Dipolog is the capital city of the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the province that occupies the northern part of Zamboanga Peninsula in the Mindanao island of the Philippines. It is commonly known as the "Bottled Sardines Capital" due to its sardine production, and most popularly the "Gateway to Western Mindanao" being accessible from Dumaguete, Cebu, and Manila.
Dipolog is geographically a part of the Zamboanga Peninsula region, and must not be confused with Zamboanga City or anything with Zamboanga in its name. Dipolog is geographically situated in northern Zamboanga del Norte, a Philippine province that comprises the greater Zamboanga Peninsula region.
- Main article: Cebuano phrasebook
- 1 Dipolog Airport (DPL IATA) (north of downtown). Serves the city and nearby Dapitan. It has a single runway that has been upgraded in 1992 to accommodate small jets like the Airbus A320 family.
Ground transportation: There are tricycles to downtown, waiting outside the terminal.
- 2 Dipolog City Land Transport Terminal, F. D. Kagatan Rd, Miputak (south of downtown). Serves most bus routes in Zamboanga del Norte, Ozamiz , Iligan , Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro and Pagadian.
Rural Transit is the main bus company serving Dipolog and neighboring cities and municipalities, operating deluxe, air-conditioned, and non-AC ordinary buses.
Evergood Transit serves the Dipolog-Dapitan route. The bus plying the route departs every 20 min up to 7PM and takes 45 min. The cost is ₱20 for ordinary, and ₱30 for air-conditioned buses.
Frequent sailings to and from Cebu City and southern Cebu area are offered.
- 3 Dipolog City Port (Galas Feeder Port), Barangay Galas (South of downtown). Serves routes for Dumaguete, Cebu City, and Oslob, Cebu.
A comfortable way to reach Dipolog is on one of the better ferries. Ro-Ro's are also available; these are slower and cheaper ferries where cars can roll on and roll off.
- 1 Medallion Transport, Yu Building, General Luna Street, Central; Galas Port Terminal, Galas, ☏ , , , , , , fax: . Departing from Cebu City (Port of Cebu Passenger Terminal 2, Pier 3) thrice a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:30PM; departing from Dipolog (Galas Port) thrice a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 7PM. from ₱790.
Do as the locals do, and take a tricycle ride around the city.
Dipolog has no taxis unlike in mostly urbanized cities in the Philippines. There are some jeepneys going to nearby towns but, unlike other cities, there are no jeepneys with general-purpose downtown routes. Most in-town transit is by either motorcycle with sidecar rigs called tricycles, or passenger-type motorcycles locally called habal-habal.
Locals in the Philippines name a landmark or commercial establishment near their destinations, street names are rarely used or known. Many travelers will be able to get around knowing only the names of some few landmarks including Dipolog Boulevard, Lee Plaza, Plaza Magsaysay, and Dipolog Cathedral; most other places of interest are within easy walking distance of one of those.
The center of Dipolog at night during Christmas is a truly wonderful sight: the decorations and the small stalls and the sounds of people. It is truly captivating.
- 1 The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary (Dipolog Cathedral), Padre Ramon Street, Estaka, ☏ . It's the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dipolog. Constructed by the Spanish friars of Dipolog on April 15, 1894, records show that the original altar was designed by Dr. Jose Rizal, the sketch of the altar was inspired after that of San Ignacio Church in Manila. The main attraction of the church is the ceiling made of Philippine hardwood.
- 2 Santa Cruz Marker (Punta Corro), Intersection of Rizal Avenue and Martinez Street, Central. This is the oldest landmark in the city dating back to May 3, 1905, marking the safe landing of migrating Boholanos settling near the mouth of Dipolog River.
- 3 Casa Bernedo (Bernedo Ancestral House), Arellano Street corner Ranillo Street, Dipolog City. Casa Bernedo is a two-story ancestral house, originally owned by the then influential Bernedo family of Dipolog, now a museum and Center for the Culture and the Arts in the city. Free.
- 4 ONAY Museum, Bucana, Sicayab (North of the city proper, but not heading to Dapitan City). A museum that pays homage to Zamboanga del Norte's own General Alexander Badong Yano, the first Mindanaoan and the 38th Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Free upon request from City Tourism Office.
- 5 Explore Dipolog Landmark, Dipolog Boulevard, Miputak. Opened in November 2019 which features the slogan of the same line, and it is near the Dipolog Watchtower.
In the morning: You can go to the bay walk to exercise for some energy around 4AM-6AM. Then, go shopping by which the locals call Okay Okay.
