Summer 2017: Appreciating Dumaguete, the city of gentle people

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2017 07:55 AM | Updated as of May 21 2017 08:37 AM

Dumaguete, the charming capital of Negros Oriental, is the ideal jump-off point to popular tourist spots like Apo Island, the Mabinay caves, and Twin Lakes.

But the city itself, roughly the size of Pasig with a population of around 130,000, has many interesting spots on its own due to its rich history.

Here are some of the sights you might want to check out when you visit "The City of Gentle People."

Silliman University

Dumaguete has often been referred as a "university town" due to the presence of several colleges and universities that have made their mark nationally and abroad. The oldest of these schools is Silliman University which was initially erected as an elementary school for boys in 1901. It is the first American university in the whole of Asia.

Silliman University Church

The Silliman University Church is one of the most popular spots inside the university aside from the Anthropology Museum and the the Marine Mammal Museum. The construction for the church began in 1941, but due to interruptions brought by World War II, it was completed only in 1949.

Dumaguete Belfry

Dumaguete was coined from the Cebuano word "dagit," which means "to snatch." It eventually became the name of the city because of frequent raids by pirates on the coastal community. The Dumaguete Belfry was constructed in the 1800s and served as a watch tower to warn residents from pirate attacks. It has become one of the city's best known landmarks.

St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral

Known to Dumagueteños as the Dumaguete Cathedral Church, St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral is the oldest stone church in Negros. It was originally built in 1754 to 1776 and was reconstructed in 1885. The cathedral is said to be one of the structural witnesses of Dumaguete’s rich history and culture.

Rizal Boulevard

Rizal Boulevard was named after our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. It resembles a bit of Roxas Boulevard in Manila. It has been said that Rizal took a stroll here before going to Dapitan where he was exiled by the Spanish authorities.