Famous for being the place where the National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was exiled, Dapitan City is located on
the northeastern coast of Zamboanga Del Norte Province. Dapitan is bounded on the north by Sulu Sea, on the east by the towns
of Sibutad and Rizal, on the south by La Libertad and Mutia, and on the west by Dipolog City and the towns of Polanco
and Pinan. Terrain is characterized by hills and mountains in the interior and a narrow coastal plain where the city
center is found.
Dapitan has a total land area of 390.5 square kilometers. It is about 650 kilometers southwest of
Manila. It is accessible by air via Dipolog domestic airport which is 15 kilometers away.
It can also be reached by boat through its own port. Travelling to Dapitan using vehicles is made possible through
the Roll On Roll Off (RO-Ro) service of the western Strong Republic Nautical Highway.
Most of the people of Dapitan are migrants from the Visayas provinces and therefore Cebuano and Ilonggo are the
major dialects spoken. English and Tagalog however, are widely used especially as a medium of instruction and for business and
government transactions. Majority of the residents are Roman Catholics while the rest belong to the Iglesia Ni Cristo,
Protestant, and Islam. The city celebrates the Kinabayo Festival depicting the Spanish-Moorish Wars where St. James, its patron saint,
played a critical role.
Dapitan's economy is basically anchored on farming, fishing and tourism. Coconut is the main farm product. Fishing is greatly
supported with the fish port in Taguilon District. With the opening of Pulauan Port to RO-Ro Service, tourist arrivals has greatly increased.
Being the main gateway to Mindanao using the western nautical highway and considering raw materials available,
the following industries or businesses are recommended:
- Hotels and resorts
- Industrial estate and commercial complexes
- Cold storage facilities especially for the fishing industry
- Organic products such as fertilizer and high value commercial crops
- Cut flower and ornamental plants
- Rubber processing - Zamboanga peninsula is a major rubber producer
- Halal foods for export
- seaweed processing - nearby Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are known seaweed producing provinces
- Oleochemical products - an offshoot of the coconut industry
- Consumer goods such as processed foods, apparel, fashion accessories using native designs
- jewelry especially pearls
Places of Interest/ Tourist Spots in Dapitan City
- Dakak Beach - a well-known resort
- Rizal Shrine
- St. James Church - Its frontyard contains a relief map of Mindanao in grass designed by Jose Rizal himself
- Ilihan Hill
- Sunset Boulevard - grea for strolling
- Silinog island
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