In the afternoon: You can get around by walking to Plaza Magsaysay, Bay walk, go swimming in the beach or just go shopping at Lee Plaza City Central, Dipolog Center Mall, Vallecer Plaza or SM SaveMore Dipolog. Or you can eat snacks from restaurants.
In the evening: Dipolog is sparkling when the night comes. You can go to bay walk which has so many events like concerts. Or go some disco clubs like FatCat or Zpol.
- Alvenda Hilander Farm. Hilander Farm is a new tourist destination in Dipolog City. It takes 2-3 hours by multicab to reach the place, its kinda rough road when you reach Center place in Mutia, going to the said place. The place have nice native and antique style of the house, swimming pool for kids and for adults with nice and cool overflowing water. They also have a zipline.
Shopping malls & supermarketsEdit
- 1 Lee Plaza City Central, Quezon Avenue, Miputak, ☏ . 9AM-8PM. Three-story shopping mall with a Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, and Watsons as main tenants. With ample parking space at the basement.
- 2 Vallecer's Plaza, Padre Burgos Street, Miputak. 9AM-8PM. Two-story shopping mall.
- 3 Dipolog Center Mall, Rizal Avenue corner Padre Burgos Street, Miputak. Three-story shopping mall with supermarket, department store, and food court.
- 4 CityMall Dipolog, Dipolog-Zamboanga National Highway, Santa Filomena (south of downtown). 9AM-9PM. Has SM SaveMore Supermarket, Ace Hardware, Watsons, Highlands Coffee, and many fast food outlets.
Financial services (Banks, ATMs & foreign exchange)Edit
In need of cash, foreign exchange, or banking services? Here are some financial institutions that are visible in Dipolog.
- 5 Banco De Oro Dipolog-Quezon Avenue (BDO Dipolog-Quezon), Quezon Avenue, Miputak. Air-conditioned, with ample parking, and with ATMs.
- 6 Banco De Oro Dipolog-Rizal Avenue (BDO Dipolog-Rizal), Rizal Avenue, Central (1st floor of MGM Square, near Dipolog City Hall and Dipolog Cathedral). Air-conditioned, with ATMs, and accessible to shopping boutiques and food court.
- 7 Rural Bank of Rizal-Dipolog (RBR Dipolog), RBR Tower, Rizal Avenue corner Gonzales Street, Central (in front of MGM Square, near Dipolog City Hall and Dipolog Cathedral).
- 8 BPI-Dipolog, Philam Life Building, Rizal Avenue corner C.P. Garcia Street, Central (near Dipolog City Hall and Dipolog Cathedral). Air-conditioned with ATMs, but less ample parking.
- 9 RCBC-Dipolog, Gen. Luna Street corner F.B. Lacaya Street, Central (near Big Joes).
- 10 Landbank Dipolog, Quezon Avenue, Miputak (in front of Lee Plaza City Central).
- 11 EastWest Bank Dipolog, Ground Floor, Felicidad II Building, Quezon Avenue, Miputak (in front of Lee Plaza City Central).
- 12 Philippine Business Bank-Dipolog, Padre Burgos Street, Central. Air conditioned, with ATM.
- 13 Metrobank Dipolog-Gen. Luna, Metrobank Building, General Luna Street corner C.P. Garcia Street, Central. Air conditioned, with ample parking and with ATM.
- 14 Chinabank Dipolog, Chinabank Building, General Luna corner Gonzales Street, Central. Air conditioned with ample parking and ATM.
- 15 Philippine National Bank Dipolog-Gen. Luna, PNB Building, Gen. Luna Street corner C.P. Garcia Street, Central. Air-conditioned, with ample parking and ATMs.
- 16 Security Bank-Dipolog, Quezon Avenue, Miputak (in front of Miputak East Central School). Air conditioned with ATM, but no ample parking.
- 17 Zamboanga del Norte Cooperative Bank, Quezon Avenue, Miputak.
- 18 Katipunan Bank-Dipolog (Head Office), Katipunan Bank Building, Quezon Avenue corner Aguilar Street, Miputak. With ATM.
- 19 BDO Network Bank, Rizal Avenue, Central. Formerly known as One Network Bank, it has ample parking and ATMs.
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
- 1 JO's Chicken Inato, Bonifacio Street corner C.P. Garcia Street, Central (near Central Barangay Hall). Try their BBQ with unlimited rice, Chicken Tinola in Coconut Shell, and Halu-halo in Coconut Shell.
- 2 Cafe Nicasio, General Luna corner M. H. del Pilar St, Estaka (In front of Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Capitol.), ☏ . 9AM-8PM. Serving coffee, all-day breakfast, and more.
