Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City was named after the great Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, marking it as one of the historical sites found in the city. It has been said that he had made a brief visit and took a stroll here before departing to the neighboring island of Dapitan, Dipolog City where he was exiled for four years following the Spanish authorities’ suspicion that he was about to lead a revolution.
The boulevard’s stretch is immediately visible when coming into the Dumaguete port via any sea vessel. From the white lamp posts lining up the stretch to the stately trees swaying with the sea breeze, Rizal Boulevard holds a big part in the city’s provincial charm and has become a very popular landmark.
From the airport, Rizal Boulevard is only a brief 15 minute ride. Several hotels (Bethel Guest House, Honeycomb Tourist inn, La Residencia Almar) and many restaurants (Shakey’s Pizza, Le Chalet, Mamia’s, Chin Long, Don Atilano, Coco Amigo) run along the strip. These, together with other business establishments (Globe Telecom, Bank of Commerce, Development Bank of the Philippines), has transformed the Rizal Boulevard into a bustling hotpot of commerce and tourism.
The city’s main commercial district is a stone’s throw away from the boulevard. There are four major streets linking the boulevard to the city namely Silliman Avenue (which also leads to Silliman University campus), Perdices Street, Locsin Street and Sta. Catalina Street – all of which make any business establishment, be it a department store or computer shop, accessible from any point in the Rizal Boulevard.
And yet despite the yield of progress, it remains peaceful throughout the day. Surprisingly, even traffic doesn’t find its way to the Rizal Boulevard thoroughfare (except though when a festival is being celebrated because parades are usually routed here) because of the wide road and the promenade that allows pedestrians to enjoy the walk right beside the ocean.
Most people love to convene during late afternoons at one of the sidewalk cafes, bars or restaurants at the boulevard. Some take strolls at this particular time of the day to escape from the heat and to enjoy the ocean breezes. It is also the perfect place to experience the sunrise as well as the sunset either while sipping a refreshing drink or just sitting and staring out into the horizon like having no cares in the world.
Rizal Boulevard is definitely one of the city’s best loved places. It has become a landmark as well as a venue for leisure and recreation.