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Dumaguete City, Negros Occidental Province, Philippines


Brief History | Geography and Climate | Demographics | Education | Economy | Transportation

LAND AREA: 34.26 km²
ZIP CODE: 6200


"Dumaguete" was coined from the Visayan word "daggit" which means "to snatch". Because of the frequent marauding attacks of the Muslim pirates on the coastal town, and the power to attract and keep her visitors for good, hence, the word "dumaguet", meaning "to swoop," 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 Filipino guerrillas. On June 15, 1948 or three years later, 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.

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The City has a land area of 34.26 km², situated on the plains of the southeastern coast of Negros Island near the mouth of the Banica River. Of the province's 20 municipalities and 5 cities, Dumaguete is the smallest in terms of land area. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Sibulan; on the south by the municipality of Bacong; and on the west by the municipality of Valencia. As a coastal city, it is bounded on the east by the Mindanao Sea and the Tañon Strait, serving as a natural border to the neighboring provinces of Cebu and Siquijor.
The city's topography is generally flat from two to six kilometers from the shoreline. It slopes gently upwards to the adjoining municipality of Valencia. The highest ground elevation is located at the boundary of the municipality of Valencia, about one hundred meters above mean sea level. About 93% of the land have slopes of less than 3%. The remaining areas have 3% to 5% slope.

Dumaguete has two seasons, namely; the dry and the wet seasons. The wet season covers the period from June to November, and the dry season starts from December to May, the hottest being April and May. The average maximum temperature is 34.3 °C and the average minimum temperature is 22.9 °C for the past years. The relative humidity of the locality for the past years was 78¾% with the month of December registering the highest.


As of the census of 2007, there are 116,392 people and 21,582 households residing in the city. It has also an average daylight population of 400,000 people, mostly shoppers and employees of establishments in the City coming from nearby municipalities and provinces such as Southern Cebu, Siquijor, Northern and Southern Negros. Dumaguete City is the most populous city in Negros Oriental, comprising 9.05% of the province's total population. Unlike the national profile, the male population dominates by 6% more than the female population.
Dumaguete has one of the lowest crime rates among Philippine Cities its size.

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Dumaguete has earned the distinction of being known as "the center of learning in the south," or a "university town" due to the presence of these universities that have made their mark nationally and abroad. The city has become a melting pot of students, professionals, artists, scholars and the literati coming from different parts of the country and the world.

Silliman University is the dominant institution of higher learning in Dumaguete, providing the city with a distinct university town atmosphere. It is the oldest Protestant university in the country and the oldest American-established university in Asia. The 610,000 m² campus is adjacent to and intermixed with the city's downtown district. It is the 4th top performing school in the Philippines, and 2nd if the University of the Philippines System is taken as one, according to a survey conducted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Other universities located in the city are Foundation University, Negros Oriental State University (also known as NORSU campus 1 and 2), and the first Saint Paul University in the Philippines. Back in 1904, on invitation from Reverend Frederick Rooker of the Diocese of Iloilo, seven Sisters of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC) from France traveled to Dumaguete with the intent of taking over a boarding school which at the time housed 26 girls.

There are also many colleges in the city, including a branch of AMA Computer College and AMA ACLC, a branch of the Asian College of Science and Technology (commonly known as ACSAT), a branch of STI College, the Maxino College, the Metro Dumaguete College and Colegio de Santa Catalina de Alejandria (popularly known as COSCA).

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Sibulan Airport also known as Dumaguete Airport, is an airport serving the general area of Dumaguete City, located in the province of Negros Oriental in the Philippines. The airport is located in the municipality of Sibulan, near the border with Dumaguete City, and as such takes its name from its location.

The airport is classified as a trunkline airport, or a major commercial domestic airport, by the Air Transportation Office, a body of the Department of Transportation and Communications that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports.
It has daily flights to and from Manila and Cebu through Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines.

The Dumaguete Pier, located in Barangay Looc, is the second largest port in Central Visayas. It is the main port of trade for the city and the whole province of Negros Oriental. It is being expanded to accommodate more container ships. An elegant and modern new passenger terminal has recently been completed.

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Dumaguete is becoming one of the most economically vibrant cities in the country in recent years, thanks to the influence of various anchor industries which drive the City's and neighboring areas' economies. These industries include the business process outsourcing, retirement, retail, and a host of other industries.

Dumaguete's growing outsourcing industry is vastly diversified with services ranging from call centers, publishing, medical transcription, animation, editing, architectural outsourcing, etc. Dumaguete has TeleTech, one of the world's largest call center firms, and SPi, one of the world's leading BPO companies, among its two largest ITES firms. NarraSupport, providing BPO services to the nonprofit sector in the US, is also based in Dumaguete City. The US-based StudentUniverse Corp. operates its first overseas contact center in the city, and Ventus, SPi's sister call center company under ePLDT, also established a call center facility here recently. Aside from these multinational BPO giants, there are other smaller BPO corporations and local outsourcing outfits operating in the city and nearby areas.

Robinsons Land Corporation, a major mall operator in the Philippines, will open 2010 a new mall located on a 6-hectare lot in Calindagan, south of downtown Dumaguete and inside the Dumaguete Business and IT Park. The latter is a 21 hectare complex being developed in Brgy. Calindagan, masterplanned by the Palafox Associates. Now becoming the new center of commerce in Dumaguete, it is expected to soon overtake the present downtown area in terms of economic activities and prominence. Not to be outdone, SM Prime will open 2011 SM City Dumaguete on a 7-hectare lot in the heart of this university town.

There is also an upsurge in the number of tourists arriving in the City of Dumaguete and nearby areas. The academe pumps in more than P2 billion of economic activity into the city annually.

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