Located at the southern tip of Negros Island in the province of Negros Oriental, Dumaguete is fast becoming the destination of choice for a wide variety of people. Foreign and local tourists alike, favor Dumaguete for certain advantages that this place has over the other tourist spots in the Philippines. It isn’t as busy as Cebu or Davao, certainly more affordable than Boracay or El Nido, Palawan, not as crowded as Baguio, and has as plenty to offer its visitors as any place else in the country. As a tourist destination, Dumaguete is as good as it gets.
Dumaguete can lay claim to four contributing factors to its popularity. It is a venue for excellence in education, unparalleled natural wonders, nightlife that is at par with any major metropolis, and as a virtual Mecca for shopping.
Tagged as the “Learning Center of the South”, Dumaguete is the home of the world-famous Siliman University. Founded in 1901, Siliman had served as the learning institution of choice for both Filipino and foreign students. St. Paul’s University – Dumaguete, Foundation University, and the Negros Oriental State University are also popular choices for persons seeking higher learning. The city also takes pride in serving as host to three other colleges, nine secondary schools, and 12 elementary schools.
Dumaguete also fails to disappoint when it comes to presenting its vast array of natural wonders. Snorkeling, deep sea diving, spelunking, cave exploration, windsurfing, and engaging in dolphin and whale watching are just some of the activities that the place can offer. Describing the backdrop of Dumaguete as picture-perfect may be an understatement. Some of the more popular venues are the Apo and Sumilon Islands. These two places are “must see” places for first-time Dumaguete visitors with its majestic natural coral reef formation and fabulous marine wildlife. Taking a vacation here would not necessarily burn a hole in your pocket as the going tour rates are one of the most affordable in the country.
For some of the people who think that a decent nightlife can only be found in metropolitan areas such as Manila, Makati, Cebu, Davao, Baguio, and Iloilo are sadly mistaken. Rizal Boulevard offers a vast array of discotheques, watering holes, live band performances, and theme-inspired venues. You want to try Mexican, then go to Coco Amigos. In the mood for some casual drinking and dining, they’ve got the Barefoot Bistro. Want to hear music, then you might want to consider El Camino Blanco, Why Not Music Box, and Hayahay in Escano Beach. Practically everything that an urban “night owl” wants can be found within the three-quarter kilometer stretch of Rizal Boulevard. Even the Dumaguete City Public Market is turning out to be a popular tourist hangout at night as fresh produce and other items can be found here even during unholy hours.
Shopping for locally manufactured items such as bags, wallets, purses, and other personal accessories made from indigenous materials such as coconut husks, dried raffia, capiz, native wood, and freshwater pearls may prove to be addictive. The craftsmanship of the people of Dumaguete offers originality, charm, superior quality, and a distinctive quality that they may call their own. Home decors like custom-made chandeliers, candelabras, and wood carvings can also be purchased here.
There are also plenty of ways to get there. The country’s major airlines offer daily flights to Dumaguete City from Manila. Traveling by sea is also an attractive alternative as the major seaports all over the Philippines offer service routes to this destination. Once there, you also need not worry about finding a place to stay. Hotels and resorts can be found virtually everywhere at very reasonable rates.