The City of Bais is a 3rd class component city located in the province of Negros Oriental belonging to Region 7 or the Central Visayas Region. It is situated 45 kilometers away from Dumaguete City, the provincial capital. Bais is known as the "Sugar City of Negros Oriental" because it is the largest producer of raw sugar in the province.
Occupying the eastern coast of Negros Island, Bais City is bounded on the north by the municipality of Mabinay; on the south by the City of Tanjay; on the northeast by the municipality of Manjuyod; and on the west by the city of Bayawan. Its territory also includes two islets (Olympia and Dewey) and the Bais Bay. This translates to a total area of 319.64 square kilometers which in turn is subdivided into 35 barangays.
According to a recent census, the total population of Bais is 74,722 people. They engage in agriculture and fish production as a source of livelihood. In fact, 73% of the city’s land area is devoted to agricultural activities with sugarcane as the major commercial crop. It is home to two sugar mills, namely the Central Azucarera de Bais which is one of the oldest in the country and the Universal Robina Sugar Milling Corporation (URSUMCO).
Fish production, on the other hand, is the city’s second income generator. About 428 hectares of its land area is dedicated to fishpond operation and fish culture. Bangus (milkfish) culture is the dominant activity. Bais Bay also serves as a rich breeding and fishing ground of diverse species of marine life. It is also widely known to have one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the area.
Bais City is best known for its premier attraction – the dolphin and whale watching tour off the coast of Tañon Strait. To experience this one-of-a-kind adventure, tourists must first go to Capiñahan Wharf, the most convenient take-off point to Tañon Strait which is a narrow channel between the islands of Negros and Cebu right across Bais Bay. Several motorized boats and well-trained tour guides are available in the wharf. The boat ride would approximately take 45 minutes.
Upon reaching the strait, tourists have to be patient and wait for these very friendly, lovable and intelligent sea creatures to appear. One may clap his hands or whistle for them to appear. Tourists are advised to observe proper behavior during this tour. Touching, feeding and swimming with the dolphins and whales are strictly prohibited to avoid any accidents and to preserve the natural instincts of these creatures. There are sea wardens who regularly patrol the area to ensure that the whales and dolphins are protected.
The best time to experience dolphin and whale watching is from March to October when the seas are smooth and calm with almost zero wind velocity. Pantropical spotted, spinner and bottlenose dolphins are the most common species found in Tañon Strait.
After your close encounter with the fascinating dolphins and whales, the Manjuyod White Sandbar is the next perfect place to stop for lunch and to relax and unwind. This sandbar is a 7-kilometer stretch of powder-white sand that disappears at high tide, leaving sparkling blue water ideal for swimming and snorkeling. There are 4 cottages on the sandbar which during high tide looks like they are floating on the sea. These cottages can be rented for an overnight stay at Php 3,500.00, but docking on the sandbar is for free.
One of the best times to visit Bais City is during the 1st week of September in time for the Sipong Festival, a weeklong celebration featuring a street dancing competition showcasing the social and cultural heritage of the city. The Sipong was a practice of the city’s ancestors as a form of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest of sugarcane, various crops and sea products of the 35 barangays of the city.
Another highlight of the Sipong Festival is the Salawaki and Seafood Festival. The delicious salawaki or sea urchin (Tripneutis gratilla), believed to have an aphrodisiac effect, is a must-try in the city. Other seafoods such as squids, bangus, kitong, oysters, crabs and shellfishes are also present for everyone to savor.
The Philippines is believed to have the longest Christmas celebration in the world. True to this statement, Bais City celebrates the Pasko sa Bais Festival during the whole month of December. Local and foreign tourists will surely be amazed and thrilled by this Christmas fair featuring a 20-meter gigantic Christmas tree and other decors around the City Plaza.
Administratively the Component City of Bais City is subdivided into 35 barangays. 2 compose the center of the city wheras the other 33 are in the outlying areas. Some of them are even several kilometers away from the center of the Component City. The most populous are Hangyad, Rosario, San Isidro, Tamogong, Consolacion, Katacgahan (Tacgahan), La Paz, Valencia, Olympia, Biñohon, Tangculogan, Dansulan, Mansangaban, Cambanjao, Cambaguio.
Among the bigger cities and municipalities in the neighborhood of Bais City there are San Carlos City (Negros Occidental) 99 km north, Dumaguete City 35 km south-east, City Of Kabankalan (Negros Occidental) 56 km north-west, City Of Carcar (Cebu) 80 km north-east, City Of Bayawan (Tulong) 48 km west, City Of Himamaylan (Negros Occidental) 63 km north-west, Cauayan (Negros Occidental) 69 km north-west, City Of Naga (Cebu) 99 km north-east, Hinigaran (Negros Occidental) 81 km north-west as well as 61 km north-north-east of Bais City the component city City Of Guihulngan.