The City of Dumaguete is a city in the Philippine province of Negros Oriental. It is the capital, principal seaport, and largest city of the province. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 116,392 people. A person from Dumaguete is called a “Dumagueteño”. The city is nicknamed The City of Gentle People. Dumaguete is referred to as a university town because of the presence of four universities and a number of other colleges where students of the province converge to enroll for tertiary education. The city is also a popular educational destination for students of surrounding provinces and cities in Visayas and Mindanao.


The city is best known for Silliman University, the country’s first Protestant university and the first American private university in Asia. There are also 12 elementary schools and 9 high schools. The city’s student population is estimated at 30,000. The city attracts a considerable number of foreign tourists, particularly Europeans, because of easy ferry access from Cebu City, the availability of beach resorts and dive sites, and the attraction of dolphin and whale watching in nearby Bais City. The city has a domestic airport which provides daily flights to and from Manila and Cebu City through Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.


“Dumaguete” was coined from the Visayan word “daggit” which means “to snatch”. Because of the frequent marauding attacks of the Muslim pirates on this once coastal town, and the power to attract and keep her visitors for good, the word “dumaguet” was coined, meaning “to swoop”. Thus the name was christened to the village of Dumaguete. However, Diego Lopez Povedano in 1572 indicated the place as “Dananguet”. But in 1734, Murillo Velarde referred to it using its present name of Dumaguete.


In 1890, the island-province of Negros was divided into two politico-military provinces, Occidental and Oriental. As earlier constituted, in 1898, Dumaguete was included in Negros Oriental. After the Philippine-American War, on May 1, 1901, a civil government was established by the Americans in the Province of Negros Oriental, including Dumaguete.


When World War II broke out, the city was occupied by the Japanese Imperial Forces on May 26, 1942. It was liberated on April 26, 1945 by the combined forces of the United States, Filipino Soldiers and the recognized guerrillas. Three years later on June 15, 1948, Republic Act No. 327, created the City of Dumaguete. Later, on June 21, 1969, Republic Act No. 5797 was enacted, otherwise known as the Revised Charter of Dumaguete City. For more info, visit dumaguetecity.com.

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Historical and Cultural Landmarks

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower is an old landmark of the city, and this tower is a mute witness to pirates from Mindanao who came in the late 18th century. Built between 1774 and 1776, the bell fry served as a watchtower with someone ringing the bell, alerting the village people of marauding pirates. Today, improvements were made on the bell fry along with the renovation of the church and convent.


Boulevard, the capital’s seafront boulevard is lined with old trees and memorial houses, with elegant dining establishments opened for business. The boulevard is a popular jogging track for health buffs.

Cathedral Park

Cathedral Park, this park is more than a century old landmark. It is also an icon of Dumaguete’s religious atmosphere.

Quezon Park

Quezon Park, for decades, this place has been the rendezvous of people from all walks of life. This park is planted with beautiful trees with a playground for kids. It also has enough area to hold concerts.

Siliman Beach

Siliman Beach, students and youngsters go here to enjoy this beach and to relax and enjoy a Sunday with their families or peers.

Sea Port

Sea Port, this beautiful sight-a park with a panoramic view of the sea-can be seen from the Rizal Boulevard. This is a hub for people hailing from the nearby islands of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, and Mindanao.