About Bais City, Negros Oriental, Philippines

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Dumaguete | Dauin | Valencia | Zamboanguita

Bais City
is a third class city in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines.

Land Area: 319.64 km2
Population: 74,722(2010)
Barangays: 35

The land_______________________________

There are two bays in the area, hence the name "Bais". The shore line is mostly mangroves, which are in danger of destruction due to the increasing population. The richness of marine life in the bays is because of these mangroves.

Bais City's bays are widely known to have one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the area.

The Pelarta River runs beside the city center. There is, however, a dispute that the name Bais was taken after the eels locally called "Bais" that used to thrive in this river. The river has been the source of irrigation water for the nearby sugar farms. This has been vital in the success of sugar plantations in this area. This river also has a big influence on the city's geography, as it deposits sediments in the former mangrove areas during the (formerly annual) flood season. These former mangrove swamps have now dried out and become populated with residents. In the late seventies, under the government of Genaro Goñi, there was established a river control system stretching from the city center towards the low lying areas in order to lessen flooding during the rainy season.

A Brief History___________________________

In the early days of Spanish exploration, some Spaniards came upon a swampy land and docked their boats at the vicinity of the two small islets that guarded the village while exploring the place they saw natives fishing along the coast. The Spaniards approached the natives and asked for the name of the place. The natives could not understand Spanish,and believing that the Spaniards were asking for the name of their catch, the natives answered saying "Ba-is", from the day on this swampy valley of the Old Panlabangan and Talamban Hills became known as Bais.

The People______________________________

Negros Oriental is culturally-oriented towards Cebu. Most of the people who inhabit the coastal towns speak Cebuano. Other dialects spoken are Tagalog and Ilonggo.

Commerce and Industry_____________________

Bais City is the largest producer of raw sugar in Negros Oriental. There are two sugar mills in the city. The Central Azucarera de Bais was established by Tabacalera of Spain in the early 1900s and is one of the oldest in the country. The other mill, URSUMCO (Universal Robina Sugar Milling Corporation) was formerly URSUMCO (United Planters Milling Corporation) and constructed in the mid '70s by Marubeni Corporation of Japan as a project of Ignacio Montenegro (also of Spanish roots). An ethanol plant of the Universal Robina Corporation (URC) that produces bioethanol for the local market has recently been inaugurated.

Getting There and Away_____________________

Boats and fast ferries from Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor, and Dipolog depart for Dumaguete, the province's capital city, daily.

Buses serve the Bacolod-Dumaguete route several times daily.

Buses serve the Dumaguete-Cebu, Cebu -Dumaguete route several times daily.

Domestic flights are also available from Manila daily via Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines.

Other Information__________________________

The Provincial Capitol in Dumaguete was built in 1924.

The Dumaguete Bell Tower, built in 1811, used to warn residents of raiding pirates.

The Dumaguete Boulevard, along the sea, is a favorite place to relax and hang-out. Several restaurants, disco bars, and hotels line-up along it. It is also the site for food festivals, parades and other government-sponsored occasions.

Silliman University in Dumaguete, founded by American missionaries in 1901, is the only Protestant university in the country. Its 35-hectare area is a bird sanctuary. Silliman Hall serves as a museum that houses an extensive collection of locally-excavated artifacts, Sung and Ming dynasty porcelain, and voodoo paraphernalia from Siquijor. Its marine laboratory offers gear for diving and exploring the fish-rich waters.

The twin Lakes Balinsasayao and Danao, northwest of Dumaguete, are small adjacent crater lakes on an elevation of 300 meters amidst the lush forest.

The Palimpinon Hot Springs, 10 kilometers from the city, come from crevices along the Ocoy river bank.

Camp LookOut in Valencia town, west of Dumaguete, is in the foothills of Cuernos de Negros or "Horns of Negros", so named because of its twin peaks. This "Little Baguio" provides a panoramic view of the Dumaguete port and the islands of Cebu and Siquijor. Other places to see in Valencia are Tejeros, a fresh-water swimming pool flanked by verdant hills, Karolan Twin Falls, and the Filipino-Japanese-American Amity shrine in Sagbang, site of a fierce battle during World War II.

Bais City, a city in the north, is famous for its whale-watching activity. Further up north is Canlaon City, near the province´s northern border on the eastern slopes of Canlaon Volcano, which is dubbed as "The Baguio of the Visayas".

South of Dumaguete are the towns of Bacong, with its old coral church facing the sea,and Dauin, with its centuries-old towers used against marauding pirates. Zamboanguita is another town in the south, from where a pump boat may be hired to Apo Island, a popular retreat for scuba-divers.

Map of Bais City, Negros Oriental
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