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Dumaguete City has “Duma-Got-Me!” (Things to see and do here!)

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As the 31st province on my personal list of #Project81, Negros Oriental has so much similarities with its neighbor Negros Occidental. Known for its warm smiles and rich culture, the Negros Island has so much to offer everyone who visits the place. With Oriental Negros’ central hub Dumaguete City, the province is a proof that culture and modern living can be intertwined, thus having a culture-rich province.

See also: Travel Guide: Dumaguete – The City of Gentle People

Things to see and do in Negros Oriental | Turista Boy

Things to see and do in Negros Oriental

In and around Dumaguete City

Dumaguete can Duma-Get-You by exploring the City even on a day tour! You can go in and around the City even on your own even without securing a tour guide. Besides, what’s the thrill of a tour if you hire a travel guide, right? The City can be toured on your own. We asked some locals on what these famous tourist spots are all about and why it was there! Here are some of the places we have visited during our day tour:

Silliman University and Anthropological Museum

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As Dumaguete is known to be the educational hub of the South, the City is also known because of Silliman University – one of the oldest universities in Negros and in the Philippines as well. What got my attention is the buildings’ classic American architecture which is still preserved, giving you that rustic, going-back-to-the-old-times feel. The university also has an Anthropological Museum that is popular to visitors and tourists. The University’s most famous building, the Silliman Hall, was made in honor of the university’s benefactor, Dr. Horace Silliman. The university is also near Rizal Boulevard, giving it a fresh view of the Mindanao Sea.

Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol and Freedom Park

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The seat of Oriental Negros’ government is where you will find its uniquely-structured capitol – similar to that of Negros Occidental’s Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City. As part of my blog’s “tradition,” I always include visiting and taking a photo of all the province’s capitols and having a look if there is a chance. The Freedom Park is located just in front of the Capitol complex where you get to feel the City’s greens.

Sidlakang Negros Village

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During my visit in Dumaguete City, I have come across Sidlakang Negros Village and immediately got curious about what it was. The village is a miniature replica of the Panaad Village of Negros Occidental. I can say that this is a one-stop shop for all tourism activities and exhibitions in Dumaguete. In its one-hectare area, the ‘permanent’ Village features several pavilions from all towns and cities in Negros Oriental. Here you will find several indigenous arts, crafts, and everything Negrense. The bahay kubos also describe the simplicity of the people of Negros.

Rizal Boulevard

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Famous for its skyline and its Tempura Lane, Rizal Boulevard is the City’s main promenade. Overlooking the mountains of nearby Santander, Cebu, this boulevard is also the place where you will find the “DumaGetMe” sign – which is popular to tourists (and locals, too!) It is also a nice place to jog every morning!

Handumanan Souvenir Shop

Handumanan Souvenir Shop - Dumaguete City Negros Oriental | Turista Boy

Handumanan Souvenir Shop

Meaning “remembrance” in English, the Handumanan Souvenir Shop is also one of my favorite places in Dumaguete City. With its affordable souvenir items, I will never forget Dumaguete. They have a variety (a wide variety!) of all things that will make you remember of Negros Oriental. Most of the handmade and indigenous products here are what you should be looking for when thinking of what to buy for your family and friends! (This is also the best spot to buy your pasalubongs and souvenirs!)

Dumaguete City Cathedral and Belfry Tower

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One of the popular old churches in Dumaguete, the St. Catherine of Alexandria (Dumaguete) Cathedral is definitely not to be missed. This history-rich edifice that was built in 1776, also known for a chiseled sign in one of its exterior walls that signifies that the Cathedral is the oldest stone church in Negros Island and had been reconstructed in 1885 and the present façade was extended in 1936.

Quezon Park

Quezon Park - Dumaguete City Negros Oriental | Turista Boy

Quezon Park

Just adjacent to the Dumaguete Cathedral, Quezon Park is one of the main parks in the City. This green promenade is similar to my hometown’s Burnham Park where locals get to just have a day off and enjoy the relaxing breeze. The City Hall and the Tourism office are located near the park which makes it for tourists who want to inquire much easier. Located at the heart of Dumaguete City, this is the perfect spot to just chill.

