Due to its genteel way of life and kind nature of its citizens, Dumaguete City has been known as “The City of Gentle People.”
In fact, the Negros Oriental capital is famous for being one of the best cities to retire.
Last year, the Philippine Retirement Authority put Dumaguete City on top of its Retirement Area Deemed as Retirement-Friendly index, which measures a place’s compliance with global lifestyle standards set by the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and International Living. While in 2014, Forbes Magazine recognized it as the world’s fifth best place to retire.
But Dumaguete urges its guests not to be misled by the tranquil, laid-back vibe of the city, because behind its age-old tag of “gentle people” is an active population engaged in a variety of sports.
Everyday, locals from all walks of life indulge their chosen physical activity—jogging or biking at the scenic Rizal Boulevard, zumba at the public plaza, or a set or two at the badminton courts.
In the afternoon, the village of Daro becomes an attraction for the “binaryo,” a modified four-on-four street volleyball, which features tricycle drivers who spike hard in the game after a hard day’s work.
While over at the baywalk, the area is abuzz with volleybelles at the beach volleyball courts the City Government purposely built for tournaments.
On weekends, the tranquil water of the bay bursts into action as dragon boat paddlers furiously train for their next race to gain a home-court edge.
According to Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, they have been positioning the city as a sports hub in the central Philippines by organizing and hosting national events.
As part of its 70th charter anniversary and fiesta last year, the city played host to the Dumaguete Triathlon, Children’s Games, the Dumaguete Dragon Boat Challenge, and the Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour. Moreover, the Philippine University Games has made the city its default venue because of its strategic location, splendid facilities, reasonable costs, conducive environment, and warm hometown crowd.
These initiatives have translated into an exponential growth in tourism arrivals and earned the city the coveted Organizer of the Year (Government) in the Philippine Sports Tourism Award late last year.
As it emerges as a sports tourism hub, Dumaguete hosted the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association in February, the regional qualifying round of the Palarong Pambansa.
The city also recently became the venue of the Visayas Regional Selection Camp of Jr. NBA Philippines, with coaches led by Rob Newson of the NBA and PBA Legend Jeffrey Cariaso.
Remollo disclosed the city will be hosting the 20th Asean University Games in 2020, the biggest regional sporting event for students from the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
To build on this momentum, he said the city will embark on the Dive Dumaguete program which aims to encourage the residents to engage in scuba diving, which can be later used for water safety and protection of the marine ecosystem.
Dumaguete City is the gateway to some of the best dive sites in Central Visayas, among them Apo Island in Dauin town, Santander and Oslob in southern Cebu, and various sites around Negros Oriental, Siquijor, and Bohol. The city itself has an emerging dive haven in the villages of Bantayan and Banilad which boasts rich coral gardens and aquatic animals.
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