The City is endowed with numerous accessible beautiful scenic white sand beaches located along its long coast line and the two island barangays Silinog and Aliguay. The most developed of these beaches is the Dakak Beach, located in barangay Taguilon where the famous Dakak Park and Beach Resort can be found. It has natural and man-made physical attributes which has been enjoyed by so many. It is an ideal place for recreation, leisure and wholesome family activities. It offers excellent accommodation in equally well designed cottages, it also proffer a variety of international cuisine for fine dining and serves voluptuous finger licking local exotic foods and a vast repertoire of timeless traditional local cuisine.
The amenities in this resort are at par with national and international standards. Recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, horseback riding are some of those activities. There are also jet skis to help you indulge, savor and enjoy the pristine crystal clear blue waters right in Dakak.
Aside from Dakak, there are numerous white sand beaches dotting the coastline against a backdrop of very beautiful and awe inspiring mountain scenery. Some of these excellent places are developed while others are in the process of being developed and still a number of these exotic and romantic, naturally amazing places are awaiting development. These marvels could be an economic engine of growth that will catapult the local tourism industry to its new heights. It is a very promising launching platform to national prominence and to become a big player in the national and global tourism industry. Access to these places is very easy and fun with a labyrinth of barangay road network criss-crossing all over these gorgeous, stunning and attractive well-favored places. These knock-outs, drop dead places are accessible both by land and sea while enjoying the picturesque landscape of rolling distant mountain ranges.
There are also excellent dive sites for the adventurous. These sanctuaries abound with marine life and colorful variety of fishes swimming lazily around beautiful coral formations.
Another of the City’s well known tourist destination is the Rizal Park where Dr. Jose P. Rizal spent four year of his youthful life during his exile for four years from 1892 to 1896. Replica of the house where he lived during those years can be found here. One can also find in this very serene and hallowed place replicas of his hospital house, the boy’s dormitory, a guest house and even his poultry house and comfort room.
The most iconic of the structures found in the park is the water impounding dam which is still the original one constructed by Dr. Jose P. Rizal with the help of his boys student. There is also the Mi Retiro rock where Rizal is believed to have written a poem entitled “Hymno A Talisay”.
Aside from this huge historical heritage are several historical landmarks where one can also marvel in the City. The most prominent are the “Punto de Disembarco”, this place is the disembarkation site of Dr. Jose P. Rizal when he was brought here in Dapitan to start his stay in this part of the world as an exile. The Relief Map of Mindanao constructed by Rizal during his exile is still the original one. The relief map was constructed as part of his effort to beautify the town plaza to be comparable with those found in Europe. The St. James Church where Rizal used to attend Sunday masses during his sojourn here is still in existence. It is right across the Relief Map of Mindanao. Still another landmark is Ilihan Hill where the remains of the ruins of the Spanish Fortress can be found. It is located right in the middle of the City and it offers a panoramic breathtaking view of the entire place and the ravishingly stunning Dapitan Bay enclosed in an embracing arms of lush green mountains and with its gorgeous sunset that evoke serenity and melancholy.
To the south one will be awed by very dumbfounding and scenic mountain ranges and mangroves along the Dapitan River. The vast expanse of fishponds that occupies most of its marshes completes the exhilarating eye opening experience.
There are several tourist accommodation facilities that could provide lodging to visitors and guest. Guest can select from a variety choices from star quality amenities down to family budget type accommodations. All of these places combined, has the capacity to accept large group tours even during peak season of summer and the months of July and December.
The preservation and restoration of the City’s physical cultural heritage should be given utmost attention and should be supported by a strong political determination. The preservation of the local cultures with emphasis in the revival of the local non-contemporary values must be encouraged. The participation of the private sector should be pursued and provide incentives to allied tourism activities for it flourish. Strengthen and augment the government’s effort to fast track tourism oriented development programs and project.
The local tourism industry is still in its infancy although so much headway had been achieved. Compared to other local tourist destinations, the City still lag behind other major tourism destination in terms of tourist arrivals for both local and foreign. This shows that so much has still to be done to address the issue especially in developing potential tourist attractions and maintaining and improving existing ones.
A serious preservation/restoration effort of surviving existing physical cultural landmarks is needed to save it for our posterity and to showcase our rich historical heritage to the world.