Dumaguete is the capital city of the province called Oriental Negros formerly known as Negros Oriental in the Philippines. It is located near the southeastern end of the Banica river, a land that stretches up to 30 urban barangays (smallest political units) with its vast shoreline. In the Philippines, municipalities and cities are generally composed of barangays. Dumaguete city is known for its wonderful picnic spots and other outdoor activities. It's a normal scene to see friends and families gather around sharing the food they have brought while sitting near the ocean under bamboo-made huts.
- Moderately Challenging
Fly by air from Metro Manila to Dumaguete. Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific have available flights in the morning as well as in the afternoon. The longevity of travel time will last up to an hour and probably a few minutes.
If you start from Metro Manila, the city of Dumaguete is accessible by air flights or boat ferries. If you choose to travel by sea, there are regular trips too from Metro Manila to Dumaguete that will take about 36 hours. If you start from the Cebu city, a ferry ride to Dumaguete will only take about 4 hours.
Enjoy the festivities in Dumaguete city like the "Buglasan Festival" celebrated every fourth quarter of each year. This special celebration has a movable date and it presents a series of cultural and sports competitions as well as wonderful events showcasing the artistic talents of the local people from the province of Oriental Negros.
There are many people from neighboring cities and towns too that come to visit Dumaguete during this time of the year to see the tourism and agricultural fair. The Buglasan Festival is usually held in December and includes the yearly celebration of the "Pinaskuhan Parol" & "Sayawit Festival", which is a very colorful and vibrant competition of Filipino lanterns. Well-choreographed choirs and talented dancers are the participants of these contests coming from the different cities and towns of Oriental Negros.
The "Sandurot Festival" is a wonderful celebration which is held every second week of November. This is a unique ceremony presented on the beach which showcases decorated sea vessels and crafts and inside are representatives of the different races. It represents the multi-cultural aspects and attributes of Dumaguete city. The participants bring it to view through streetdancing and field-act presentations by way of celebrating the fellowship or known by locals as "pakig-sandurot".
Another colorful festivity in Dumaguete city is the "Kabulakan Festival" which is held on the third week May. It has a floral theme which is a tribute to the month of May. This is the city's own way of celebrating the traditional church-organized "Santacruzan".
May is a summer month in the Philippines so this is a special summertime event of street dancing competitions and colorful parades. Usually, movie stars are invited as special guests of this popular festivity which also brings delight and entertainment to the local people.
Since Dumaguete is the capital city of Oriental Negros, Philippines, it also celebrates the "Kasadyaan Festival" which is held every third week of December. This is the longest-running festival, celebrated along with the Founder's Week of Foundation University.
It features an ornamented Mardi Gras parade which is the longest in the province. The main reason of the celebration including the presentations of the street dancing contingents is the "Hugyawan Dalansyaw". This is a festivity held on the first week of December which means "merrymaking".
Visit the mini zoo of Silliman University where you can see local fauna in their habitat, artistically made beside the Silliman University ball field located in Dumaguete city. You can also see Silliman's Luce auditorium, the university's modern cultural center which is a known venue for the local and international performing artists.
Inside the auditorium, you can look at their ballet studio, and an area lobby for very nice exhibits. Silliman University is one of the oldest educational institutions that were founded by the American missionary educators in the Philippines. Silliman is also known for its biological and marine laboratory with excellent facilities in Bantayan which also operates a research vessel for group tour cruises.
You can also stop by and view Fleur-de-lis Hall at St. Paul College of Dumaguete city. It's a theater noted for its wonderful productions. Saint Paul University was established in 1904 and was recognized as the first Saint Paul de Chartres school in the Philippines.
A beautiful marker on Rizal Boulevard commemorates the landing of the seven Belgian nuns who were the pioneers and founders of the school. You can also visit the other two known universities in Dumaguete namely Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) and Foundation.
- Tips & Warnings
Visit Dumaguete's Tourism Office at Rizal Park in front of the City Hall to receive free maps & brochures from their friendly and accommodating staff. You can ask any information that would help you when visiting the city.
Dumaguete is a wonderful spot to combine other must-see destinations in the nearby cities and towns of the Philippines. One of the nearest towns is Sibulan where you can see the "Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao".
It is located in the remote hills of Sibulan and you can reach it through a 45-minute drive where you can view the magnificent rainforest and beautiful ecosystem that surround the twin lakes. You can enjoy trekking, kayaking or horseback riding.
They also provide picnic cottages, camping grounds, and a souvenir and snack shops. Another city to visit is Bais where you can see dolphins and whales. The cruise tours are usually organized by the City Tourism Council of Bais which will take you out to Tañon Strait, the natural habitat of whales as well as dolphins. If you like diving, there are beautiful dive sites at Apo Island. It's one of the top diving destinations in the world with captivating and adorable marine sanctuaries through the coastline of Dumaguete city.
When the Spanish explorers landed on this small area of the Philippines headed by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi who came to the island in April 1565, he sent some of his men to see the island and they were able to find many dark-skinned inhabitants. The Spaniards called the island "Negros" since "Negro" means "black" in Spanish. Among the early inhabitants of this island in the Philippines were short and dark-skinned people belonging to the Negrito ethnic group.