BAYAWAN CITY is situated approximately 101 kilometers from the provincial capital Dumaguete City and near the border of Negros Occidental, Philippines. It is the 5th class component city in the province of Negros Oriental. The City is bounded by the municipality of Mabinay to the north side, municipality of Sta. Catalina to the east, Tanjay City in the southeast side, Basay in the west and Kabankalan City in the northwest side.
In 1751, Spanish friars first established their settlement in Tolong Nuevo which is the former name of Bayawan. The place became a pueblo in 1872. A few years later the name of the place was changed to Bayawan by virtue of Republic Act 694. The name was derived from a tragic tale that involved a native of Bukidnon and a priest, in which the native killed the priest as vengeance.
On June 27, 1999, House Bill 7004 was passed and was set for public hearing that would convert the Municipality of Bayawan into a component city of the Province of Negros Oriental. The result of the hearing was positive, then on November 20, 2000 The Congressional Bill was revised and became House Bill No. 8191. It was only on December 30, 2000 when Bayawan formally became a City and the local city officials were sworn into office.
The City has a total land area of 69,908 hectares which is 13% of the whole province total land area. The urban area which consists of institutional, commercial, and central business district of Bayawan constitutes 2.3% of the city’s total area. The sub-urban area which consists of agro-industrial zones, industrial zones and human settlements constitutes 14.7% of the total land area of the City. And the rural area which is agricultural land comprises 83.1% of the total land area.
Bayawan City has a population of 101,391 people in 19,967 households. The average annual growth rate is 2.59%.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The city is primarily agricultural, thus its economy sits on agricultural platform. Revenues from land farming, livestock production, aqua-culture activities and marine fishing are a major income contribution of the City. In 2000, agricultural production was valued at 2.3 Billion, 91.4% of which came from crop production, 7.9% from livestock production, and 0.7% from fisheries.
Other investment opportunities came from agro-industry, agri-processing, processing of marine products, auction markets, fishery industry and aqua-culture. Agricultural development opens avenues on investing on feed mills, palm oil mills, rice mills, corn mills, storage and other farming and post harvest facilities and equipment.
Transport system is also another window for investors since Bayawan-Kabankalan Road Network was opened. Bayawan is the transport hub in South Negros.
Bayawan has two distinct seasons, the dry season that starts in the month of January to May; and the rainy season that starts in the months of June to December. Typhoons usually occur between May to December.
ARTS & CULTURE
Bayawan has always been known as one of the great rice producers in the country. Thus, residents celebrate annually the rice harvest through a traditional festivity. Aside from this, the Bayawanons are deeply religious and this formed part in the cultural heritage of the city:
Tawo-Tawo Festival – “Tawo-Tawo” or known as scarecrow is significantly used by most farmers in the vicinity to drive away birds, thus, farmers achieve bountiful yield during harvest. The festival features street dancing and field presentation.
Siete Dolores – This composed of seven single ladies dressed in black and goes from one house to other offering prayers during the Lenten Season. These women represent the 7 sorrows of Blessed Virgin when Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross.
Hamiling Bayawanon –This is an award that is given to any Bayawanon who made an achievement in the field of Religion, Business and Entrepreneurship, Politics and Government, Education, Peace and Order, Medicine and Public Health, Social Services, Culture and the Arts, Sports, Science and Technology and such other fields.
The awardees received a beautifully designed plaque-trophy from the city government.
The most famous delicacy in Bayawan City is “Baye-Baye” which is a concoction of roasted glutinous rice, coconut and sugar pounded or ground to achieve a unique palatability. The Baye-Baye together with the crunchy Pinipig has become a favorite and popular merienda.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Bayawan City is politically subdivided into 28 barangays:
Lourdes Falls is located in Barangay Narra, approximately 20 kilometers away from the city proper. The falls cascades in a crystal clear water that finds its way along multi-tiered levels that drop into a pool like basin, thus nature trekkers and picnickers often visits this place especially during summer days.
This spring is located in Barangay Nangka, local and foreign tourists often visit this place.
The place is 4 kilometers away from Bayawan City and is located in Barangay Nangka. It is a source for irrigation system, and the site is also open for swimming and hiking adventure.
This falls is situated in Barangay Dawis which is 43 kilometers away from the city proper. The place is ideal for bungee-jumping, swimming, and picnics.
This is situated in Barangay Cansumalig, 30 kilometers away from the City. Going to the place is already an adventure and unforgettable especially upon arriving to the magnificent fall.
Pagatban Bridge – The only steel bridge in Negros Oriental (Pagatban)
Domestic flights offer routes via Manila to Dumaguete City.
Bayawan City can be traversed through the roads of Dumaguete City. The City can be reached by non-stop luxury air conditioned or non-air conditioned Ceres buses that ply Dumaguete City-Bayawan City route at 15 minutes interval from 4:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily. Another means of transportation is the public utility van (PUV) that transports passengers.