- 3 Alberto's Pizza Dipolog, V. Calibo St, Central (near Bulwagan ng Katarungan (Hall of Justice)). 9AM-midnight. Offers a good and rather affordable locally made thin crust pizza. From ₱75 to ₱200.
- 4 Grandma's Best Restaurant and Bakeshop, Mabini cor. Arellano St, Barra, ☏ , email@example.com. 10AM-8PM. Serves Filipino dishes, scrumptious comfort foods, and various cakes and pastries. Also serves breakfast meals all-day. Catering needs? Grandma's Best accepts catering services at very affordable prices with spacious amenities. Starts from ₱100.
- 5 [dead link] Big Joe's Cafe, General Luna St, Central, ☏ . 9AM-9PM. Starts from ₱100.
- 6 UrChoice Bistro Cafe, Festival Shopping Arcade 2, College Park, Miputak (near Andres Bonifacio College), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-8PM. Serving Italian styled pizza and pasta.
- 7 [dead link] Biaño's Pizza, General Luna corner Martinez St, Central (walking distance from Dipolog Boulevard), ☏ . 9AM-8PM. Serving pizza, spaghetti, potato fries, chicken, rice toppings, milkshakes, desserts, and beer. Starts from ₱110.
- 8 CLS Food Plaza, Magsaysay corner Echavez St, Central, ☏ . 9:30AM-9:30PM. Serves an extensive array of Filipino and Chinese cuisines. Starts from ₱150.
- 9 Chlisy Craft Cafe, Magsaysay corner Echavez St, Central, ☏ . 9AM-9PM. Starts from ₱150.
- 10 Tonino's Resto & Wine Bar, GF D' Hotel & Suites, Rizal Ave corner Osmeña St, Central. 11AM-8PM.
- 11 Umami Room & Olive Tree Bar, 6F D' Hotel & Suites, Rizal Avenue corner Osmeña Street, Central. 10AM-8PM.
- 12 7 Treasures Asian Cuisine, GF Top Plaza Hotel, Echavez Street, Central, ☏ , . Serving Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, European, and Western dishes.
- 1 Infinitea Dipolog, Boulevard Commercial Complex, Dipolog Boulevard, ☏ . Milk teas (29 flavors), Belgian waffles, fries. Perfect place to enjoy merienda with air-conditioned shop and Wi-Fi connection.
- 2 Song Hits Family KTV Bar, 2nd Floor Boulevard Commercial Complex, Dipolog Boulevard, Central, ☏ , email@example.com. 5PM - 1AM. Starts from ₱99.
- 3 Bo's Coffee, Mezzanine Level, MGM Square, Rizal Avenue corner Gonzales Street, Central. ₱90 - ₱200.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
There are places in the city for travelers to take a break. Whether tight in budget or ready to splurge with luxury, Dipolog has a lot of hotel accommodations ready for travelers.
- 1 Top Plaza Pensionne, Malvar Street corner Quezon Aveune, Miputak, ☏ . A/C dormitory type. Fan standard double with outside bathroom. Big A/C superior double with own bathroom and cable TV, free Wi-Fi. ₱150/₱280/₱560.
- 2 Casa Jose Pension House., Bonifacio Street, Riverside Estaka, ☏ . Fan rooms with cable TV. From ₱300.
- 3 GV Hotel, Quezon Avenue, Miputak, ☏ . A/C single and double rooms all with own bathrooms and cable TV. The GV Hotel in Dipolog has 58 rooms. ₱450/₱625.
- 4 Green Mellow Court, Osmeña Street, Central, ☏ . Fan rooms with own bathrooms. A/C rooms with own bathroom and cable TV. Fan room ₱250, A/C room ₱620.
- 5 Bamboo Garden Business Inn, 26 Burgos Street corner Bonifacio Street, Central, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A/C double room with outside bathroom. A/C double with own bathroom and cable TV. ₱400/₱625.
- 6 Eustacia's Pension House, P. Gomez corner Gonzales streets, ☏ . Check-in: noon, check-out: 2PM. Fan double room with outside bathroom. A/C single with own bathroom and cable TV. A/C double room with own bathroom and cable TV. Fan room ₱230, air-con room ₱350/₱450.
- CHIP'N By d' Sea Resort, Sunset Boulevard, ☏ . Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Fan, A/C rooms with own bathroom and cable TV. Free breakfast. From ₱300.
- 7 FSA Traders Inn 2, 5th Floor Felicidad 1 Building, Quezon Avenue, Miputak (above Landbank Dipolog Branch), ☏ . Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. A/C double room with own bathroom and cable TV, free Wi-Fi. ₱600.
