Dumaguete – what you should know about
More and more people visit me in Dumaguete since I moved in here. They keep asking similar questions about the city and Negros island, so I have decided to collect the most relevant information and share them with all of you. First of all, if you are interested in nice places in the area of Dumaguete, please have a look here: Tourist attractions in the area of Dumaguete City. Below are other facts you may find useful.
Dumaguete is located in Central Philipines, Visaya region, in southern part of Negros island. Negros itself is large and consists of two parts called provinces – Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. Dumaguete is the biggest city in Oriental province and second largest, after Cebu, in Visayas. Also the most densely populated city in the whole region. There is not too many reliable information about exact population, however some sources say there are about 300 thousand inhabitants nowadays.
In 2018 Dumaguete was announced as best place to retire. Well, I can only agree with that as this is really calm and friendly destination not only for Filipinos. Many, many foreigners live here for good. When I was living on Siquijor I knew at least 80% of “white faces” staying there more than 6 months. In Dumaguete one may be shocked walking the boulevard (which I do recommend by the way) in the evening, where fifty percent of hundreds people met there, are foreigners. Actually many of them do not live in Duamguete itself, they usually choose little neighbouring towns, which they find less crowded, calmer and cheaper and still not far from the city and all necessary services.
Big plus of the city is the airport located several kilometres away from the city centre. The location is very interesting, the airstrip begins just by the sea and if your plane approach landing you may have an impression that it touches sea water.
Dumaguete airport is domestic, however there are some extension plans and introducing international flights as well. Nowadays there are regular flights to Manila, Cebu and, once per week to Mindanao island, all operated either by Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. Both airlines are fine, and I personally recommend Cebu Pacific, as they often have good promotions. Schedules and booking possibilities can be checked on airline’s webpage directly. In addition, for individuals with bigger cash in the pocket, there is possibility to book private air operator which can fly to any island in the area.
From Dumaguete bus terminal, several times per hour, buses and air conditioned coaches leave to any direction on Negros. There are also direct connections to Cebu City, located on neighbouring island – Cebu. The journey takes about 6 hours, however PHP 250 ticket price compensates that time in full.
There are obviously regular connections to the biggest city on Negros island – Bacolod, as well as, on the way to Cebu, to one of the biggest attraction in the area – whale sharks watching in Oslob.
There is well operating ferry and cargo port in Dumaguete. Tourist can reach all the popular destinations around like Siquijor island, Bohol island, Cebu City and Dapitan on Mindanao island. Once per week 2GO ferry is leaving from Dumaguete to Manila. The whole trip takes 26 hours and if only you have enough time, it may be great and pleasant adventure.
The cheapest public transportation – tricycle
Every person who had ever visited Philippines saw that vehicle, as tricycles are everywhere in the country, including Dumaguete of course. I mention that to say loud and clear – it has defined price per ride and in case of Dumaguete it is 9 pesos per person within the city! It is ok to pay 10 pesos but never more. Otherwise it is just cheating. 10 pesos is like nothing for tourists, so they are often ok with paying more if the driver claims more, but again, this is cheating and everyone who is paying more being convinced it is fair price anyway, makes the driver feel even more disposed to cheat or simply refusing service to people if they don’t want to pay higher rates.
It is quite normal though that tricycle driver claims 100 pesos or more when “catches you” at the airport or ferry port, and in these cases you can agree to pay if you want. However, you can always walk a bit further from this spots, stop any tricycle on the way and pay regular fee of 9 pesos.
The access to and quality of medical care is definitely one of the most important reasons foreigners choose Dumaguete and also decide to grow old here. In Europe or Americas, the level of medical care is not the reason people choose one city or another, but in the island state like Philippines this becomes quite important. Living on a small island may be like living in paradise, but medical care is usually basic there and in case of any health issues one may face serious troubles. Only bigger cities ensure good hospitals with well qualified, often international staff and modern equipment. Dumaguete is doing very well in this regard with its Similan Hospital Centre for example. This is private hospital where doctors saved health and lives many times, including health and lives of my compatriots from Poland. There are obviously more medical centres in the city, lots of good quality dentists and other specialists. As former patient I can only say I was positively impressed both with the service and prices they charge.
One of the things I like about Dumaguete is the fact it is university town. Actually Similan University is one of the best universities in the country and huge number of young people come here to be able to boast of completing it.
Also more and more expats living here caused increasing number of private, English speaking schools hiring international teachers. Most of the foreigners I met on Siquijor, who seriously think about proper education for their children, also consider moving in to Dumaguete sooner or later. And many people I get to know in Dumaguete confirm they have chosen this city because of their children’s education reasons. It speaks for itself.
Night life in Dumaguete
For all socializing and party lovers the city has also a lot to offer. Fun and places with food start already at the boulevards stretching from the port towards Dauin. Many good, and I really mean good, local and international restaurants, plenty of bars and disco clubs guarantee excellent experience to everybody. Places like “Why Not”, “Prime” or “Tiki Bar”, all open till the dawn, are mandatory places for young people. Or young at heart at least.
I personally fell in love in Korean food since I came to Philippines and I’m immensely happy there are at least 5 Korean restaurants in Dumaguete. One of them called “Fish 123” located close to the ferry port, has little shop with Korean products one can buy and prepare own meals at home. I always buy my favourite kimchi and pay ridiculous price of PHP 250 per kilogram!
Beach hotels and resorts
If you dream about beach front accommodation, stunning views from your hotel room and spending all day long in hammock sipping cocktails, I have to disappoint you – there are not such places in Dumaguete itself. However, you can go 10-15 kilometres left or right and you reach your dreamed paradise. Dauin or Bacong for instance, have their beach resorts, beach bars, scuba dive centres which organise dive tours, for example to Apo Island.
In Dumaguete city you can find about 30 hotels with different standards and rates. Average price per day you should expect is PHP 1500 for double room. In case you want to save money I can offer accommodation in decent, clean, air conditioned, double rooms with shared bathroom in Dumaguete centre. The rate is PHP 500 per day. The rooms are not very spacious, however if you plan spending most of the time on visiting surrounding attractions it is worth considering whether you do not prefer save money and allocate them for scooter rental or delicious dinner. Please contact me directly for further details.
Tours and accommodation
As mentioned above – if you want to stay a while in Dumaguete I can offer accommodation in the city. My offer also includes scooter rental, and if someone would be interested in organized trips to see everything worth seeing around, I’m also happy to arrange trip for individuals and/or groups.
Rental fees: Honda Beat 2019
Phone number :
+63927 738 6370
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Miciano Road 71
Dumaguete, Negros Oriental