Ask a local: What’s the best way to reach Dumaguete City?

Dumaguete Cathedral and statue of Jose Rizal

Dumaguete City, also known as “The City of Gentle People” or “The University Town” is more lively and cosmopolitan than your average provincial capital.

It’s also becoming one of the fastest developing cities in the country and now also being dubbed the “Bonifacio Global City of Negros Oriental”.

But how to get there? We asked proud resident Baloydi Lloydi for advice on travel options from Manila:

The good thing about my city is that it’s accessible by air, land and sea. Here are the options for visiting my province of Negros Oriental and its capital, Dumaguete City:

Travelling by Air

Of course, this is the safest, easiest and fastest way of arriving from Manila. The only downside to this is that the ticket prices are a little bit steep, ranging from two thousand to four thousand pesos. However, if you are flexible and plan ahead, sometimes prices drop to less than one thousand. On the brighter side, flying from Manila to the city’s Sibulan Airport only take one hour and 20 minutes. There are also daily flights from Cebu.


Travelling Across the Sea

If you prefer to travel from Manila to Dumaguete by sea, there are three options you can choose from.

First, you can take a cheap flight to Cebu City. As soon as you arrive at Mactan International Airport, you can hail a taxi to the port and purchase a fast craft ticket to Dumaguete City.

The second option is if you prefer a more adventurous journey. First, take a bus, which takes at least five hours, or drive a car from Cebu City to Bato, Santander, or Liloan, Oslob. From there you can catch a ‘roro’ (roll on, roll off) ferry. Both of which will get you to Negros. The only difference is that if you ride the roro from Liloan then you arrive in Sibulan Port, which is 10-15 minutes closer to Dumaguete City. From Bato you arrive at Tampi Port which is 20-25 minutes from the city.


The third option is to buy a Super Ferry ticket, a direct trip from Manila to Dumaguete. Of course, you could chose a trip that has a stop-over to Tagbilaran or Cebu. This option takes at least 23 hours.

Travelling by Land/Sea

Probably the most fun yet exhausting way of going to Dumaguete City. An all-out cross-country travel, all you need is a car, a tank full of gas, cash, food, water, time, friends and a lot of energy. It takes at least 23 hours to travel on the road from Manila to Dumaguete but the experience and the memories will last you a lifetime.

There are two routes you can take if you wish to travel by private vehicle, both of which, of course, involve several sea crossings.

The Eastern Route

From Manila you first drive to Naga City then Legazpi — a good place to stop for food and take pictures of the Mayon Volcano. Then, you drive to Sorsogon before crossing to Northern Samar on a roro and then onwards to Tacloban. After Tacloban, you continue on the road to Leyte and Ormoc before another roro to Cebu City. From there you drive to the south of the island to catch a ferry, as detailed above.

Another option for this route is from Legazpi, instead of driving to Sorsogon, you can ride a roro to Masbate and then another roro to Bogo City in Cebu Island from there you will drive for at least seven hours to the southern ferry ports.

The Western Route

If you consider taking this route from Manila, then you first drive to Batangas. From there you take a roro to Mindoro and then take another to Aklan and then drive down to Iloilo and then take a roro to Negros Island via Bacolod City.

Again, there is another option on this route. From Aklan instead of driving to Iloilo, you can drive to Panay then Ajuy and cross with a roro to Victorias in Negros Occidental, from there you will drive for at least 10 hours to Negros Oriental.

Thanks for that useful advice, Baloydi!

Baloydi Lloydi is a software developer based in Negros Oriental and the founder of Dumaguete Jobs. He loves to travel, and explore the Central Visayas.