Dipolog is the Philippine Holiday Destination that "Westerners" haven't yet discovered.
This small city has SO MUCH POTENTIAL, that it is INEVITABLE that it will become a Popular Tourist Destination.
The City Council will probably hate me for saying that it has a kind of Charm that you can only find in "Backwoods" type of undeveloped "Third World" locations. But at the same time Dipolog is a busy, bustling, town, full of activity.
If you're a Wealthy Tourist who likes Unashamed Luxury, High Class Entertainment, 5 Star Accommodation, and doesn't mind paying for it, then forget Dipolog, well for a decade at least. But if you want Local Character, Friendly People, New Experiences, Beautiful Scenery and Value For Money, then Dipolog is a "Little Gem".
Zamboanga del Norte is unfortunately the Poorest Province in the whole of the Philippines, and consequently the shortage of funds is always goinging to be a problem for places in this Region who want to try to develop themselves and provide facilities that will attract visitors and investors. But to give Dipolog's City Council, and it's people, a well deserved Pat On The Back, I must add that this little city has the Highest Prosperity of any town in the Province, and that only comes from "Switched On Local Government" and a "Hard Working Population".
Dipolog's "Trump Card" is it's geographical location. Right on the coast, in a Large Bay with a Mountainous Backdrop, and facing Due West across Hundreds of Miles of the Sulu Sea, Dipolog enjoys FABULOUS SUNSETS that the likes of Cebu would DIE FOR !
I've spent time in Australia and been able to compare the views offered by the "Sunrise Coast" cities of Brisbane and Sydney, with those of the "Sunset Coast" cities of Perth and Freemantle. Believe me, there's NO COMPARISON !
If there's one word that best describes Dipolog's Sunsets .... it's BREATHTAKING !
And Dipolog has Realised this. The construction of "The Boulevard" is a MASSIVE PROJECT for such a small city with limited rescources. As I have seen The Boulevard grow over the last couple of years I can picture in my mind a completed project that will rival Anything in the World, and that reminds me of facilities in some of the Best European Resorts on the Mediterranean Coast.
The last time I had a Sunset Stroll down The Boulevard, at the end of May this year, it was PACKED, and mostly with Local People. I loved the fact that while this project will become a "Magnet" attracting foreign visitors, it is also being appreciated and enjoyed by the local people too.
Maybe my appreciation of Dipolog is being "distorted" because I've fallen in love with one of its citizens and we plan to marry and settle there soon, but I don't think so.
As I get to learn more and more about the place, I think I'll probably end up writing a book about it !
I so want Dipolog to have the success and recognition it deserves, but at the same time I don't want it to become so swamped with visitors that it loses any of its character. I also want to see its citizens benefit from a development of its tourist industry, and certainly NOT to suffer through rising land prices and competition from foreign companies opening outlets there.
I'm gonna have to write my article is several parts, because it's late now and I'm falling asleep, but I still want to write about the people, the local attractions, getting there and getting around, and the drawback I have found that I think should be addressed.