- 8 Antonio's Pension House, General Luna Street corner Martinez Street, Barangay Central, ☏ , . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. A/C double room with own bathroom, cable TV, free Wi-Fi. From ₱499.
- Gardenville Suites, National Highway, Lower Turno, ☏ , email@example.com. Starts from ₱800.
- 9 Hapytelle Hotel, Magsaysay Street corner Malvar Street, Miputak (Walking distance from Dipolog Boulevard.), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Free Wi-Fi, child-friendly, air conditioned rooms. Starts from ₱999.
- 10 Meaco Royal Hotel - Dipolog, Rizal Avenue corner Martinez Street, Central (near Dipolog Boulevard, blocks away from the Santa Cruz marker). Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Free Wi-Fi, free parking, air-conditioned rooms, child-friendly. Maximum of ₱1500.
- 11 Mibang Hotel, Andress Dacua Road, Santa Filomena, ☏ , , email@example.com. Check-out: noon. Offers air-conditioned rooms, hot & cold showers, cable TV, room service, PABX telephone system, swimming pool and poolside bar, Wi-Fi zone, function halls, hotel van service, and complimentary bottled water. From ₱1300 to ₱3200.
- 12 Hotel Camila Dipolog, General Luna Street, Estaka.
- 13 Hotel Camila 2 Dipolog, Dipolog-Polanco-Oroquieta Highway, Lower Turno, ☏ .
- 14 Ariana Hotel, Airport Road, Minaog, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. From ₱1700.
- 15 Royal Farm Resort, Dipolog-Polanco-Oroquieta Highway, Gulayon (behind the NFA Zamboanga del Norte bodega), ☏ , email@example.com. From ₱1000 to ₱2100.
- 16 C&L Sea View Hotel, Quezon Avenue, Miputak, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Starts from ₱1000.
- 17 Top Plaza Hotel, Quezon Avenue corner Echavez Street, Central, ☏ , , firstname.lastname@example.org. Offers fully air-conditioned rooms, PABX telephone system, cable TV, hot & cold shower, Wi-Fi zone, function halls, and hotel transport service.
- 18 D' Hotel & Suites, Rizal Avenue corner Osmeña Street, Central, ☏ .
- 19 Gwandalan House Bed and Breakfast, G&K Building, Highway Lower Turno, ☏ , email@example.com. Offers concierge service, complimentary Wi-Fi and bottled water, pick-up from Dipolog Airport, fine art collection, 24/7 CCTV security surveillance, and coffee. From ₱2000.
- 20 [dead link] Missio Dei Hotel, Arellano Street Extension, Miputak, firstname.lastname@example.org. Starts from ₱2000.
Dipolog is generally a safe city. There are enough beggars and touts to be annoying, but by Asian standards these problems are relatively mild. Police are quite visible, especially along Dipolog Boulevard.
You do see evidence that locals are concerned about security. Many of the larger old houses and more-or-less all the new luxury housing are in walled compounds, and barbed wire, spikes or broken glass to discourage people from climbing the walls are common, as are bars to keep burglars from entering windows. Most businesses have roll-down metal doors for protection when they are closed. Many businesses and some residential compounds have armed guards. Guards at the entrances to many department stores or malls use metal-detecting wands to scan customers before entry. All of this, however, is true in most areas of the Philippines, and much of it is common to most low-income countries.
Traffic can be distinctly hectic, especially in Quezon Avenue in Miputak during the day; there are few traffic lights and few stop signs in the city (mostly outside the downtown area,) and you only occasionally see traffic enforcers directing traffic. Most of the oddities of Asian driving are seen in Dipolog: running without lights at night is common, motorcycles fairly often do interesting things like going down the wrong side of the road or ignoring one-way traffic signs, and so on. On the positive side, the traffic is not remarkably fast, there are few traffic jams and, compared to some other Asian cities, Dipolog has fewer drivers who seem obviously insane to Western observers.
Pedestrians should be quite cautious in Dipolog. The traffic is dangerous, some roads lack sidewalks, and even if there is a sidewalk, it may be blocked by parked motorcycles. Both roads and sidewalks are often seriously uneven — some have holes that could easily break a leg, and many more could turn an ankle — so it is essential to watch your step.
As in any tropical area, there is risk of sunburn; it is quite important for newly arrived visitors to exercise caution.
Health risks in Dipolog are not large but, as for most travel, it is worth checking with your doctor and possibly getting some vaccines before setting out. The area is tropical, so see also hot weather and tropical diseases.
