Take a virtual tour of Dumaguete City & Negros Oriental in the Philippines, their history, attractions, events & more!
Dumaguete City, The City of Gentle People
Cultural, Educational, Commercial & Administrative Center of Negros Oriental, Philippines
Everything that "happens" in Negros Oriental happens in the provincial capital, Dumaguete City.
The biggest festivals are held here, this is where the best restaurants and bars are located, plus the students all go to school here. The Perdices Coliseum hosts all the sporting events of the province, and there is a spanking new Convention Center, too.
It is the seat of the local government so it has both a city hall and a provincial capitol building.
A university town, it is home to the best schools of Negros Oriental with 30,000 students (which means cheap, good eats for tourists, too!)
DUMAGUETE CITY AT A GLANCE
Increases tremendously as it is the administrative, commercial and educational center of Negros Oriental.
Multicabs (oversized tricycles) that can accommodate 5 persons at a time in lieu of taxi cabs, although the latter are available from the airport.
November 25 in honor of Sta. Catalina de Alejandria
The essence of Dumaguete can be described by three words -- bustling yet charming!
"The Boulevard," which is officially named Rizal Avenue, is a graceful promenade, a great place for breakfasts by the sea, business lunches and romantic dinners. Then at sunset, stalls line up at the north side near the pier to serve cheap, hawker foods and the rest of the Boulevard starts jumping at night with all of Dumaguete's hottest bars.
Then just two streets away is Gov. Mariano A. Perdices Avenue which is filled with shops, stalls and malls anchored on one end by the prestigious Silliman University, the first Protestant school in the Philippines and by City Hall and City Halls and Quezon Park on the other.
The city is filled with historical, religious and cultural attractions that can be all taken in in just one day, which leaves visitors enough time to explore the rest of the province. Visit the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral and the city's most famous landmark, the Dumaguete Belfry, tour Silliman University, Aquino Freedom Park, take some photos in front of the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres sculpture on the Boulevard.
Travel Tip: Every visitor to Dumaguete should have as their first stop the City Tourism Office at Rizal Park in front of Dumaguete City Hall to receive from the helpful and friendly staff all the information necessary to help one get around, with free maps & brochures, too.
But here is what makes Dumaguete so special -- the local folk! They are truly so gentle and friendly and beautiful. Most come from old genteel farming families, supplying sugar and coconut products to the Philippines and the rest of the world. Happy islanders all, life is laid back, and there's a lots of time to get together with friends and to make new ones. First-time visitors are greeted with friendly smiles and a bit of small talk. Service in restaurants, hotels, the banks, and especially city hall is superb!
Many visitors have literally fallen in love with the place, the lifestyle and the beautiful people (especially the ladies) of Negros Oriental, and have made it their permanent home! One will see a lot of foreign nationals riding scooters (a popular mode of transportation), shopping at the local markets, and hanging around the many bars on the Boulevard. A lot of Filipinos, native to Dumaguete or not, have gone "home" to retire here, too.
Come visit us -- you will love it here!
Dumaguete City Attractions
Aquino Freedom Park
A wide expanse of green lawns and old trees with flower borders, musical fountain and the Aquino stage. For promenading and lounging right in front of the imposing Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol building.
Center for Tropical Studies (CENTROP)
A mini zoo, CENTROP of Silliman University observes endemic fauna in their habitat, carefully recreated beside the Silliman University ball field.
Its most popular denizen is the rare spotted deer Cervus alfredi, an endangered breed believed to exist only in Panay. Scheduled visits may be made to tour the premises and view the animals.
Erected in 1811 as the bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Catherine of Alexandria and watch tower to forewarn townfolk of impending attacks by marauders, the Belfry was restored in 1985 and skirted with a garden 10 years later. It has become the city’s most popular and photographed architectural landmark.
Dumaguete City Hall
Built in 1907, it houses the offices of the mayor, vice mayor, Sangguniang Panglunsod and its session hall and various other government offices. Renovation has expanded its spaces and added a new and striking façade. Fronting the old main entrance is Quezon Park that features monuments and a newly expanded children’s playground.
Housed in St. Paul College Drumaguete, the Fleur-de-lis Hall is a theater noted for its lavish productions, a trademark of all Saint Paul schools in the Philippines.
A fully-airconditioned venue, Silliman University’s modern cultural center is a popular venue for local and international performing artists. It also houses a ballet studio, and a spacious lobby for exhibits.
