DUMAGUETE BELFRY: Guardian of the City

Dec 22, 2020 | Philippines

Dumaguete Belfry

The Dumaguete Belfry is one of the most iconic tourist spots in Dumaguete, popular amongst history buffs and spiritual seekers visiting the city. This historical bell tower is a famous landmark in Dumaguete, and a must-visit during your city tour. Keep reading to learn the story behind the Dumaguete Belfry.

Dumaguete Belfry
Dumaguete Belfry

WHERE IS THE DUMAGUETE BELFRY

You’ll find the Dumaguete Belfry in the heart of the city, next to Saint Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral and across the street from Quezon Park. Being a bell tower and all, it’s pretty hard to miss! You can visit the Belfry with your own car, motorbike or public transport, or you can book a half-day city tour on Klook and see all the sights with an official guide.

Klook.com

THE HISTORY BEHIND THE DUMAGUETE BELFRY

If you’re anything like us, you might be wondering what on earth a “belfry” even is. To answer your question, it’s “a bell tower or steeple housing bells, especially one that is part of a church.” The Dumaguete Belfry dates back to the 1760s, when the parish priest ordered its construction in order to watch for and warn residents of incoming pirates or “moros”. The moros terrorised the people of Dumaguete and pillaged the town for goods, but at least with the watchtower the residents could prepare instead of being totally blindsided.

Dumaguete Belfry
History of the tower

The Dumaguete Belfry has both historical and spiritual significance. When it wasn’t being used to look out for pirates, the Belfry was also used to call residents to mass at the cathedral next door.

Dumaguete Belfry
Dumaguete Belfry

THE DUMAGUETE BELFRY TODAY

Not much has changed at the site of the Dumaguete Belfry, save for the addition of the grotto in the name of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Catholic Grotto

People come to light candles and pray in front of the grotto, as the site still holds a lot of religious significance to the people of Dumaguete. If you’d like to purchase candles while you’re there, some very kind women sell them for 1 peso a piece at the entrance, along with other religious items.

Lighting candles
Lighting candles

It was as if time was frozen at the Dumaguete Belfry, and it was really nice to be able to visit and experience a place that holds so much cultural importance to the city. If you have the time and you’re looking for a break from waterfalls and hiking, make sure you add the Dumaguete Belfry to your itinerary.

READ: 26 BEST TOURIST SPOTS IN DUMAGUETE

26 Best Tourist Spots in Dumaguete Philippines Travel Guide

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Dumaguete Belfry Philippines Travel Guide

WHERE TO STAY NEAR DUMAGUETE

Most people who visit Negros Oriental are told to stay in Dumaguete, but what they really mean by that is stay around Dumaguete. True, Dumaguete City has plenty of tourist inns and budget hotels, but it’s the surrounding towns of Dauin and Zamboanguita that offer the best spots to stay. There’s not a whole lot to do in the city itself, so when you stay in the nearby municipalities there’s plenty of nature to explore whilst still being nice and close to Dumaguete City. Check out our top picks for accommodation near Dumaguete City.

LUXURY: Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, Dauin

Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in Dauin is the resort to stay at if you’ve got a big budget and fancy the finer things in life. Atmosphere has hosted its fair share of local celebrities and deep pocketed divers looking for the best beachfront luxury in Dauin. Read our full review of Atmosphere Resorts & Spa here.

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Aerial Photography of Atmosphere Resorts

MIDSCALE: Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort, Dauin

If you want to stay by the ocean without breaking the bank, Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort in Dauin is a comfortable midscale accommodation option perfect for diving enthusiasts. If you’ve never dived before, you can get your certification at Mike’s, and divers of all skill sets can enjoy the abundance of macro diving opportunities in and around Dauin.

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Mike's Dauin Dive Resort
Image by Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort

BUDGET: Bongo Bongo Divers, Dauin

Bongo Bongo Divers is one of the most popular hostels in Dauin for backpackers looking for cheap accommodation in a convenient location. The rooms are simple, without any glitz and glam, but the vibe is fun and welcoming. They have a variety of room styles to choose from, ranging from couples rooms to AC or fan only dorms.

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Bongo Bongo Divers
Image by Bongo Bongo Divers

AIRBNB: Villa Amani, Zamboanguita

Villa Amani in Zamboanguita is the perfect holiday home for small families or groups of friends looking for privacy that a traditional resort or hotel can’t offer. The main house sleeps 4 with additional space for 2 in the guest house, or you can book the guest house separately if it’s just the 2 of you and you’re on a budget. The property has a swimming pool, an unbeatable view of Apo Island and kayaks to use whenever you want. Read our full review of Villa Amani here.

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Villa Amani

MORE NEGROS ORIENTAL GUIDES:

Lake Balinsasayao & Danao Twin Lakes, Sibulan
Casaroro Falls, Valencia
Pulangbato Falls, Valencia
Swimming with Apo Island Turtles, Dauin
Upper Pulangbato Falls, Valencia
Original Casaroro Falls, Valencia
Tottyn Falls, Valencia
Baslay Hot Spring, Dauin
Secret Hot Spring & Waterfall, Dauin

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