Bais got its name from an elongated eel-like fish that used to abound in the locality's streams and rivers. Legend has it that when a group of Spanish engineers and surveyors asked the natives of the name of the place, they answered Bais, thinking that then foreigners were asking the name of the fish they were catching.
Bais was once a barrio of the Municipality of Manjuyod when the village headman and his followers pledged loyalty to the alcalde of the municipality. When the Americans put an end to the Spanish regime in the Philippines, Negros Oriental became a province with the late Demetrio Larena of Bais holding the distinction as its first governor.
In 1901, Bais was recognized as a town. Since then, Bais continued to move forward with remarkable persistence towards being a City and center of progress and development. The City of Bais came into being on September 1, 1968. Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos personally proclaimed Bais as a City on September 9, 1968.
At present, the City of Bais is known for its eco-tourism development highlighting its rich and highly diverse coastal and marine eco-system as well as its pristine beaches and other well-conserved natural resources.
How to get there:
Bais City is one of the five cities of the Negros Oriental Province in the Central Visayas Region (Region 7) occupying the eastern portion of Negros Island. It is easily and conveniently accessible by land travel from the nearest ports of entry. Bais City is 43 kilometers north of the Dumaguete commercial airport and 45 kilometers from the Dumaguete Sea Port.
Travel time by land from Dumaguete City, the provincial capital of Negros Oriental, is less than an hour while travel time by land from the Occidental side (Bacolod City) is four hours via the scenic Mabinay route and six hours via the San Carlos City.
Best time of the year to go:
Major cultural and tourism destinations:
- March to October - Best time for dolphin and whale watching
- Fiesta Season - (first week of September) - Lots of week-long fun and merry making
- Christmas Season - month-long Christmas festival
- Dolphin and whale watching eco-tour package during March to October;
- Sipong sa Bais Festival every September 07 each year;
- Pasko sa Bais Festival every first week of December up to second week of January;
- Agro-Industrial and Seafood Fair/ Salawaki and Seafoods Festival during the first week of September;
- Tour to Central Azucarera de Bais to be arranged through the Tourism Operations Division of Bais City;
- An educational tour to the Bais City Waste Management Center that can be arranged through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO).
Top Five Must Do's In the City:
- Enjoy dolphin watching and eco-tour. One should experience dolphin watching off the coast of the Tanon Strait between the islands of Negros and Cebu where one can get a one-of-a kind experience with the dolphins. There are 11 out of the 24 cetaceans in the Philippines that are found in Tanon Strait. Included in the eco tour package is a visit to the seven-kilometer white sand bar where sun lovers can enjoy sun bathing, beach volleyball, and other recreational activities during low tide;
- Savor the seafood feast. Among many variety, the delicious salawaki or sea urchin is a must-to-enjoy-and-eat which is believed to have an aphrodisiac effect. It is one of highlights during the Salawaki and Seafoods Festival held every first week of September in the City. Other seafood/fishery products such as squids, tilapia, bangus, kitong, oysters, crabs and shellfishes either cooked or eaten raw share the limelight during the festival;
- Be thrilled with the Christmas Fair. The Pasko sa Bais Festival, held at the City's ball field, is an annual Christmas celebration featuring a 20-meter gigantic Christmas tree and decors around the City Plaza. The Christmas Festival has continually drawn domestic and foreign tourists over the years;
- Join the fun in the Street dancing and merry making. Enjoy and watch the Sipong sa Bais Festival, a street dancing competition showcasing the social and cultural heritage of the City. Sipong was a practice of the City's ancestors as a thanksgiving after a good and bountiful harvest. It also depicted a bountiful harvest of sugarcane, various crops and sea products, coming from the 35 barangays of the city;
- Dine at the city's local restaurants such as La Planta Hotel and Restaurant, Fuyma Restaurant, Jacob's Barbecue House, and Wonka Restaurant where good food is served by friendly and accommodating staff. For native chicken and pork lovers, we recommend the Bais Tocino Country for a cook-out of grilled native chicken and pork paired with the native "puso" (rice individually wrapped in coconut leaves and steam-cooked).
For travel information, please contact Bais City Tourism Office with telephone nos. at (035) 402-8338, (035) 402-8257 or (035) 402-6629 (for reservations on the dolphin and whale watching tour package). Visit the City's website at http://baiscity.gov.ph
*The League of Cities of the Philippines is giving you 122 Reasons Why It's More Fun in the Philippines in support to the the Department of Tourism's new campaign. LCP will feature a Philippine City and its local tourism sights and sounds for you to marvel. These snapshots, we hope, can provide enough curiosity for you to make our Philippine Cities become your prime tourist destinations.
All information reflected herein are based on the submission of our member-cities and are in no way reflective of the opinion of the League or any of its officers. Excerpts from this publication, excluding photographs, maybe reproduced without authorization on condition that the source is indicated.
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