Sidetrip:

Manjuyod Sandbar (Bais / Manjuyod)

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Dubbed as the “Maldives of the Philippines,” the Manjuyod Sandbar is one of Oriental Negros’ most popular sites. This 7-Kilometer stretch of pristine white sand can be reached from Dumaguete via Bais City and Capiñahan Wharf. The main highlight of the tour to this famed sandbar are: dolphin-watching (especially in the morning), local seafood tasting, and the native wooden cottages on stilts that can actually be rented. I will be having a separate blog about this soon and will give a more detailed insight on how you can enjoy Manjuyod.

 

Other places you can visit:

Tierra Alta Residential Resort (Valencia)

Pulangbato Falls and Sulfur Highway (Valencia)

Chinese Bell Church (Dumaguete)

Pasta King Cafe de Roma (Dumaguete)

Neva’s Pizza – “Kuripot Pizza” (Dumaguete)

Painitan Restaurant (Dumaguete)

Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries (Dumaguete)

 

Where we ate:

Jo’s Chicken Inato

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If Bacolod City is famous for their original Chicken Inasal, Dumaguete City is also famous for its counterpart – the Chicken Inatô. “Inatô” meaning “Aton-aton lang” in Cebuano, my affair with this chicken dish is undeniable. I fell in love with it in an instant! Although the mode of cooking is similar to that of the Chicken Inasal, the Chicken Inato has a distinct sweet and, I should say, “coconut-y” taste which makes it more interesting! I suggest that you try eating here once to set foot in Dumaguete. It is a sight definitely not to be missed! it is best to eat chicken inatô with your bare hands!

Panda’s Fried Ice Cream

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Talk about ice cream that is being fried, Panda’s Fried Ice Cream is the place to be. As it is near Silliman University, Panda’s prices are budget-friendly. As far as my travels around the Philippines is concerned, it is my first time to try a different kind of ice cream (aside from the Gumamela Ice Cream I have tried in Bohol). The whole ensemble just melts perfectly in your mouth, complementing the warm weather of the City.

Hayahay Treehouse Bar and View Deck

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Fronting the sea, the Hayahay Treehouse Bar and View Deck is a tourist spot on its own. Offering bar specialties paired with delicious food, we got to enjoy the sea breeze while having the company of the bar’s Negrense dishes. Its near-ocean ambiance adds to the experience of dining or just chilling in Hayahay. It is the perfect spot to have a day-off or before calling it a day in Dumaguete City.

 

Where we stayed:

The Flying Fish Hostel

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The Flying Fish Hostel is one of the minimalist hostels I have fallen in love with in the entire Philippines. With its industrial-type ambiance, the whole feel of the hostel is very light, even if it is right in the heart of Dumaguete City. Our room was so simple and is really conducive for resting, and its amenities are traveler-friendly. The staff, too, are very warm and accommodating. Did I mention that they are the coolest guys, too? Being only around 10 minutes away from Sibulan Airport (20-30 minutes by foot), the hostel is very accessible and you can get in and around Dumaguete easily. I will be posting a more detailed review of this hotel in a blog post soon!

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Verdict: 9/10

Rizal Boulevard (facing the Mindanao Sea) - Dumaguete City Negros Oriental | Turista Boy)

Being the “City of Gentle People,” Dumaguete is a City of bustling energy. Being the center of commerce in the province of Negros Oriental, Dumaguete will really “Duma-Get-You” because of the different sights that can be seen in a day tour. What I just observed in the City is that, beside from the warm weather, the traffic also is exacerbating. You will also have to haggle with tricycle drivers because their fares vary especially if they know that you are a tourist. (Speaking the Visayan dialect is a plus!)

My overall experience in Dumaguete (and the province of Negros Oriental as a whole) is very memorable. It is definitely one for the books. If you would want to experience more of the province and of Negros Island as well, I suggest that you allot at least a week or so.

