Dumaguete: The City of Gentle People

Part of our Visayas adventure was to include Dumaguete City on our 5-day itinerary. After the Whale Shark encounter in Oslob, we went straight to Dumaguete to see the City of Gentle People. Cebu and Dumaguete are geographically closed to each other so it’s totally accessible to explore them in just one trip.

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Dumaguete at night

Dumaguete City is the capital of Negros Oriental. Aside from the popular Silliman University, Dumaguete is now becoming quite popular because of natural attractions like the dolphin watching in Bais, Manjuyod Sand Bar, and swimming with the turtles in Apo Island.

Since we came from Oslob, Cebu:

  • We rode a tricycle going to Lilo-an Port, Santander. (Travel time: less than an hour)
  • From Lilo-an Port, we rode a ferry going to Sibulan Port.  (Travel time: 30mins)
  • From Sibulan Port, we hired a tricycle to Dumaguete City. (Travel time: 15mins)

By Plane: There are also direct flights to and from Dumaguete via Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.

For more information about transportation guide in Dumaguete, click this blog. This might give you information about travel tips.

There are lots of accommodation in Dumaguete City ranging from backpackers to luxurious. I checked Agoda and Tripadvisor for reviews and found One Bethany Place. Their rate is only P875 for a basic room per night for 2 persons which is one of the cheapest I found online. The catch is they have ‘No Instant Spouses Policy’ meaning that only married couple should be on shared rooms.

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One Bethany Place

Florentina Homes also has good reviews. I wanted to stay here but since we were in Siquijor on our 2nd day, we didn’t want to transfer from place to place. Their rate starts at P1,800 per night for standard room.

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Florentina Homes

Here are other hotel options I found online which have good reviews:
– Gabby’s Bed & Breakfast
– Island Leisure Boutique Hotel
– Harold’s Mansion
– Bethel Guest House

You can also check out Tripadvisor and Agoda for more choices.

Tricycle is the most popular mode of transportation in Dumaguete. Unlike here in Manila, tricycles here are pretty huge that can accommodate up to 6-7 pax. Just tell the driver where you’re heading to and pay P8 for single ride.

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Explore the famous Silliman University
This university is the first American school founded in Philippines and Asia during 1901. Silliman University is one of the major must-visit landmarks of Dumaguete. It is surrounded by old trees and American style architecture buildings.

Silliman University at night

Visit St. Catherine of Alexandria or Dumaguete Cathedral
Church visit is always included on our bucket lists whenever we go to a certain place. From our accommodation, we rode a tricycle to Dumaguete Cathedral and paid P8 per pax. Since it was Sunday, there were lots of people inside the church so we didn’t have the chance to get in.

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Dumaguete Cathedral’s facade

Historical Fact: The beautiful church was built around 1974 and said to be the oldest church in Negros.

Light a candle and offer a prayer at Belfry Tower
Just a short walk from the Cathedral, there’s the Belfry Tower on the left side. This was built 1800’s  to provide a watch tower for the residents for them to be prepared on the incoming pirate attacks. There is also a grotto of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on the tower’s base so people could light candles and offer a prayer. You can also buy religious souvenirs near the Belfry Tower.

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People offering their prayers

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Go to Quezon Park
Right across the historic Dumaguete Cathedral and Belfry Tower, Quezon Park is located. There was a program happening when we visited so we didn’t have the chance to explore the whole park. And also, people were all over the old statues that’s why I didn’t get any decent shots of the place.

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Stroll along Rizal Boulevard
Another place to visit in Dumaguete is the Rizal Blvd. It was name after our national hero Jose Rizal after he was being exiled in Dapitan. Rizal Blvd. became a tourist attraction in Dumaguete City because of peaceful charm and relaxing sea view. We strolled along here just to take photos of the big trees and white lamp posts, as well as enjoy the view of the ocean.

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Rizal Boulevard is also the gateway of Siquijor Island.

eat Dumaguete escapade won’t be completed without going on a…FOOD TRIP!
Dumaguete City is definitely food heaven! Yes, I mean it because we tried different restaurants which we really loved. People say that tourists often flock down to this city because they just want to taste the famous delicacies such as sans rival, silvanas, Dumaguete express and so much more!

So, here’s my list of the restos that offer good food + ambiance:

Sans Rival Bistro
This restaurant is the most famous in Dumaguete because it is the home of delicious silvanas and sans rival, as well as affordable cakes and pastries. Aside from this, they also offer wide variety of food on their menu which is really hard to resist because they are all good.

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For main entree, we tried the Sans Rival Signature Salad, Cheesy Lasagna, Grilled Malasugi in Mango Sauce, and slice of Sans Rival for dessert.

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If you want good music and sumptuous meals, go check out Hayahay. Their location has the perfect view of the sea. It’s like the gimikan place in Dumaguete that people go here to dine, drink, and relax.

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We tried Dumaguete Expres. Its like seafood with coconut sauce. Masarap!!! And we also had Sizzling Pork chop for additional. We didn’t go wrong!


Lantaw is famous in Cebu because of their Sutukil. There’s a branch in Dumaguete that people mostly visited because aside from their delicious menu, they are also affordable and cheap.

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We had Baked Scallops, Lechon Kawali, Gambas, and many many rice! We even tried the Cordova Cooler for drinks but nah we didn’t like it that much.
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Gabby’s Bistro
Days before our trip to Dumaguete, I was looking for a place that serves good breakfast and then I found out about Gabby’s Bistro. Not just a quirky and chic cafe, this also offers accommodation for travelers – the Florentina Homes.

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We had Baconsilog and Gabby’s Breakfast. Price is a bit expensive for the taste. What I really enjoyed in here was the interior and exterior design of the whole restaurant. I had fun taking lots of photos for my blog.

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Take pictures at Sidlakang Negros
Sidlakang Negros is just walking distance from our accommodation. It is considered as the one-stop shop of arts, crafts, and delicacies of Negros. However, it was damaged when we got there because of the typhoon and there was on-going renovation around the area.

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There nothing much to see inside. We just walked through and check out the ruined venue of trade and tourism.

Because we really had a short span of time in Dumaguete, we didn’t able to visit other places and attractions there. If you wish to visit the island soon, maybe you might want also to consider these places:

– Balinsasayaw Twin Lakes
– Casaroro Falls
– Tiera Alta
– Dolphin Watching in Bais
– Manjuyod Sand Bar
– Swimming with turtles in Apo Island

It was an amazing experience to visit the City of Gentle People. I was happy pursuing this trip with my husband because we are aiming the #PilipinasMuna plan. We are hoping to visit Dumaguete sometime again. Right now, food is really what I miss there! Wishing that Sans Rival Bistro would open their branch here in Manila because sans rival is love!!!


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