Known as the “Gateway to Western Mindanao”, Dipolog nestles at the base of Linabo Peak beside its twin city, Dapitan. It’s famed throughout the Philippines for its sardines and makes a picturesque base for exploring the sights of Zamboanga.
Things to do in Dipolog
Dipolog Boulevard stretches along the waterfront and is dotted with parks, playgrounds and basketball courts where locals come to relax. There’s a good selection of restaurants and street vendors in the early evening, with the annual Pagsalabuk Festival taking place here each May.
Take the time to visit Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral that dates to the late 19th century and stands proudly on the edge of Plaza Magsaysay. It’s said that the altar was designed by national hero Jose Rizal during his exile in Dapitan and inspired by that of Manila’s San Ignacio Church.
Want to take in a panoramic view of Dipolog? Then tackle the 3,003 steps that lead through lush forest to Linabo Peak. The trail is particularly popular during Holy Week when devotees make the climb to re-enact the suffering of Jesus Christ on his way to the Cross.
A short drive south of Dipolog takes you to Cogon Eco-Tourism Park, which features towering mahogany, teak and acacia trees. Aside from its walking trails, a highlight of the park is the cultural village of Subanen where you can watch traditional dances by the indigenous community and learn about their basket weaving traditions.
Getting around Dipolog
Dipolog Airport lies around 10 minutes’ drive north of the city centre, with daily flights to both Manila and Cebu. The bus terminal in Barangay Miputak is the main hub for transport across Zamboanga, although having your own vehicle is best for visiting Linabo Peak or the Cogon Eco-Tourism Park.