Distance from Bacolod: 82.9 kilometers
Land Area: 38,420 hectares
Classification: 4th Class
No. of Barangays:19 Barangays
Population: 88,684 (May 1, 2000) – 93,809 (2005 Projection)
Language: Hiligaynon/Ilonggo/Cebuano/English is spoken & understood
It all started with a small settlement founded by Tenientes Francisco Rodriguez and Basilio Cordova in the year 1860, situated in the mouth of Bulanon River, which was then called Arguelles. Through the active leadership of both founders the place thrived and prospered, and eventually became a town. In 1870, the town was transferred to a bigger settlement near the sea upon orders of the Spanish Governor who renamed it Pueblo de Magallanes, know today as Barangay Old Sagay.
During the reign of Quintin Katalbas as town mayor in 1960, the name of the town was officially changed to Sagay. Legend has it that Sagay derived its name from the semi-spherical shell called sigay found abundant in the town’s many islets and shores. After the Second World War, the seat of the Municipal Government was moved to Dalusan. It was again transferred to its present site in Brgy. Rizal on December 22, 2002.
On June 11, 1996, the Municipality of Sagay was converted into a city, ratified on August 10, 1996 through a plebiscite by virtue of Republic Act 8192. During his visit to the province on August 27, 1996, then President Fidel V. Ramos formally proclaimed Sagay the seventh city of Negros Occidental, citing it as an excellent example for other striving communities. Sagay’s first City Mayor Joseph G. Marañon, is now the Governor of Negros Occidental, having been elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2003.
The big leap of the third class municipality of Sagay into a second class city was made possible through the unwavering efforts of its local officials and relentless representation of then District II Congressman Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., who authored the cityhood bill. Sagay is home to a 32,000 hectare marine reserve that includes Carbin Reef, Panal Reef, Maca Reef and Maca Shoal.
How to get there
Sagay City is a two-hour drive from Bacolod City. Public utility vehicles plying the northern Negros route pass by this progressive city. From Cebu, one can reach Sagay via Toledo in about four hours including a one-hour ride in fast ferries.
Vito Church was established during the religious administration of Recollect Friars in the mid-1850’s. Devotees flock to the Shrine of San Vicente de Ferrer in Brgy. Vito every Friday as part of their religious promise.
The Legendary Siete. Colin Garatt, author of the book, Iron Dinosaurs considered Train No. 7 as the “world’s most incredible steam survivor” and even proclaiming her a portrait of a dinosaur at the date this book was published in 1976. Siete is a three feet and six inches gauge 4-cylinder compound o-6-6-o mallet that was built in 1925 by Locomotive Baldwin Works in Philadelphia, U.S.A. Her body is ornated with green livery lined in red, her eight wheel bogie tender was done in black with bold letters painted “Insular Lumber Co.” She now stands majestically at the city public plaza attracting tourists and passersby.
Produkto Sagaynon Center is a one-stop-shop souvenir store now open to cater to all your “Pasalubong” needs and strategically located at the City’s gateway.
Balay Kauswagan or House of Progress is fast becoming the convention center in Northern Negros. An ideal venue for seminars, skills training, art exhibits, trade fairs, wedding receptions and even a place to stay when you’re into our island tour package.
Sagay City Garden & Living Tree Museum. It is a fusion of a wide variety of flowering plants, shrubs and palms in a one-hectare government lot at Sitio Chloe, Brgy. Rizal. This habitat of blooms and trees is christened as Sagay City Garden and Living Tree Museum, the first ever major project of Sagay Ladies Circle in cooperation with the City Government of Sagay.
Museo Sang Bata sa Negros is the first hands-on and interactive children’s museum outside Metro Manila with a vision to be a premiere museum that will awaken and stimulate the creative and intellectual potential of Negrense children.
Sinigayan Kahoneros is a distinctly Sinigayan sound taken from the rhythm and beat of our fisherfolk’s cadence of catching fish. The beat conveys their triumphs, their joys, their frustration, their longing and their poignant sentiments. It also mirrors the abundance of our protected seascape as these “cajon” are filled with the diverse marine species. After a day’s catch, our fishing villagers entertained themselves by tapping the “caja” or wooden boxes they used for keeping their catch.
Sagay Marine Reserve that is well-managed protected area and a balanced marine and terrestrial ecosystems with abundant resources that caters to the needs of the stakeholders towards sustainable development and progress and is considered as one of the prime eco-tourism destinations in the country.
Carbin Reef is a marine sanctuary with its huge, tongue-shaped, creamy white sandbar and its clear water offers the freshest option for swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, picnic, boating or just frolicking in the sand.
Panal Reef is another marine sanctuary which offers the best snorkeling area for tourists to enjoy the colorful corals and marine life.
Macahulom Reef is a beautiful sight with its migratory birds flocking to its shore during certain months. Its crystalline waters and pure sea breeze make boat cruise in the area a soulful experience.
Molocaboc Island. Home to fisherfolk where big jars, mangrove reforestation and a miracle hole “amatong” fishing are found.
Eusebio Lopez Elementary School Building served as the incarceration area of captured American pilots and soldiers during the World War II. It was also the headquarters of the Fourth Flight Division
Sagay City Government Center. The new city hall of Sagay City is considered among the trendsetters in the region in creating a government workplace conductive to productivity.
It was built in keeping with the vision of the city’s leadership toward a united, peaceful and progressive city which provides opportunities for residents to contribute to the actualization of human development – anchored on resourcefulness and self – reliance and based on love of God and neighbors.
The building has a floor area of 5,265 square meters and sits on a 1.5 hectare lot.
Sinigayan Festival held every 3rd week of March is an annual celebration and thanksgiving in honor of their patron St. Joseph. Sinigay sa Sagay is an expression of art and culture of the hardworking and God – fearing Sagaynons displayed and exhibited during the Annual Sinigayan Festival as eloquent assertion of thanksgiving on the past year.
It is a native dance evolved from the religious rituals of our forefathers passed down from generation to generation enriched by the intermingling of diverse Filipino customs and traditions, now to become part of the beautiful Sagaynon culture.
Visit Sagay City’s Christmas Fair and watch with delight the burst of colors at this time of the year…..
Sagay City is the 2002 champion of the much talked about Negros Tour of Lights.