ARTS AND CULTURE OF DUMAGUETE CITY

The City of Dumaguete is the hub of culture for the island of Negros. As the capital of the Negros Oriental it’s the central meeting place for all of the province’s people. The island inhabitants gather here to sell their goods and wares in the City’s Market and in various parks during various fiesta’s. They also come down from the neighboring provinces to sell their recently harvested crops as well as their farm raised livestock and of course the freshest catch of the day from the surrounding waters. It’s only fitting that the City of Gentle People would be the natural creative center of the province as it is also where all the island’s brightest young minds converge for higher education and learning at one of the City’s many colleges and universities.

Culture of a place is a reflection of its society. The culture of Dumaguete is fascinating and captivating. It tells us about the people of the place, their lifestyle and their beliefs. Observing the culture of Dumaguete gives you a fair idea about the traditions and practices that are still followed by the locals. The festivals, the events, the attractions, all reflect the culture of Dumaguete in one way or the other. The locals have a fairly high standard of living and are quite well-off in addition to being friendly towards tourists and polite. Communication with the older people, though, might be a little difficult as they mostly speak their native language. The younger crowd, educated in the English language, is more approachable. Come and be mesmerized by the intoxicating culture of Dumaguete. Culture of Dumaguete – MakeMyTrip brings you complete information on Dumaguete people, Dumaguete culture and Festival of Dumaguete also provides information on Dumaguete Food and other informations. Culture of Dumaguete – MakeMyTrip provides information about Dumaguete culture, peoples and Festivals. Read about Dumaguete food and culture of Dumaguete.

In the gentle university town of Dumaguete City, apart from the hypnotic backdrop of the Visayan sea and Siquijor Island, there is a long-brimming scene that keeps pulling back artists and art lovers alike. More than a gateway to the Apo Island diving spot and dolphin-watching near Bais, it has become a vibrant arts and culture center that has been nurturing creative minds for decades and a secret hideaway for those looking to hone their craft.

For award-winning writer and Silliman University professor Ian Rosales Casocot, one of the reasons arts and culture continue to thrive in Dumaguete is the young population that makes up majority of its dwellers. Multidisciplinary artist and creative entrepreneur Razcel Jan Luiz Salvarita echoed this sentiment, saying that “the strong presence of academic institutions has influenced the artistic vibe of Dumaguete as a cultural and creative hub for local and international artists. The nurturing land and environment of the island have attracted kindred souls to live and share their visions.”

The presence of Silliman University has organically turned Dumaguete into a hub for writers, musicians, visual artists, and performers. It has become a melting-pot of artists which breathed life to the town, filling it with quaint cafes and bohemian bars that are more than just places for good food and drinks but also as rendezvous points for artists and performers. One of the well-known alcoves of creative types is El Amigo along Silliman Avenue.

All throughout the year, the University hosts series of events that highlight music and literature, visual arts, theater and dance. One of which is the Dumaguete National Writers Workshop held in May every year. This serves as an annual get together of literary behemoths and their young counterparts, and has so far produced a formidable list of alumni.

Dumaguete is also home to the Elements Singing Songwriting Camp, which brings together amateur singer-songwriters who are coached by musical icons headed by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab.

Dumaguete is a small city, but it has all the luxuries and conceits of big city living. So we have a population that is actually quite cosmopolitan, but tempered with a small town ease. While the city offers the conveniences of semi-cosmopolitan living, it is Dumaguete’s small-town charm that continues to appeal to artistic types. Local artists in Dumaguete offer “art walks” or multi-venue art exhibitions wherein participants  are taken on a unique tour of art exhibitions and restaurant cafes such as The Bean Connection, KRI, Pop’s Place, Hayahay, Captain Ribbers, and El Amigo, forming a strong community bond between artists and their patrons. Musical, theater and other cultural performances are also often held at the Silliman University’s Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium, dubbed as the Cultural Center of Southern Philippines. The university’s Cultural Affairs Committee has an exciting lineup of shows annually, featuring its brightest and most talented stars.

Upcoming programs include Kisaw: The Evolution of Philippine Music and Dance, a showcase of traditional music and dances in the Philippines that pays tribute to Silliman long dance tradition. To be held in February, the show will be helmed by homegrown talents, the Silliman University Dance Troupe and Orkestra Sin Arco (Orchestra Without Bows). In March, students will unite with members of the faculty, staff and alumni for the Silliman Performs. A tribute to the best and most popular Broadway musicals, the annual musical revue will feature iconic songs and dances from Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables, West Side Story and other great plays.

PRESERVING DUMAGUETE’S CULTURE

Dumaguete City showcases many cultural attractions representative of the rich history Negros Oriental with it’s many landmarks and museums that contain artifacts dating from as far back as the pre-Spanish colonization era providing insight into the Philippines original inhabitants. There is also the a well preserved collection of landmarks, theaters and art galleries that feature performances and visual artists throughout the year. The universities founded here in Dumaguete City are the best curators and protectors of Negros Oriental history and culture.  School and government programs have been established whereas these students inherit the duty of preserving the culture and heritage that makes Negros so unique. Each graduating class become the latest endoctorined guardians of Negros Oriental culture and it’s rich traditions.

BEST TIME TO VISIT DUMAGUETE CITY

There is really not a bad time of year to visit Negros. Rainy season starts in June and runs thruough September so be mindful it will most definately be raining. Not to worry the rains usually last for an hour or two at most and actually we find that it makes the temperature more bearable. If you have flexibility with your schedule we highly recommend you time your stay here in Dumaguete to coincide with one of the city or nearby town’s many festivals. One Fiesta that you should mark on your calendar and should not be missed is the Sandurot Festival, which is a celebration Dumaguete’s multi-cultural roots that takes place in mid-November each year. The tagline for the festival is “Embracing the Global  Culture, Enriching Local Tradition.” Another festival to keep top of mind while planning a trip to Dumaguete City is the Buglasan Festival which is referred to as the “Festival of Festivals.” The event includes a mix of cultural events and competitions highlighting the unique characteristic proudly on display by representatives of each of provinces of the island Negros Oriental.

Sidlakang Negros Village established back in 2008 is a series of semi-traditional native nipa buildings designed as a showcase of the different local arts, crafts, products and tourist attractions providing insight to the unique culture of each of the neighboring cities/towns of Negros Oriental. The Sidlakang Village features individual pavilions and showrooms in a well landscaped promenade with a main outdoor stage to enjoy various activities. Best of all you you get to to explore each neighboring provinces all in one location to see what each have to offer.

Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium located on the campus of Silliman University is one of Dumaguete’s most prized gems. Architecturally it is one of the most unique buildings in all of the Philippines and it’s the second largest auditorium of it’s kind in the entire country seating around 900 guest. Luce Auditorium is the Culture centerpiece and home to the Arts in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Performances including; plays, the ballet, musicals and more can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Silliman University Ethno-Anthro Museum is overflowing with artifacts and archaeological findings dating as far back as 2,000 years. This museum has one of the best and most diverse ethnographic collections representing many of the minority tribes who were the original inhabitants of the Philippine Islands.

Silliman Hall is in itself a cultural and historic focal point as it was built at the turn of the 20th century by the Silliman University founder Davis Hibbard.
What makes this building so unique is that is was constructed from the remnants of an old New York Theater building that was transported to Dumaguete and reconstructed where it still stands today as one of the most recognizable buildings in Dumaguete.

Mariyah Gallery showcases one of the most comprehensive collection of visual art as well as an extensive inventory of Filipino authors.