants, such as kinilaw, grilled squid, and shrimp sinigang. If you prefer meat, you can try the famous “porkchop” dish which is a deep-fried pork chop served with rice and a side of atchara (pickled papaya).

For those who are looking for more adventurous eats, Dumaguete City has several food spots that offer foreign dishes such as balut (fertilized duck egg) and kinason (fermented fish).

In addition to the local cuisine, Dumaguete City also has a thriving food scene influenced by different cultures. You can find Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even Italian restaurants that offer authentic dishes.

Tourist Spots in Dumaguete City

First off, you’ve got to start your Dumaguete adventure at Rizal Boulevard. Named after the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, it’s an iconic spot where you can stroll along the seafront promenade. Bask in the beautiful sunrise or relax to the calm sunset. Hungry? Don’t worry! There are loads of restaurants and food stalls lining the boulevard. They’re ready to serve you the city’s famous silvanas and sans rival.

Next up, just a few minutes’ walk from the boulevard, you’ll find the historic Silliman University. It’s the first American university in the Philippines and in Asia, mind you. Its huge campus is a mix of old American-style buildings and modern facilities. The main attraction? The Silliman Anthropology Museum. It’s a treasure trove of ancient artifacts that tell the rich heritage of the Philippines.

Now, ready to get your nature fix? Let’s head to the Forest Camp. It’s a cool mountain resort tucked away in the town of Valencia, just 20 minutes away from Dumaguete. Picture this: nine natural spring pools nestled among the trees and a river. It’s like Mother Nature’s own spa!

Speaking of nature, you can’t miss the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao. It’s a serene paradise for nature lovers. Trek through lush forests, paddle on a bamboo raft or simply soak up the stunning views. The lakes are just an hour away from the city, but trust me, it’s worth the trip.

More Spots…

Now, let’s add a bit of a thrill to your visit. Ever heard of Apo Island? It’s a small volcanic island known for its marine sanctuary. Just a boat ride away from Dumaguete, it’s a prime spot for snorkeling and diving. Imagine swimming with sea turtles in crystal clear waters. Sounds fun, right?

Lastly, don’t forget to visit the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral. It’s the oldest stone church in Negros and has a beautiful, historic bell tower, the Campanario de Dumaguete. It’s like stepping back in time!

Festivals and Events in Dumaguete City

One of the most popular events in Dumaguete City is the Sandurot Festival, which is celebrated every September. The festival is a week-long celebration that honors the city’s cultural diversity and unity. It features colorful street dances, parades, and cultural presentations that highlight the different ethnic groups that call Dumaguete their home.

Another festival that Dumaguete is famous for is the Buglasan Festival, which is held every October. This festival showcases the best of Negros Oriental, featuring local delicacies, handicrafts, and products. It also features a grand parade and street dancing competition that draws crowds from all over the province.

Aside from these two major festivals, Dumaguete City also hosts several other events throughout the year. The Dumaguete Jazz Festival, for instance, is a must-see event for music lovers. It features local and international jazz musicians who perform in various venues across the city.

For sports enthusiasts, the Dumaguete Triathlon is an event worth checking out. Held every November, it attracts triathletes from all over the country who compete in a grueling race that involves swimming, biking, and running.

If you’re into the arts and literature, Dumaguete City is also home to the famous Silliman University, which hosts the annual Silliman University National Writers Workshop. This workshop is the oldest creative writing workshop in Asia and is a gathering of some of the most promising writers in the country.

Getting There

Getting to Dumaguete City is easy and convenient. The city is accessible by air and sea.

By Air: Dumaguete City has its own airport, Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport (DGT), which is located about 5 kilometers from the city center. Several major airlines operate flights to and from Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport, including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to your hotel or other destination in the city.

By Sea: Dumaguete City is also accessible by sea. Several ferry companies operate ferries to and from Dumaguete City, including OceanJet, SuperCat, and 2GO Travel. Ferries depart from Cebu City, Manila, and other major cities in the Philippines. The ferry ride to Dumaguete City takes about 2-3 hours. From the port, you can take a taxi or a bus to your hotel or other destination in the city.

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Where to Stay

Dumaguete City has a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts. Some of the most popular places to stay include:

Dumaguete Royal Hotel: This 4-star hotel is located in the heart of the city and offers stunning views of the sea. It features a rooftop pool, a fitness center, and a spa.

Hotel Essencia: This 5-star resort is located on a private beach and offers luxurious accommodations and amenities. It features a private pool, a spa, and a restaurant.

GV Hotel: This 3-star hotel is located in the city center and offers comfortable accommodations and amenities. It features a rooftop pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant.

RedDoorz Plus @ Downtown Dumaguete: This budget-friendly hotel is located in the city center and offers basic accommodations and amenities. It features a free breakfast and a 24-hour front desk.

The Flying Fish Hostel: This hostel is located in the city center and offers affordable accommodations and amenities. It features a shared kitchen, a common room, and a free breakfast.

Conclusion

Feeling the urge to pack your bags and jet off to Dumaguete City? Who wouldn’t?! It’s a place where you can live a slow life, enjoy the simple joys, and indulge in an adventure or two.

From the mouth-watering Silvanas of Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries to the captivating sunset views at Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete indeed has something for everyone. And the best part? The warmth and hospitality of the locals make you feel right at home. Ain’t that something special?

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Why not experience Dumaguete City for yourself? Trust me; you’ll be writing your love letter to this city in no time. So, who’s ready for a trip to Dumaguete, the city that embraces you with gentleness and fills your heart with warmth?

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