Dipolog City, right next to Dapitan

1 Comment

Like Ozamis, Dipolog was never in my hit list. No one talks about Dipolog affectionately. I went there on the suggestion of my former staff who were going to mount the Tanduay First Five concert tour in the city. So I went.

Everyone of them – – my former staff, clients, and the members and production staff of the 5 bands stayed in Mibang Hotel.

my former staff liked Mibang Hotel

Mibang Hotel is at Sta. Filomena Street, telephone (+6365) 2126689

I was not part of the group and did not have a room, so I left the group and looked for another hotel. I chanced upon Camila 2, which looked like a bigger and more impressive hotel, at least thru its facade. The hotel was full, and I got the last remaining room, a “double standard” for P1,080, but  I did not exactly like this room..I just knew I would transfer to another hotel the next day.

Camila 2. The hotel's impressive facade made me expect good accommodations

my room at Camila2 had no cabinets, and had 2 monobloc chairs

their friendly staff made my stay in the lousy room more tolerable, but I opted to look for a better hotel after one day here

For inexpensive accommodations, you can call Camila2 at +(6365)2125534. Rates start at P840, single.My room cost me P1,080. Their Business Class rooms cost p1,980 per day, and presumably are more decent accommodations.

TOP PLAZA HOTEL

I went to Top Plaza Hotel, and booked a suite. Within the suite is a photo signed by President GMA, taken with I guess the owners of the hotel, when she stayed in this suite on a Dipolog visit.

their best suite, Room 301

dining area

lounge, needs shampooing

Book this suite for P3,780 per day, or book their standard single rooms for P1,100 per night, de luxe rooms for P2,050. Contact Top Plaza Hotel at (+6365) 2125888.

Around Dipolog City

Rather happy with my room, I started to explore Dipolog, walking around the city. I noticed they did not have big malls, preserving a provincial city atmosphere. The biggest mall is more like a department store.

Dipolog Center Mall

Dipolog "central business district"

Boulevard

Then I found my way to their Boulevard. The place is probably the center of Dipolog’s social life. People jogging, families just sitting around with their kids, some peer groups in a huddle, balut hawkers, etc. There is a permanent flea market on one side selling Dipolog souvenirs and trinkets. There is also a playground where children can keep themselves busy and amused. A clean public toilet is at the midpoint of the boulevard, where you pay to use the facilities.

At the south end is a row of food stalls selling mostly “ihaw-ihaw” and cold drinks, with beer as the most popular order. Yes, the area is one bog eating and drinking venue – –  the road is closed and on the street are chairs and tables for diners. Better than Dumaguete’s boulevard, I thought. But then again, they don’t have tall trees on the boulevard, just coconut that aren’t yet tall and mature. I noticed, too, that the place is decent – – no streetwalkers nor vagrants. It is a feel-good place.

good food, cold beer, cheap,

huge place, lots of choices

watch the sunset with beer on hand

On the side streets are more ihaw-ihaw places, more like proper restaurants. And videoke pubs.

The friends I made there talked about islands to visit, like ALIGUAY which can be visited on a one-day picnic. Or overnight, with tents as sleeping quarters. I did not have the time to do an islands tour. I know I will be able to do that when I go back to Dipolog. I like this place. Maybe also because Dapitan and its Sunset Boulevard is just a hop away.

nearby Dapitan adds charm to this small city called Dipolog

On my return, I will make sure I visit the Dipolog tourist spots, photos of which I took from the Dipolog tourism brochure. The Sta Cruz marker, the Cogon Eco-Tourism Park,  and the Pgsalubuk Circle.And buy canned Dipolog sardines, a product they are extremely proud of.

And when I return, I shall camp in one of the islands, or at the very least stay in Galas beach.

For more information on sights to see in Dipolog, visit their website. You can copy paste the link below and you will be on your way to discovering more of what this small city has to offer.

http://dipologcity.com/Attractions.htm

Dapitan : visit Dakak and Jose Rizal’s second home

2 Comments

there were wellwishers ahead of me last June 19 in Dapitan

RIZAL SHRINE

Jose Rizal surely knows how to pick a place for exile. I was imagining how the place must have looked like in his time. How forested that piece of land facing the sea must have been. And how conducive it must have been to romance . . . Josephine Bracken was then there.

His house looked simple, and had separate structures for the kitchen, for the toilet, for storage, and he had other huts that served as his clinic, and huts that served as quarters for his pupils.

reproduction of the house where he lived

his clinic

Dapitan today has Rizal’s Shrine as its top tourist draw, with Dakak probably second, and Sunset Boulevard as the third top tourist draw.

Dakak has seen better days. The building where they have billiards, darts, and bowling look like no guest has used the facility for ages. There are signs of decay, or poor maintenance everywhere. A local even said that Dakak now just looks good on the website.

ok but nothing spactacular

I did not stay in Dakak, after the initial excitement. I felt like there was nothing to do there, and the place is not even something close to fantastic. Alright, it is still the best in the area, but having seen the place, I don’t think I will ever book myself there.

ok but not spactacular pool

ok but not spactacular beach, and it is not a long beach

The first encounter was bad. My friends and I were touring Dapitan prior to a Tanduay First Five Concert in Dipolog at night. We thought we’ll check out the famous Dakak, and even thought that maybe Tanduay can do a company outing, or business planning or something. We wanted to see the place and how it could be a venue for anything. We did not have food, drinks, nor clothes. Then the guards at the entrance said we needed to pay P200 per head. We said we were there just for a look-see. Besides, we needed to go back to Dipolog pronto. But the guards insisted  we must pay P200 per head, even if we will just be inside for a minute. So we paid, walked around for less than 20 minutes, and left. There goes our P200 per head. Maybe business for the decaying resort has turned bad, that any other income will help. Good bye Dakak, and never again. Not even for a minute.

games pub with billiards, darts, bowling, but not a soul was there except for a few tambay-looking staff

Dakak was the only thing that spoiled my Dapitan experience. Lunch when we got to Dapitan was good, at Erlinda’s, along Sunset Boulevard. Cheap and very good, how can you lose.

Erlinda's: good food, and cheap. Perfect location.

The view along the boulevard is relaxing. Picnic huts on the shore. Fishermen pulling a huge net, looking like an Amorsolo painting. Pension houses dot the area. It is a backpacker’s paradise.

Sunset Boulevard, in Dapitan, not in LA

the bay is not just for tourists, but also for locals making a living

worth another visit, may be longer next time

As always, there is never enough time to spend in one place, no matter how beautiful. We left Dapitan for nearby Dipolog to attend to my former company’s client’s business of mounting the free Tanduay concert that night.