Dumaguete Belfry - "Campanerio"

The Dumaguete Belfry or "Camanerio" is one of the oldest bell towers in the Visayas.  Originally constructed in the 1760's then rebuilt around 1870 the bell tower served to warn locals of impending attacks from pirates.

The Dumagete Belfry is located across the street from Rizal Park next to St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral in the heart of the city on Perdices Street.  This landmark is represented on the official seal of the City of Dumaguete and serves as a reminder to the rich history of the "city of gentle people."  No trip to Dumaguete is complete without a trip to this majestic structure. 

Dumaguete Bell Tower History

Dumaguete came from the word “Daguit” which means “to snatch”. This term was given in relation to the constant raiding attacks of the Muslim Pirates on the coastal town. It was said that the pirates would not only steal the treasures and natural resources of the island but also the beautiful maidens. Consequently, four massive watchtowers that Parish Priest Don Jose Manuel Fernandez de Septien commanded to be built in the 1760s not only to discourage these Muslim Pirates from marauding the town but also to warn the locals in Dumaguete that danger is approaching.

Among these four massive watchtowers, the Dumaguete Bell Tower which is located along the main Perdices Street right next to the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral fronting the Quezon Park is the only one that remained as the years wore on. Built in the year 1811 and restored in 1985, the belfry is one of the most significant remnants of Dumaguete City’s history and still stands proud amidst the modern buildings surrounding it. It has become one of the popular landmarks in Dumaguete City.

Best time to go to the Dumaguete Belfry

The belfry is no longer used to warn locals of impending pirate invasions but is still a central part of life here.  It's best to take in the site early in the morning or in the evenings.  In the morning this is a great place to enjoy the hustle of the Dumaguete City Market just down the street.  We recommend a stop to fruit market where you can pick up some fresh pineapple or mangos and enjoy the whirling buzz of trikes as the city comes alive.

The evenings are also a great time to take in this site.  As a central landmark this is an easy place to meet up with friends before you stroll on down to Rizal Boulevard.  Once the sun goes down the adjoining grotto is ablaze in candle light as the locals remember loved ones or make prayer requests.  Even if you are not the religious type, if you are traveling from abroad and have not seen this before it's definitely a memory worth a short walk from the boulevard.

A garden surrounds the tower and a number of different vendors that sell all sorts of religious icons, spiritual reading materials, candles, rosary beads, and keep-sakes. The long lines found at these stalls is a testimate to how religious and god-fearing the people in Dumaguete are. It is also shows the strong influence the Spaniards had over the Philippines over a century ago with the majority of the population of Dumaguete is Catholic.


It is also near the Public Market and the Dumaguete City Hall. Walking distance from the Rizal Boulevard and other tourist attractions in the city. It is about 700 meters from the Dumaguete Sea Port and less than 15 minutes from the airport. 

Dumaguete Belfry - "Campanerio"

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Religious Attractions

Dumaguete Belfry - "Campanerio"