Tourism of Dipolog
By  Ligaya B. Tomong

The rapid growth and development in the City of Dipolog in almost all aspects  has made the city  a favored site  for conference, seminars and  athletic competitions.  It was also declared as one of the three tourist destinations in the whole Island of Mindanao and now called the “Gateway to Western Mindanao” and recently, it was recognized as the center for conventions in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

The City Government of Dipolog through the City Tourism Office together with the City Tourism Council and the overwhelming support of Dipolognons, Dipolog becomes an ideal place to live in or visit for relaxations, adventures, gatherings and travels.

A fantastic view of Dipolog

Irresistible attractions that Dipolog offers to its visitors are just one of the thousand reasons why travelers keep on coming back to the city.

These man-made and natural attractions that are present in the city include Linabo Peak, Cogon Eco-Park, Sungkilaw Falls and OISCA Forest Park.

Sungkilaw Falls

The 3003 Steps to Linabo Peak is one of the favorites and desired destinations of our local and foreign tourist as it offers a fantastic view of the twin cities of Dipolog and Dapitan, the sky, plains and sea horizon after trailing the 3003 concrete steps wind along the tunnels of verdant trees.  It is also the venue for the annual “Katkat Sakripisyo” of Catholic devotees who perform their penitential rites during the Lenten Season.

Next attraction  is the Cogon Eco-Park, a 344 hectares reforestation area situated in Barangay Cogon established in 1958.  Tourists who visited the area were all amazed gazing the matured trees growing wild with different  species like Mahogany, Teak, Yemane, Lumbayao, Molave, Acacia, Narra, Mayapis, Lauan, Narig, Tianong, Duguan, Lumbayao, Rattan and Nato.

The Subanen Village in Cogon Eco Park where Subanen usually

They also enjoyed the company of various species of birds, reptiles, and wild animals.  It is also one of the favorite camping sites of the mountaineers in Dipolog and hopefully one of the venues in the coming invitational climb this summer season dubbed as  Kat-Kat sa Dipolog sponsored by the City Government of Dipolog and the Dipolog Outdoors Society, Incorporated.

There is also on going development in the area which comprise the construction of Information Center, Subanen Valley, Picnic cottages, well landscaped ground at the entrance, parking area, aviary, and different cages for diverse animals.

Adjacent to Barangay Cogon is Barangay Diwan, still part of the Eco-Tourism Complex; it houses the Dipolog OISCA Children’s Forest Park and Sungkilaw Falls.

A portion of the  64 hectare reforestation area of OISCA Forest Park

Some of the local tourists also take pleasure in staying at the Sungkilaw Falls in Virgiña, Barangay Diwan. The spot is developed by the City Government with the help and support of the Subanen , a peace-loving native or tribal group dwelling in the vicinity.

Several structures are constructed in the area such as cottages and comfort rooms and on going beautification in some parts of the falls for convenient and relaxing stay of tourists. Trails are also prepared for comfortable walk under the dense forest.

And the last one is the Organization of International Spiritual and Cultural Advancement or OISCA Forest Park.  It is a joint project of the Japanese OISCA organization chaired by Heroshi Ikeda, and the City Government of Dipolog under the administration of Mayor Roberto Uy who until now conducts several tree planting activities by inviting individuals from Japan and some employees of the City Hall.

Located at Pamansalan, Barangay Diwan, a 40-minute drive from the city proper. The place gives trekkers and nature buffs an unforgettable experience with the 64 hectares of lush forest and flourishing plant life. It is a showcase of conservation and ecological balance and is declared as bird sanctuary.

Tourists who are fond of the historical and cultural landmarks in the city also visit Sta. Cruz (Punta Corro), the Holy Rosary Cathedral, the Plaza Magsaysay and  the Dipolog City Hall.

The Sta. Cruz Marker (Punta Corro) is the spot where migrating Boholanos  from the Visayas landed on and planted the cross for Christianity on May 3, 1905. Along the shore, it is at the one end of Rizal Avenue and faces the Holy Rosary Cathedral at the other which some of the visitors cannot refuse to see the Holy Rosary Cathedral erected by the  Spanish friars sometime in 1895, before Dipolog City became a municipality. It is Dr. Jose Rizal who designed the cathedral altar whose sketch was requested by his former professor, Fr. Jose Villa Clara, a Dapitan missionary.

