Dapitan in a Day
Dapitan is located in the province of Zamboanga del Norte. It is a quiet city with plenty of hidden wonders filled with history and culture. The city is best known for being the place of exile of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal back in 1892-1896. Today, this quiet city is a great place for a quick vacation away from your normal daily life. Let’s begin the tour!
How to get to Dapitan City?
There are plenty of ways to get to Dapitan. Here are a few:
From Dumaguete City – Dumaguete Seaport offers direct route to Dapitan City. There are fast crafts and shipping lines available every week. Price will range from Php 300 (US$6) and up. Traveling time is about three hours.
From Cebu – One must take a boat or plane ride going to Dumaguete City. From there, take a direct boat to Dapitan City. Check the Dumaguete Ferry Schedules Here.
From Manila – One of the easiest ways to get to Dapitan City from Manila is by plane. Book a flight from manila to Dipolog Airport (neighboring town). From Dipolog City, you can take a public bus going to Dapitan. Non-air-conditioned buses called “Evergood Transit” will take 30 minutes and cost about Php 25 (US$0.50).
From Ozamis City – The second closest airport to Dapitan is Ozamis Airport. You can fly from either Cebu or Manila airport to Ozamis City. From there, you can take a Dipolog-bound bus and alight at Pulo (Dapitan junction). Travel time will be around 5 hours and fare for airconditioned bus is around Php 250 (US$5) and non-air-conditioned is around Php 190 (US$4).
Where to stay in Dapitan City?
There are several guest houses, inns, and pensionhouses that are perfect and budget friendly. Some are located along the Dapitan boulevard, making trips to tourists’ attractions super easy. Great budget places include Villa Pilar Pensione and Travelbee Heritage Inn. If you fancy a “proper” hotel, there are also a few located a bit further from the city center such as Dapitan Beach Villa and Jacinth Beach Club Resort. For an even more fancy stay, you can book your stay at the Dakak Park and Beach Resort. It is a bit pricy and a bit further from the sightseeing of Dapitan, but you do get the comfort of a better a “hotel experience” and beach.
Dapitan in a Day – What to See and Do?
Rizal Shrine & Punto de Dissembarco De Rizal en Dapitan
Upon arriving in Dapitan, the first attraction to visit is the Rizal Shrine. As mentioned earlier, Dapitan is best known all over the Philippines for being the place of exile of Dr. Jose Rizal. He lived in the said area for four years and 13 days (from July 17, 1892 – July 31, 1896). During those time, he built his own home and taught other Filipinos in many subjects, wood work and metal work. Some of those remains can still be found at the Rizal Shrine where the Rizal Museum is also located. They are open every Tuesday – Sunday from 8am-4pm. In order to get there, you can take a pedicab ride for a few pesos.
Feel free to roam around the grounds. This tourist spot has no admission or entrance fee. However, donations are highly appreciated to maintain the place. If you are lucky, a tour guide will show you around the place and tell you historical stories as you pas by significant landmarks.
Tip: Bring your own water bottle and stay hydrated! It can get hot at times.
At one end of the boulevard, you will see the Rizal landing site or also known as Punto de Dissembarco De Rizal en Dapitan (Landing Point of Rizal in Dapitan). This historic landmark captures the night of July 17, 1892 when Dr. Jose Rizal landed on the beach of Sta. Cruz. The place is great for walking around and for watching the sunset. Don’t forget to take pictures of this beautiful site.
St. James Church
After the historical tour at Rizal Shrine and at the boulevard, make a quick stop at the St. James Church fronting the Dapitan Plaza. There is nothing too fancy about the church, however, it’s bright orange and white checkered roof and statues are definitely something to look at. Plus, a quick prayer doesn’t hurt.
Gloria de Dapitan – Food Hub & Entertainment
One of the main attractions that we highly recommend to visit when in Dapitan is the Gloria de Dapitan. This complex is filled with many food stalls, restaurants, entertainment centers and even an amusement park! The Gloria Fantasyland offers ride-all-you-can to different rollercoasters, bumper cars, rides and more! Prices will vary depending on the day and time you buy your tickets (see picture for prices). At around 8:30pm, you can enjoy the night show and parade of lights. It is a great way to end the night with some fire show, acrobatics, and parade. Truly a magical place to visit for both kids and adults.
After enjoying the different rides, you can roam around the rest of the complex where several food and drinks are available. There is also a cockpit, live bands, bowling alley and a big continent store. Visit Gloria de Dapitan on your first day in Dapitan. That way if you enjoy it, you can come back again before leaving. (That’s exactly what we did).
That’s it! Dapitan City in a Day. If you wish to explore other parts of the city, other attractions are: 3003 Steps Linabo Peak, Bitoon Beach, and Illihan Hill.