On our second day stay in Dumaguete, we woke-up early because we have to travel by bus to Bais City. The City is located on the east coast of Negros island, about 45 kilometers north of Dumaguete City. Its name is derived from the Visayan word “ba-is” for brackish-water eel – a fish specie native to the City and one which has become the City’s delicacy.
Aside from being the cradle of Oriental Negros' sugar industry, Bais City has become famous for its dolphin and whale watching packages that continue to enthrall lovers of gentle cetaceans who troop to the city in the months of May to September to cruise along Bais City where if you are lucky, these entrancing mammals, untrained, leap and glide in a delightful acrobatic shows.
Then come lunchtime, we proceeded to Manjuyod White Sand Bar.The pristine seven kilometer stretch of premium white sand can be accessed via a short 15 minute boat ride from Capiñahan Wharf in the South Bais Bay. It is basically an island towards the North Bais Bay in the Tañon Strait that emerges only during low tides. On the island you can find native wooden houses built on stilts – and which, during high tide, appears to be floating on the water.
Though technically belonging to the jurisdiction of the neighboring Manjuyod town, the sand bar is closely associated to Bais City because of its proximity and popularity in the Bais area. It is also a major stopover during dolphin and whale watching. The boat is temporarily anchored so that the guests can picnic, swim, sunbathe, and laze around, snorkel or scuba dive in the waters surrounding the sand bar.
The Manjuyod Sand Bar is an estimated 600 hectare total strip area, including the submerged portions. Also known as the Sumapao Shoal, it is a certified tourist attraction because of its unique characteristic.
A native lunch of halabos na hipon, fish fillet, binagoongan and boiled okra and talong with sea weed and tomato salad on board native wooden huts in sand bar - What more could you ask for? And after a hearty lunch, you could either take a siesta or swim in the sand bar. Me? I just enjoyed taking pics and video of the place and feel the wonderful presence of nature.
I have learned that during low-tide, one could actually walk from these huts to the pier, however since it is high tide the water in the sand bar is about shoulder deep. It's about 3 pm now and we had to go back to the pier where our bus is waiting for our return trip to Dumaguete.
Time to go home now but the NATURE, HISTORY and CULTURE of Negros Oriental will continue to be in my memory - forever.