It is the central venue of Negros Oriental visual artists with an extensive inventory of books of Filipino authors,
This is the commercial hub of the city with a row of stores, shops, eateries, and malls on either side. Despite being the busiest street in the whole city, it provides an orderly and pleasant stroll with wide sidewalks and friendly locals.
Recently built, this arena hosts all the sporting events for the whole province. It is named after the beloved Mariano A. Perdices, a former mayor of the city and governor of the province.
Constructed in 1924 and inaugurated by Negros Oriental Governor Enrique Villanueva on 25 February 1925, the building is Grecian in character defined by tall Ionic columns. This classic building with its imposing façade faces Aquino Freedom Park.
The Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City is named after the National Hero of the Philippines, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. It believed that he made a stop here en route to his exile in nearby Dapitan.
This lovely strech of road on the waterfront is one of the most charming places in the city. It has become a landmark that is surprisingly free of vehicular traffic and plays a huge role in making Dumaguete the gentle, charming place that it is.
Sidlakang Negros Village
The the arts and crafts hub of Negros Oriental, featuring a main pavilion with shops, a furniture exhibit area and an art gallery..
Explore each town or city pavilion to see their different products, e.g. marble and stoneware from Bacong or even try the famous bodbod of Tanjay which is served with native chocolate.
Sidlakang Village is located in Noblefranca St., and its main pavilion is Sidlakang Negros Showroom, a wide display of handicraft, furniture and souvenir products, including a Sans Rival booth where one may bring home goodies from the city's most popular bakeshop.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria Church
More popularly known as the Dumaguete Cathedral, it is the seat of Archdiocese of Dumaguete. This magnificent church was built in the early 1700's, doubling as a garrison due to rampant attacks of marauders from Mindanao. One of the most photographed buildings in the city, it is a favorite attraction for visitors and locals alike.
Saint Paul College Dumaguete
Established in 1904 and known as the first Saint Paul de Chartres school in the Philippines. A marker on Rizal Boulevard commemorates the landing of the seven Belgian nuns who founded the school in the old parish convent beside the Cathedral.
Silliman University Biological Laboratory
Silliman University's Marine Lab is a center for excellence with facilities along Silliman Beach in Bantayan. It also operates the research vessel Milaena, which is also available for group cruises.
Silliman University Ethno-Anthro Museum
An exhibit of artifacts and archaeological finds that date some 2,000 years ago, the Silliman museum also showcases an ethnographic collection from the Philippines’ tribal minorities.
Another popular landmark among photography buffs and tourists, this transplanted New York USA theater now houses the Assembly Hall on the ground floor and the Ethno-Anthro Museum on the second.
Buglasan Festival of Festivals
(Movable date, 4th quarter of every year)
A series of cultural and sports competitions and special events showcasing the artistic talents of Negros Oriental province, and includes a Tourism and Agri Fair.
When held in December, the Buglas Festival incorporates the annual Pinaskuhan Parol & Sayawit Festival, which is a competition of lanterns and choreographed choirs participated in by all the 25 cities and towns of Negros Oriental.
(December, first week)
Hugyawan means “merrymaking” and is the main concept of the celebration and the presentations of the streetdancing contingents. whose members come from all parts of the province. The main goal of Hugyawan is to showcase the unique way of life of the inhabitants of Negros Oriental. It is customary thanksgiving through celebration and revelry.
(May, 3rd Week)
Floral in theme, it is a tribute to the month of May and the city's answer to the traditional church-organized Santacruzan. Now annual summertime event of street dancing competitions, parades and fireworks. Like the Santacruzan, television and movie stars are invited as guests of the festival, a huge treat for the locals.
(December, 3rd week)
Negros Oriental's longest-running festival, since 1949, it is the Founder's Week of Foundation University and features an elaborate Mardi Gras parade, the longest of its kind in the province.
(November, 2nd week)
A beachfront ceremony that welcomes decorated seacrafts containing representatives of the various races that came to enrich the multi-cultural character of Dumaguete City. Streetdance and field presentations celebrate the fellowship (pakig-sandurot).
Silliman University Founder's Week
(August 25) -
The week-long activities include pageants and exhibits, booths are put up and reunions are held to mark the establishment Silliman Universitiy in 1901 by Dr. David S. Hibbard.
Saint Paul College of Dumaguete Founder's Week
Celebrating its founding on October 29, 1904, the event features Catholic Masses, demonstrations, parades, and literary musical contests.
Festivals in Dumaguete City
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