DUMAGUETE city is known as ‘The City of Gentle People’ and when you get there, you will know exactly why. Not only are the locals warm and friendly, you also get a sense of peace and calm when you roam the streets of Dumaguete.

It is certainly no surprise, this place has become a haven for many tourists and retired foreigners.

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Dumaguete is located in the southern area of Negros Oriental.

A drive down south of Cebu, then a quick ferry ride could be one option to get to Dumaguete.

You can opt to take a fast craft which leaves Cebu for Dumaguete on a daily basis, but by car, bus or boat, this destination will certainly be a most memorable one.

Before you embark on this trip, try to read a bit about the place and the surrounding areas. That way, you will know where you want to stay, what you want to see and you will be more informed before you even get there. Here are a few websites that can be quite helpful, www.negor.gov.ph, www.touroriental.com and www.dumagueteinfo.com.

Your sightseeing trip will not be complete without a trip to Silliman University.

Built in 1901, it is one of the biggest universities in the Philippines. The pride of Dumaguete, Silliman sits on a huge parcel land located within the city proper, so it is very convenient to tour. Make sure you visit Silliman Hall which is the oldest known building on the campus.Another famous landmark is the bell tower of St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral which was constructed in 1811. This belfry also served as a watchtower. A climb to the top will give you amazing views of the city and sea.

Don’t forget to walk along Jose Rizal boulevard, the atmosphere is a one of a kind experience, day or night.There are many day trips from Dumaguete which is certainly worth the drive. I suggest visiting Bais for some whale and dolphin watching.

There are cruises that will take you out to Tañon Strait, the natural habitat of dolphins and pygmy sperm whales.

After, explore Central Azucarera de Bais, the first sugar mill of the Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas SA (or Tabacalera) in the Philippines.Then, make a trip to the Twin Lakes of Negros namely Lake Balinsasayao and Lake Danao.

There, you can do some kayaking, horseback riding, and even trekking. The area also has cottages for picnics, restrooms, a snack shop, camping grounds and even a souvenir shop.If you wish to head down south, there is Lake Balanan.

This lake is situated between the mountains of Siaton. There is a restaurant, a few cottages and a swimming pool, and a unique guest tree house.

There are other lakes like Yagumyum and Nailig at Mt. Talinis.

If you want to see some picturesque falls, there are the Casaroro falls and the Pulangbato falls.

Other points of interest you may want to also see would be the town of Dauin, with an impressive quaint church. The Japanese memorial located in Valencia, another quaint municipality near Dumaguete, which was even voted as “cleanest and greenest” in 2007.For rest and relaxation, check out the resort of Antulang, a gem of a place for those who want a piece of paradise and to get away from it all.Remember, it is always good to take note of some important facts before you embark on your journey, like business hours, telephone numbers or hotlines of the police, hospitals, banks, credit card companies, airport, bus stations and tourist offices.

A trip to Dumaguete and the surrounding areas was truly a breath of fresh air.

My eyes were opened up to the beauty of the country. So, if you decide to get away for a weekend, or even a few days, why not make that road trip down south and explore the beauty of what Negros Oriental has to offer.