The capital of Negros Oriental is Dumaguete City, the seat of government and the province’s
economic hub. Though relatively small with a total land area of only 34.26 square kilometers,
it is the most populated area in the province. It boasts of an airport and several piers which
make Dumaguete City a point of destination for students, businessmen, travelers and tourists
alike. A vast majority of the Dumagueteños are literate and can communicate in English, Tagalog
and Ilonggo besides their native Cebuano dialect.
The City of Gentle People
Despite the inevitable changes that
the modern civilization has brought
about, Dumaguete City remains to be
rooted deeply to its historical past.
Nearly every significant event that took
place in its earliest days is commemorated
each year with meticulous attention to
details, giving the people an occasion to
celebrate and to relive a rich
and interesting culture that has shaped
Dumaguete got its name from the Visayan word
daguit which means to snatch.
It has been said that in the olden days, pirates came by the island to take
away the pretty native maidens. At the heart of Dumaguete City stands Silliman University,
established in 1901 by American philanthropist Dr. Horace B. Silliman. Much of its
old wooden and stone structures still proudly stand including what is now the Silliman Museum,
whose rooms were once used by the Japanese forces during World War II. The City of Gentle
People, as this city is aptly labeled, Dumaguete is dotted with cherished remembrances from
a bygone era. Old churches and cathedrals, antique houses and memorabilia, the famous
Bell Tower, and the occasional kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) plying the city streets
add up to the quaint, old world charm that the city exudes – with its friendly and
hospitable people who value their simple and laidback lifestyles.