A beach hut in Dipolog (Photo: Samuel de Leon)

Where to stay

  • Ariana Hotel, Airport Rd, Brgy. Minaog; +63 908 810 6597; www.arianahotel.ph. Located just 200 meters from the airport, this is a stylish hotel complete with modern amenities.
  • D’Hotel & Suites, Rizal Ave corner Osmeña St; +63 65 212 1256; facebook.com/dhotelandsuites. A modern hotel with onsite restaurants, a fitness center and a souvenir shop.
  • Top Plaza Hotel, Echaves St; +63 65 212 5777. Basic lodgings situated near the city’s shopping and business districts.

Where to eat

  • Bacolod Chk-n-Bbq House, Gen. Luna St corner Magsaysay Blvd; +63 65 212 1378; facebook.com/wilvy.o.e. Good for when you’re famished but on a tight budget, as you can enjoy your barbecued chicken with unlimited portions of rice.
  • Chapters a Book Café, Sunset Blvd; +63 917 622 6677; facebook.com/chaptersabookcafeChill out at this whimsical (read: highly Instagrammable) cafe, which serves finger food and milk tea in unique flavors like Jasmine and Winter Melon.
  • Erlindas’s Food House, Dapitan City; +63 999 990 6783. A family-run, seaside restaurant in neighboring Dapitan City, with awesome kinilaw na isda (fish cooked in vinegar).
  • Grandma’s Best Restaurant and Bakeshop, Arellano St corner Mabini St, Barra; +63 65 212 3396. Head here for freshly-baked breads and pastries, along with savory dishes such as beef Thai rice.
  • Kamayan ni Manay, Sunset Blvd, Dawo, Dapitan City; +63 65 213 6985. Craving for seafood? You’d do well to order the delicious sinigang na hipon (shrimps in sour broth) and ginataang alimango (crabs in coconut milk sauce) here.
  • Tonino’s Resto and Wine Bar, Rizal Ave corner Osmeña St; +63 65 212 1256. Don’t leave without trying the sumptuous bulalo (soup with beef shank and marrow), and heart-stopping crispy pata (pork knuckle).
  • UrChoice Bistro Cafe, ABC Compound, Quezon Ave, Miputak; +63 65 212 1313; facebook.com/UrChoiceDipolog. Run by an Italian, this bistro serves up authentic fare like brick-oven pizzas and hearty pastas.

What to do

  • Dakak Park Beach Resort, Brgy. Taguilon, Dapitan City; +63 65 213 6813; www.dakakresort.com. A family-friendly resort boasting an adventure park, white sand beaches and regular cultural shows.
  • Dipolog City Boulevard. Take a stroll and people-watch along this esplanade, which, at 1.6 kilometers, holds the title of being the longest boulevard in the Philippines. The sunset views are amazing.
  • Dipolog Pasalubong Center, Rizal Ave; +63 65 212 7755. Shop for bottled Spanish-style sardines, which are what Dipolog is known for.
  • Galeria Indelecio, C. P. Garcia St corner Lopez Jaena St, Brgy. Biasong. A pub, restaurant and art gallery, which also serves as an exhibition space for emerging local artists.
  • Gloria de Dapitan. Aside from Teatro De Dapitan (Dapitan’s first movie theater), it has its every own theme park called Gloria’s Fantasyland (fantasylandtours.com) with a ride-all-you-can promo.
  • Linabo Peak, Dapitan City. At 460m above sea level, this is Dipolog’s highest point. It’s also a popular hiking spot, offering spectacular panoramas of the town, neighboring Dapitan and the coastline. Do note that you’ll have to climb a whopping 3,003 steps to reach the top!
  • Montaño Sardines, Turno; facebook.com/MontanoSardines. Take home Spanish-style bottled sardines, bottled bangus (milkfish) and mangosteen preserves. Make sure that you set aside enough luggage space!
  • Rizal Shrine, Dapitan City. This shrine marks the place where Filipino nationalist Jose Rizal stayed during his four-year exile.
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