The Best of Dumaguete City to Explore and Discover

Are you looking for a relaxing local to visit or retire in? Learn about the best of Dumaguete City and why this is just the place for you!

The best of Dumaguete City
The best of Dumaguete City / Photo from Dumaguete Info Attractions

Located in the heart of the province of Negros Oriental is Dumaguete City, famously known as the City of Gentle People. This place is gradually gaining attention, not just from its local travelers but also from international tourists. The city has received numerous awards throughout the years. Still, it never looked back on providing the best lifestyle to its locals and tourists alike. In fact, Forbes listed Dumaguete as the fifth best place to retire by Forbes. Additionally, according to Yahoo Finance and US News, it also ranks as the fourth most affordable place to retire. In summary, in recent years, Dumaguete is indeed making its impact and presence internationally. 

As the city continuously grows and infrastructures arise within the city, Dumaguete never lets its laid-back lifestyle fizzle out. Dumaguete City’s rich culture, history, and natural attractions will entice you to stay more in the city. 

Aside from its culture and natural wonders, the city is also recognized as a University Town in the South. Major universities are present here, and one of them is the famous Silliman University, the first American school in Asia and established in 1901. Several educational institutions are also present in the city to cater to all the academic needs of its locals.

Economic progress is significantly seen within the city. This is mainly from the multiple emerging businesses and BPO companies that provide employment in the city.

Let’s get to know Dumaguete more.Here, we have listed all the facts you need that will surely make you want to visit Dumaguete City.

What are some interesting facts about Dumaguete’s culture and history?

The best of Dumaguete City in culture and history Photo by Mike Gonzales
The best of Dumaguete City in culture and history / Photo by Mike Gonzales

The name Dumaguete is from the Cebuano word “Dagit” or to snatch because of the frequent raids of Moro pirates on its coastal community. Diego López Povedano called the place Dananguet in 1572. Later, the cartographer Pedro Murillo Velarde already used the present name of Dumaguete as early as 1734.

The culture of a place defines its society. Dumaguete’s culture is unique and intriguing. Its residents have a good level of living and are well-off. Plus, they are kind and courteous to visitors. Coined to be the City of Gentle People because of the hospitality locals show to visitors.

Furthermore, historic places and structures are still present in the city. In fact, they are some of the most sought attractions for most travelers.

What are the most historic landmarks in Dumaguete City?

Listed down below are some of the historical places. You might want to check out during your stay in the city:

  1. St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish (Dumaguete Cathedral): A Roman Catholic church and is considered one of the oldest stone churches in the province, established in 1776.
  2. Dumaguete Bellfry: The Dumaguete Belfry, an imposing historical landmark established in 1811, is the province’s oldest known Belfry. It still looms over the adjacent buildings like a deacon, standing next to the exquisite St Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.
  3. Silliman University Hall: The Silliman Hall, a well-positioned three-story edifice at the corner of Rizal Boulevard and Silliman Avenue with magnificent views of the Dumaguete seaport and the Rizal Boulevard, is the first building ever completed in 1903, two years after the foundation of Silliman Institute. Today Silliman Hall serves as an ethno-anthropological museum, with relics and archaeological discoveries dating back over 2000 years on display. Several historical buildings are also present inside the Silliman University Campus, like The Katipunan Hall and many more.
  4. Rizal Boulevard: Named after the Philippines National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, this boulevard in Dumaguete is one of the city’s most popular sites for its stunning views of the sea. The boulevard’s stretch of lamp posts and trees can be seen from miles away, making it one of the city’s most identifiable sites. The magnificent sunrise is also one of the most sought activities that most locals enjoy during the morning.

Why is Dumaguete one of the best places to retire in the Philippines?

After it was named the fifth best place to retire in the entire world by Forbes Magazine, Dumaguete was also hailed as the best location to retire in the country. Given by the Philippine Retirement Agency, which is part of the Department of Tourism, in 2019, Dumaguete was the first city in the Visayas region to get the Best Retirement Area Deemed as Retiree-Friendly (RADAR) designation.

With all the numerous awards and recognition that the city has received, what attracts most ex-pats to live and retire in Dumaguete are the following:

  • Low cost of living
  • Modern healthcare services
  • Friendly community
  • Center of trade and commerce

Dumaguete as the ‘University Town in the South’

Silliman Univeristy in Dumaguete Photo from Silliman University
Silliman Univeristy in Dumaguete Photo from Silliman University

Dumaguete also carried the title ‘University Town in the South’ because of the presence of four universities and other educational institutions in the area. Dumaguete provides high-class education, not just to its locals but also to students from the neighboring island like Siquijor, Bohol, and Mindanao. The city is most famous because of Silliman University, the first American School in Asia and was established in 1901 as Silliman Institute. 

Furthermore, below are the four major universities in the city:

  1. Silliman University
  2. Negros Oriental State University
  3. St. Paul University
  4. Foundation University

Dumaguete is the gateway to Negros Oriental’s tourist destinations.

Best tourist destinations near Dumaguete City Photo From Cebu Trip Tours
Best tourist destinations near Dumaguete City / Photo From Cebu Trip Tours

Many people visit the attractive city of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental because of its lovely tourist attractions, which include world-class diving places and clean beaches. A visit to the ‘City of Gentle People’ would be incomplete without visiting some of the city’s attractions.

What are the best tourist destinations near Dumaguete City?

Here we have listed some of the best places you might want to check out during your stay in the City and the Province of Negros Oriental:

  1. Apo Island Marine Reserve – Located in the southern part of the province Negros Oriental under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Dauin. It is just a 30-minute boat ride from the port of Zamboanguita.
  2. Manjuyod White Sand Bar – Considering being the Maldives of the Philippines, Manjuyod White Sand bar is just an hour and 30 minutes away from the city of Dumaguete. 
  3. Twin Lakes: Lake Balinsasayao and Lake Danao – A natural park covering a total of 8000+ hectares and rising 1000 feet above sea level, this natural wonder will give you the peace and serenity that you are looking for.
  4. Lake Balinsasayao and Lake Danao – Tourist spots lying within the municipalities of Valencia, Sibulan, and San Jose, Negros Oriental. Additionally, it is only approximately 57 minutes away from the city of Dumaguete.
  5. Pulang Bato Falls – Nestling in the Municipality of Valencia and around 31 minutes away from Dumaguete City.
  6. Casaroro Falls – Cradled in the Municipality of Valencia and only around 29 minutes away from Dumaguete City.

Where to live in Dumaguete City?

Get to know this humble city more and live close to everything convenient. Start your next step today and invest in real estate properties here in Dumaguete City. Camella, the number one home builder in the Philippines, also makes its presence in the City of Gentle People proving to the locals and investors a new means of living away from the hustle and bustle of the City. Camella Negros Oriental is a 15 – hectare development offering 2 to 5-bedroom houses and lots, located along the Diversion Rd., Brgy. Cantil-E, Dumaguete City, is probably the place to be if you want to live in Dumaguete City.

See your home options in Dumaguete!

Check out Camella’s house and lot for sale in Negros Oriental!

By Dymar Credo

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