The Eclectic Charm of Dumaguete

The National Museum in Dumaguete City

Dumaguete has been known for the longest time for its moniker “The City of Gentle People” due to its warm, hospitable people and laid-back living, which has endeared it to countless travelers.

The provincial capital of Negros Oriental, this quaint city in the Visayas is a haven of adventure, culture, nature, cuisine, and everything in between.

DumaGetmE landmark at Rizal Boulevard
DumaGetmE landmark at Rizal Boulevard

For families in the south, it is a “university town” with notable schools in soil and a laid-back ambiance which makes the city conducive for learning. An iconic institution is the 120-year old Silliman University, which is among the best in the archipelago, sprawls across the city, and is a must-see spot with diverse attractions.

Foreign and local executives, Dumaguete City is a preferred retirement place because of its perfect blend of countryside lifestyle and a touch of modern features. The prestigious Forbes Magazine named it the world’s fifth-best place to retire a few years ago, placing it on the global radar.

Dumaguete Archery Center
Dumaguete Archery Center

The Philippine Retirement Authority also cited the city as the top retirement area that meets the United Nations standards, the World Health Organization, and International Living.

But behind the gentle atmosphere, it boasts of a population deeply engaged in physical recreation, competitive sports, and hosting events. Its active lifestyle, warm spectator crowd, and splendid facilities have lured event organizers into making Dumaguete a site for regional, national, and Southeast Asian tournaments.

Rizal Boulevard Dumaguete
Rizal Boulevard Dumaguete

The City’s sports program hasn’t gone unnoticed as it was named by the Philippine Sports Tourism Alliance as Organizer of the Year (Government) and Sports Destination of the Year runner-up a few years ago. At the same time, its mayor, Felipe Antonio Remollo, was hailed last year as the top government sports tourism personality.

The city government has taken the lead in preserving its heritage structures to preserve its Old World charm. The circa-1930s Presidencia or city hall, designed by eminent architect Juan Arellano, was recently restored and converted into a National Museum branch.

The Henry Resort Dumaguete
The Henry Resort Dumaguete

A new historical spot is the Panilongon Marker unveiled in March to commemorate the Quincentennial of the Magellan-Elcano expedition, which made a brief stop here 500 years ago.

Decades-old buildings and ancestral homes have been repurposed as restaurants, hotels, and tourist shops to give visitors a throwback feel. The Henry, a boutique seaside resort that takes pride in its heritage, as reflected in its landscaped gardens, furnishings, artwork, and crafts sourced from all over the archipelago.

Panilongon Landmark Dumaguete
Panilongon Landmark Dumaguete

An emerging metropolis in the Visayas, Dumaguete is facing the winds of change as it marches into the future. And despite being among the smallest cities, it has envisioned a world-class global township that will be its legacy for the next generation.

A public-private partnership project which will rise at the scenic Rizal Boulevard, the 174-hectare property, will have a wastewater treatment plant as an initial development to improve the bay’s water quality and make it more suitable for recreation and aqua sports.

Regarded as a “smart city,” it will put modern but earth-friendly building and transportation systems and information technologies befitting master-planned communities.

The integrated community will house the new central business district, a marina, and an esplanade, creating a Venice-like natural canal and a fish port to boost the local fishing industry. It will also host public facilities for health, housing, education, sports, transportation, and various government offices.

The National Museum in Dumaguete City
The National Museum in Dumaguete City

As a retirement village, the satellite city will have mid-rise residences, tourist establishments, lifestyle and retail shops, landscaped garden parks, and recreational centers.

The planned P 23-billion economic zone will create employment and economic opportunities for more than 100,000 people in the Visayas. It emerges as a new hub of business and tourism in the central Philippines.

Searching for the best Dumaguete City hotels and affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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