The city has many health services — doctors, dentists, pharmacies, optometrists — and, as elsewhere in the Philippines and indeed most of Asia, these services are often much cheaper than in higher-income countries. There are exceptions when imported products, such as dental implants or certain drugs, are required for the treatment.
These are the many dentists the local expatriates use. Implants are generally expensive, but most services are cheap by Western standards. Some of these dentists may or may not offer procedures under general anesthesia.
- 2 Drs. J Balagbagan and Aimee Te (Dental Plaza), 3rd Floor, Lee Plaza City Central, Quezon Avenue, Miputak.
- 3 Dr. Jedy Sorronda (Sorronda Dental Suite), Ground Floor, Dr. Johnny I. Franco Medical Arts Building, Ospital ng Kabataan ng Dipolog, Padre Ramon Street, Miputak.
- 4 Dr. Karen Yu-Bation (Dental Horizon), Magsaysay Street, Miputak, ☏ .
Hospitals, clinics, and other servicesEdit
As of October 2020, the city has four hospitals, with a fifth under construction:
- 5 Corazon C. Aquino Hospital, Circumferential Road, Biasong, ☏ . A public hospital, owned and operated by the City Government of Dipolog.
- 6 Zamboanga del Norte Medical Center, Circumferential Road, Biasong, ☏ . A public hospital, owned and operated by the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Norte.
- 7 Ospital ng Kabataan ng Dipolog, Inc., 604 Padre Ramon Street, Estaka, ☏ . A multi-specialty hospital in Zamboanga del Norte.
- 8 Zamboanga del Norte Service Cooperative Hospital, Dipolog-Polanco-Oroquieta National Road, Turno, ☏ , . A multi-specialty hospital in Zamboanga del Norte.
Just like any Philippine city, Dipolog has a variety of pharmacies that offer medications of good quality, whether branded or generic.
- 9 Dipolog Lourdes Pharmacy, Rizal Avenue, Central (walking distance from Dipolog Central Public Market).
- 10 Generika Drugstore Lacaya St., Lacaya Street, Central (walking distance from Dipolog Central Public Market), ☏ .
- 11 Mercury Drug Dipolog City Lacaya, F. B. Lacaya Building, Lacaya Street, Central (walking distance from Dipolog Central Public Market), ☏ . 7AM-8PM.
- 12 Mercury Drug Dipolog City Rizal Ave., Rizal Avenue, Central, ☏ .
- 13 LKS Pharmacy and Convenience Store Quezon Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Miputak.
- 14 LKS Pharmacy and Convenience Store General Luna, General Luna Street corner F. Herrera Street (formerly Katipunan Street), Estaka (walking distance from Dipolog City Hall and Plaza Magsaysay).
Internet service is generally good; Dipolog is one of the hubs of the fiber optic network that connects the country. Most hotels and many restaurants offer free Wi-Fi; connection speed is good for text, photos and most graphics, but music or video streaming may be jerky oftentimes.
There are a number of fairly large Internet cafés; they cater mainly to people playing online games, so they provide reasonably powerful computers with decent screens and a fast connection.
Cell phone connections are fast and reliable anywhere in the city itself or in central areas of the major suburbs, but can be quite flaky in some outlying areas.
In need of access to government services while on travel?
- 15 PhilHealth Local Health Insurance Office-Zamboanga del Norte, Malvar Street, Miputak (Walking distance from Mennens Gift Mart.).
- 16 Dipolog City Post Office, Quezon Avenue, Miputak (Near the Dipolog Land Transport Terminal.). Offers postal services.
- 17 Government Service Insurance System - Dipolog City Branch Office, National Highway, Minaog.
- 18 Social Security System - Dipolog City Branch Office, Ramos Building, Rizal Avenue corner Magsaysay Street, Central (blocks from the Santa Cruz marker).
Cigarette and electronic cigarette or vape smoking is not encouraged in Dipolog; a city ordinance prohibits smoking in public places, particularly in government-owned structures and offices, hospitals, gasoline stations, schools, and business establishments, and there are officers on scooters who give out tickets for this. Violators are penalized the amounts of ₱1000 for first offense, ₱2000 for second offense, ₱3000 for third offense, and imprisonment for 6 months or as determined by local courts for subsequent offences. However, a few bars have smoking areas where nicotine addicts can indulge.
Nearby cities are Dapitan, Pagadian, Ipil, Zamboanga City, Oroquieta, and Ozamiz; there are buses to and from Dipolog. The Dipolog-Zamboanga via Ipil bus route passes through several places that may be worth a stop.