Baras is a fifth class municipality in the province of Catanduanes, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 12,243 people.
The name is derived from the “badas” plant, once abundant in this location. Yet, as to what kind of vegetation “badas” is, is a subject of conjecture. Some believed that it was a kind of bamboo, now called “bagacay”. Others believed it to be some sturdy tree, but the majority believed that it is a wild rattan plant abounding in the surrounding mountains. Nevertheless, one common belief is the fact that this “badas” was a source of materials for making spears, a weapon used by the native to repel the raiders and pirates.
It is also believed that “badas” was a much in-demand material for building the native huts. Because of its abundance in the area, villagers called the place “Cabadasan”
The Municipality of Baras is one of the eleven municipalities of the island Province of Catanduanes within the Region-V (Bicol Region). It is bordered on the north by the municipality of Gigmoto, on the south by the municipality of Bato, on the east by Kaladapan Bay and the Philippines Sea; and on the west by the municipality of San Miguel. Traveling by land transportation, the municipality is approximately one and a half hour ride from the capital town of Virac.
The surface landscape within Baras is made up of varying slopes. It is dominated however by slopes ranging 18-30% (Rolling to hilly) with land area of 38.0700 square kilometers or 49.830% and 30-50% (Steep Hills and Mountains) with land area of 29.6200 square kilometers or 38.770%. comprising the last slope surfaces are slopes 0-3% (level to very gently sloping) with land area of 7.2600 square kilometers or 9.500% and 50%-Above (very steep hills and mountains).
Based on the land classification, the Municipality of Baras is divided into Alienable and Disposable lands and Forest lands. Alienable and Disposable Lands occupy land area of about 57.600 square kilometers or 75.390%. On the other hand, Forest Lands occupy only about 18.800 square kilometers or 24.610%
The municipality of Baras possesses varying soil types particularly Bantog Clay, Mountain soil, Atimodian Clay, and Luciana Clay. Most dominant soil types are Luciana Clay occupying about 56.1700 square kilometers or 73.590% and mountain soil occupying about 17.2800 square kilometers or 22.620%. The least soil types are Bantog Clay with land area of only about 2.1900 square kilometers or 2.860% and Atimodian Clay with land area of only about 0.7600 square kilometers or 0.930%.
The municipality of Baras comprises twenty-nine (29) barangays of which six (6) are urban barangays and twenty-three (23) are rural barangays. Urban barangays have a total land area of only 1.0200 square kilometers or 1.332%, made up of Barangays Bagong Sirang, Buenavista, Eastern Poblacion, San Lorenzo, Quezon and Western Poblacion. On the other hand, rural barangays comprise the 96.668%, made up of Barangays Abihao, Agban, Batolinao, Benticayan, Caragumihan, Danao, Genitligan, Guinsaanan, J.M. Alberto, Macutal, Moning, Nagbarorong, Osmena, Paniquihan, P. Teston, Putsan, Sagrada, Rizal, Puraran, San Miguel, Salvacion, Sta. Maria and Tilod.
Barangays with smaller land area are Barangays Bagong Sirang, Buenavista, Eastern Poblacion, San Lorenzo, Quezon, Western Poblacion and Sta. Maria. On the contrary, barangays with the largest land areas are Agban, Benticayan, Genitligan, J.M. Alberto, San Miguel and Tilod.