Sample Itinerary and Expenses

Dumaguete City

Spot / Restaurant / Activity:

Travel Time:

ETA:

ETD:

Possible Expenses:

Remarks:

DAY 1

MANILA – DUMAGUETE

0635 – 0810

0810

Flying Fish Hostel

(leave / deposit bags)

0810 – 0830

0830

0900

859.95

(430 each)

Early check in depends upon availability; (booked via Traveloka; rates may change without prior notice)

(0947 624 2168)

Silliman University / Anthropology Museum

0900 – 0910

0910

1000

10 (Tricycle fare)

 

50 / 100 (General Admission)

40 / 80 (Senior Citizen)

20 / 40 (student w/ ID and children below 15)

0800-1200; 1330-1700 (M-Sat)

(035) 422 6002 loc. 207

 

Rates for Sunday and Holidays are more expensive

Jo’s Chicken Inato

1000 – 1010

1010

1100

180

(Breakfast / Brunch)

0930 – 2130 (Daily)

(035) 225 4412

Panda’s Fried Ice Cream

1100 – 1110

1110

1200

60

0900 – 2000 (Daily)

(035) 225 9644

Sidlakang Negros Village

1200 – 1210

1210

1230

10 (Tricycle fare)

 

(Expense depends on items to be bought)

Buy Souvenirs;

0900 – 1800 (Daily)

(035) 225 1825

Handumanan Souvenir Shop

1230 – 1240

1240

1315

8 (Tricycle fare)

 

1600

(Expense depends on items to be bought)

(Buy Souvenirs)

Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol / Freedom Park

1315 – 1325

1325

1400

FREE

*Check in at Flying Fish Hostel*

1400 – 1415

1415

15 (Tricycle fare)

Rest / freshen up

Rizal Boulevard

1600 – 1610

1610

1700

10 (Tricycle fare)

 

60

(Depends on tempura food stall)

(Tempura Lane; “#DumaGeTmE”)

*Check boat trips to Siquijor at Port*

 

Quezon Park

1700 – 1715

1715

1725

(Walk from Rizal Boulevard)

 

FREE

Dumaguete Cathedral

(Catherine of Alexandria)

1725 – 1730

1730

1800

(Walk from Quezon Park)

FREE

Schedules of Masses depends

Belfry Tower

(Campanario de Dumaguete)

*Go to Ceres Bus Terminal*

 

(ask bus schedules to Manjuyod Sandbar – via Bais City)

Hayahay Treehouse Bar and View Deck

1930 – 1945

1945

2100

250

(Depends on order)

(Dinner)

(1100 – 0300 +1)

OPTIONAL / If you have extra time:

Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries /

Pasta King Café de Roma /

Neva’s Pizza

100 – 250

0830-2000 (Daily) / 035 225 4440

1100-2200 (Daily) / 0917 717 9632

0900-2200 (Daily) / 035 226 2580

Chinese Bell Church

(Probably) FREE

0600 – 1800 (Daily)

Tierra Alta Residential Resort (Valencia)

300 – 350

 

50 (entrance fee for sightseeing)

 

250 – 400 (zipline)

0700 – 2100 (Daily)

035 523 5143
0917 133 4385 / 0923 446 5293
inquiry@tierraaltaresort.com

Sulfur Vents Highway

 

FREE

Bais City / Manjuyod

DAY 2 a.m.

Manjuyod Sandbar

(Canibol Wharf)

0630 – 0810

0810

1030

10 (Tricycle fare to bus terminal)

61 (Bus fare – Dumaguete to Bais)

 

2500 (1250 each – boat rental)

100 (Tricycle fuel)

(coord with tour guide – kuya Hadji)

0977 420 8051

(tell him you were referred by Aldrick of Baguio City)

Dumaguete Port

1000 – 1140

1030 – 1210

1045 – 1225

1140

1210

1225

1310

DUMAGUETE – SIQUIJOR

(1310 – 1400 via Larena)

(1230 – 1320 via Siquijor)

(1600 – 1650 via Siquijor)

1310 – 1400

1400

230 (regular / open-air)

380 (aircon)

15 (Terminal Port Fee)

(Fare rates depend on Ferry line)

 

TOTAL

P 4, 230

 

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