Gentle, Beautiful, and Friendly Dumaguete City Is Highly Recommended for First-time Travelers

There’s always this misconception that traveling is only for the privileged. Well, you could say yes, especially if its somewhere overseas. Then again, part of me disagrees since the very definition of the word “travel” is not limited to international trips only.

The Philippines boasts with so many travel destinations, that exceeding a budget of Php 1,000-3,000 could already be considered overspending. Whether it’s a day at the beach or historical sites. Getting around the Philippines and its 81 provinces could never do you wrong.

Speaking of which, the “81 PH Challenge” is an ongoing task being done by several Pinoy travel junkies. The idea is to visit the 81 provinces of the Philippines with no time frame or rules. Many of which have already been completed by several travel bloggers like Pinoy AdventuristaJourneying James and many more.

Yours truly have taken the challenge and will #PushFor81. Last June 16-18, 2014, I started my maiden voyage in the city of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.

Why visit Dumaguete City?

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Dumaguete is situated at the southeastern tip of Negros Island, facing the Tañon Strait and the island province of Siquijor. The city is home to the first Protestant and American University in Asia, Silliman University.

Its name is derived from the Visayan word “daggit” or to snatch. That’s because of its history of having frequent pirate raids and its ability to captivate visitors by its beauty.

Contrary to its neighboring provinces like Cebu and Bohol, which are travel hot spots, Dumaguete is unbeknownst to many local travelers, thus being termed as “low-key.” But Dumaguete is now slowly gaining popularity because of its diving spots like Apo Island and dolphin watching in Bais City.

Dumaguete has some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my lifetime. It’s no surprise why the city was coined “The City of Gentle People.” But it doesn’t stop there, Dumaguete is also “The Motorcycle Capital of the Philippines” and the “University Town”.

How to get there?

You can travel via land, sea, or air. But if you’re coming from Manila. It’s best to travel by air.

There are daily flights to Dumaguete via local airline companies. Travel time is roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes. Sibulan Airport is the drop-off point upon arrival.

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To get to the city, you either take a van (Php 150) or a tricycle (Php 120) from the airport.

For a cheaper opt Sometimes, this airport offers private charter flights to choice hotspots that are seasonal in the area. ion, get outside of the airport, cross the street and wait for a Ceres Bus to pass by. Fare is only Php 20.

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Once you arrive in the city, getting around is fairly easy. You can either walk around or grab a tricycle for only Php 9.

What to visit?

Silliman University

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Established in 1901 by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. Silliman University, the first American University in Asia, is now one of the country’s leading academical institutions.

With an institutional accreditation from the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), the highest certification an educational institution can be granted, Silliman University has the highest number of accredited programs in the country, 14 of which are on Level IV accreditation.

The campus buildings are very reminiscent of the 19th-century American stick style architecture. Some of the famous landmarks inside the campus are the Silliman Hall (now known as the Silliman Anthropology Musem), Luce Auditorium and the Ampitheater.

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Rizal Boulevard

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Imagine Manila Bay but cleaner and closer to the sea. That is what to expect when you visit this picturesque promenade of Dumaguete City.

The peaceful vibe it offers is priceless that even Jose Rizal was captivated by its beauty. Regardless of the time of the day, Rizal Boulevard is worth a visit.

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It’s best enjoyed around 5 P.M. when vendors line up for tasteful street food. The statue for the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres can be found here as well.

Belfry Tower

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The oldest belfry monument in the Visayas dating back to 1811. Dumaguete’s Belfry Tower was once used to forewarn locals of incoming pirates. Now 203 years old, the Belfry is still a sight to behold for first time visitors.

St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral

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Situated beside the Belfry Tower, St. Catherine of Alexandria is the city’s largest church. It says it was originally built between 1754 and 1776 and reconstructed in 1885. It is believed to be the oldest stone church in Negros Island.

Where to stay?

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My 3-day stay in Dumaguete City was made possible by Go Hotels Dumaguete. Located beside Robinsons Dumaguete, Go Hotels is a cheaper option for those who are budget-conscious but doesn’t want to compromise quality.

Clean rooms, relaxing ambience, secure location, and accommodating and friendly staff members are what’s in store for those who plan to stay here.

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You can book your reservations online and if you’re lucky, they have monthly promos available. You can visit them at gohotels.ph.

[This is not a sponsored post]

Enjoying Dumaguete so far? For a list of the best places to eat in Dumaguete, you may click here.

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