Hitch hikers guide to Dumaguete:
Mabuhay! We would like to welcome you to our humble city. For all our returning guests, welcome back! To those of you who are new to our fair shores, we have compiled a brief guide to help you find your way.
But first, some history!
Dumaguete is the foremost tourist destination spot in the Philippines and one of the top ten retirement hubs in the world. But as with many large cities, it didn’t start out that way. Originally it was a humble spanish settlement on a ( at the time) unified Negros Island. However due to constant raids by Muslim slavers and pirates, it was decided in 1890 that the island would be divided into two politico-military provinces, Negros Occidental to the north, and Negros Oriental to the south. Dumaguete was then Christened as the provincial capital and it’s life in the lime light began. In WWll the japanese occupied the city until its liberation on April 26, 1945 by a combined force of US soldiers, Filipino soldiers, and local guerrillas. In more modern times, Dumaguete is known as a university city and is home to Silliman University, the cities first Protestant and American university. When it comes to entertainment, Dumaguete has everything you need to feel right at home.
How to get there.
Dumaguete plays host to many forms of mass transit,both to and from our peaceful shores. Below you’ll find a list of the primary forms of transit as well as methods for booking and and arrival/ departure times.
One if by Air…
Located near the southern most tip of the island , Dumaguete is home to the island’s primary airport with direct flights to and from Metro Manila via Cebu Pacific Air. Flights to and from manila typically run at 1:00 am and 1:00 pm with a travel time of about an hour and ten minutes total.As with most airlines, be sure to allow for at least and hour of extra time before you departure, so as to avoid any last minute emergencies. Ticket pricing and further details are available here
…Two if by sea.
Home to the second largest port in the Visayan Islands, the Dumaguete port is a Bustling center of trade and transit with multiple ferry services to get you where you need to go. OceanJet is one of the primary fast travel ferries servicing dumaguete and the surrounding islands, with trips to Cebu, Bacolod, IloIlo, and Siquijor just to name a few. For more information on departure, and travel times please visit their website here.
…For everything else, there’s Mass Transit.
Whoever said that” a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” obviously didn’t have Dumaguete ( or modern transit) in mind. While it’s true that most tourist attractions are within a short distance from each other, Dumaguete’s mass transit system is so large and easy to use it’s a wonder anyone ever walks anywhere here. Ceres Bus terminals, located in the heart of Dumaguete city, have routes covering the length and breadth of the island and connecting routes going to all the other islands you can be sure that when you need to get somewhere, Ceres has got you covered. For more information please visit http://www.phbus.com/ceres-bus/ . For transport around the city local tricycles (commonly called Pedicabs) are available in much the same way a normal taxi is. Just simply walk out to the curb, hold out your hand and call out to the drivers. The current going rate per passenger is about 8.00 piso per head with discounts for students and senior citizens ( with I.D).
Should your travel plans require leaving the city to visit the smaller surrounding towns than the local Jeepney routes are the ones you want.Typically a Jeepney ride costs about 20 pisoes depending on how far you want to go and whether or not you are requesting a special trip ( any location not on their route or if you’re hiring them to carry just your group.). Make sure to ask the conductor about the fare before you depart.
Ok I’m here, now what?
The first thing you’re going to want to do upon arrival is find a place to stay. Dumaguete has a multitude of hotels ranging from the walk-ins-welcome cheap hotels, all the way to multi- month stay resorts. Many locations offer flexible payment plans and tour options to fit your Dumaguete itinerary and expenses. Many of these hotels and resorts are located well within walking distance from shopping centers, local attractions, and important cultural and historical landmarks.
What to do?
Dumaguete is home to many of the Philippines premier tourist attractions. Everything from Scuba Diving, to Anthropology museums. No matter what your entertainment palate craves Dumaguete has the answer. Here are just a few of the many attractions we have to offer.
Along the Boulevard…
Just a brief 15 minute ride from the airport, this historic landmark is home to many shops,restaurants, Hotels, and important Cultural sites. Named after the Famous Philippine national hero, Dr Jose Rizal, this beautiful tree lined vista plays host to many local and tourist aimed events all year round. Such as the SANDUROT Dumaguete Triathlon as well as various Parades and other locally sponsored events. As one of the more centrally located spots on our list, Rizal Boulevard is within 5 minute walking distance of several tourist attractions , such as the St. Catherine Cathedral and Silliman University.Nearby you’ll find the main shopping district where visitors can find many stores specialising in locally made crafts and souvenirs. If adventure is what you’re looking for many local hotels offer information on tours to local historic sites and shopping centers in and around Dumaguete. Looking for a fun way to cool off? Try one of the many local dive tours on offer from any of the local dive shops.If your heart is set on visiting Apo Island you’re in luck! The ferry port is located at the very end of the Boulevard and stands ready to comfortably (and affordably) cater to all of your travel needs.
Built in 1776, The St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral Is the oldest surviving Church in all of Negros island. It was reconstructed in 1885 and had extensions made to the facade in 1936. Sadly, only one of the original four belfry’s remains standing. This belfry was originally used as a lookout point to warn the townsfolk of incoming Muslim slavers off the coastline.Today the church stands as center point for worship and tourism in downtown Dumaguete. With it’s chiseled stone architecture and statues of saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the Dumaguete Cathedral is a sight not soon forgotten.
Twin lakes of Danao and Balinsasayao
Located near the small coastal town of sibulan these twin lakes lay tucked away in among the mountains of Negros Island, far from the hustle and bustle of dumaguete city. These lakes have lain largely undisturbed for millennia and to this day, they are a beacon for environmental conservation, as well as a thriving habitat for the native Balinsasayaw bird which the lake is named after. These peaceful lakes lay surrounded by beautiful rain forests ,crisscrossed by small hiking and game trails ready and waiting for you to explore.
Baslay Hot Springs:
Located in barangay Baslay, dauin the Baslay hot spring (also known as the “Twin Springs”) is a favorite hotspot for locals and tourists alike. This steamy hideaway is well known for it’s therapeutic and stress relieving properties brought about through it’s sulphuric waters,proven to be effective against everything from skin irritation to arthritis .with a travel time of roughly 20 minutes by motorcycle from downtown Dauin you can rest assured that relaxation is always close at hand.
Where to eat
“Well Gee, that’s great and all,” I hear you say” But now we’re hungry, what’s there to eat around here?” Worry not my friends! Dumaguete has a vast array of restaurants and local eateries for you to choose from. Below we have just a small selection of the many tempting treats on offer here in Dumaguete.
“Tempura” on the Boulevard.
For the traveler on a budget Rizal Boulevard offers a wide range of local and imported favorites such as tempura,Balut( boiled duck fetus), And Fried fish balls.This street fair happens every day from 5:00 pm to about 1:00 am weather permitting.
Unleash the Monster
Gyro monster’s shawarma is located on the corner of Noblefranca St, Dumaguete, this local eatery is a popular hangout for the younger crowd in local college students alike. Boasting great tasting shawarma wraps at roughly 30 piso each, it is a filling and affordable way to tame your monstrous appetite.
Budbud at “Painitan”
Painitan is a local coffeeshop specializing in Budbud (sometimes spelled bodbod) which is a sticky, sweet rice usually wrapped in banana leaves and sometimes seasoned with cocoa powder.This is typically served as a breakfast dish.
All of this and more waits for you here at sunny Dumaguete City!
“The City of Gentle People.! Maraming Salamat!”