Another destination is the Magsaysay Park  which is  a one-hectare  park providing an oasis of greenery  right in the center of Dipolog City, just beside City Hall and fronting the Holy Rosary Cathedral. It has been the venue for different activities and programs of the government and non-governmental organizations. It is also the converging point for many Dipolognon for strolling and relaxing and an ideal place for small outdoor meetings in a nature setting.

The Plaza Magsaysay. It has been the venue for different activities and programs of the government and non-governmental organizations.

And while relaxing at the park, the beautiful and impressive structure of the Dipolog City Hall can be seen which is situated right in front of the plaza..  It was built when the formally declared by the Governor of Mindanao, General John J. Pershing and was inaugurated on July 1, 1913.  Dignitaries also visit the building  during their courtesy call of the Mayor. At the City hall ground, the Monument of Three Prominent Dipolognons is located namely Hon. Pascual T. Martinez, the  first appointed Mayor of Dipolog  in 1913-1918), Rev. Fr. Nicasio Y. Patangan, the first Filipino Diocesan Priest of Mindanao and Eugenio R. Margate, a farmer for 25 years who  introduced the MARGATE SYSTEM OF PLANTING RICE.  He also authored the book “Humay” and “100 Kabanes Matag Hektarya” and he was declared as “MAN OF THE YEAR 1954”.

The tempting sunset view of Sicayab Beach which is a favorite haven of holiday and weekend crowd.

Tourist especially the locals cannot also resist the beautiful Sicayab Beach which is a 7-kilometer stretch of fine gray sand. It’s just 4 kilometers away from the city proper and is a favorite haven of holiday and weekend crowd.  It is accessible by motor cabs.

Another added feature and landmark that boosts tourism in the city is the Estaka-Turno Y junction Fountain. The statutes represent the tri-people of Mindanao, which symbolize the diverse cultures prevailing in Dipolog. The bowl raised to heavens is a gesture of thanksgiving and offering to God Almighty for the generous outpouring of graces and blessings, bountiful harvests and sustained peace and prosperity.

Record shows that there is about 80 percent increase of tourist in the city due to the completion of many tourism projects such as street lights, concrete roads and other developments and holding the tourism-related activities coupled with the aggressive promotion of tourist sites by the City Tourism Office and the City Tourism Council and the peace and order situation of the city.

The Holy Rosary Cathedral erected by the  Spanish friars sometime in 1895.

Other tourism activities are done to make the celebration a truly remarkable which include the annual Sinulog sa Dipolog every 3rd Saturday of January featuring pageantry and street dancing for the Sto. Niño, Katkat Sakripisyo at Linabo Peak in April, Pagsalabuk Festival in May with harvest rituals of the Subanens, Feast of St. Vincent Ferrer during 3rd Saturday of May, Araw ng Dipolog marked July 1 to 6 with sports, cultural, and beauty pageants highlighted with Mutya sa Dipolog, the October Fiesta which is the Feast of the Lady of the  Holy Rosary , and the Pasko sa Dipolog nightly shows in December.  Also to be anticipated is Araw ng Zamboanga del Norte.

The City Government is continuing its programs to push tourism activities to entice tourists to visit places of interest and savor the unique hospitality inherent in Dipolog.

Recently, the government had sponsored a two-day seminar dubbed as “Homestay Program and Tour Guiding Techniques” for potential tour guides in the city as well as homeowners who wished to offer their homes for the visitors coming to Dipolog which is a program of the Department of Tourism geared towards providing alternative accommodation facilities to Filipino and foreign travelers by tapping private homes.

Japanese men and women  from Japan met Mayor Roberto Uy and City Government Employees for the scheduled tree planting activity in OISCA Forest Park.

This is a way of maximizing the opportunities to travelers who would opt to vacation on a limited budget  but get the chance of experiencing the simplicity and hospitality of  locals homes to the travelers which will both benefit the traveling public and the local economy.

For more information contact the City Tourism Office at telephone numbers (065) 212-2485 or visit their office at the 2nd floor building of the City Hall of Dipolog.

Come and visit Dipolog! Experience the warm welcome of Dipolognons and the beauty of nature.


Welcome to the City of Dipolog: The Orchid City of the Philippines