History and Culture
Campanario De Dumaguete: The Oldest Belfry in Visayas
, Negros Oriental
Belle Piccio | Oct 01, 2015
Dumaguete City, known as the "City of Gentle People," is among the most visited tourist destination in the country.The city is a gateway to many popular sites and nearby towns and islands.
The Campanario De Dumaguete is a famous landmark of the city. Built in 1811, the watchtower was constructed to warn residents of the impending danger by Moro pirate attacks in search of slaves.The Dumaguete belfry was built among one of the four watchtowers of the town just right next to the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria along Perdices street fronting Rizal Park.
Its marker states:
The Campanario De Dumaguete was built upon one of the four original massive watchtowers that parish priest Don Jose Manuel Fernandez De Septien built in the 1760's to discourage Moros from pillaging the town. The two layers which are now known as the Belltower or the Campanarion were added during the administration of Fray Juan Felix De La Encarnacion in 1867.
Locals, tourists and devotees visit the belfry to light candles and offer prayers at the grotto of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. There’s a small souvenir shop near the grotto that sells candles, rosaries and other religious items.
Today, the towering historical marker now stands witness of Dumaguete City’s growth and progress through the years and years to come.
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Dumaguete (estimated cost of Php4,000++, round trip, one hour and 15 minutes).