Negros Island

Negros IslandNegros Island is located in the southern Visayan Region of the Philippines and host the most beautiful beaches, tourism, and a wonderful place to visit. People from Negros are called Negrense which is pronounced Neh – Grah – Nees and are were named that by the early spanards for being dark skinned. Occidental Negros is intensely involve in christianism, majority of the people in Negros is catholic and generally are devotedly involve, celebration of festival and town fiestas each year is strongly observe in honoring the patron saint of each cities and towns Hospitality, sincerity, and fun loving is what makes the Negrense special; they welcome all visitors with a smile and make them feel at home. Negros Island is a must see tourist spot if you want to visit the real hospitality of the Filipino people.

Politically and linguistically, Negros is divided into two provinces: Negros Oriental in the Central Visayas region and Negros Occidental, part of the Western Visayas region. This division of the island, which roughly follows the mountain range in the center of the island, corresponds to the two ethno-linguistic groups. The western part (Occidental) is where the Ilonggo or Hiligaynon-speaking Negrenses are located, and the eastern portion (Oriental) is home to the Cebuano-speaking population.

The island is further subdivided into 19 cities (18 component cities and 1 highly urbanized city) and 38 municipalities. Chief cities on the island are Bacolod in Negros Occidental and Dumaguete in Negros Oriental. Negros is noted for being the country’s prime producer of sugar. Sugar cane plantations abound in the agricultural areas of the island. The island also produces cotton.

Kanlaon Volcano in the northern part of the island is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, and overlooks Bacolod. It is the highest peak on the island as well as of all the Visayas region. Other notable peaks on the island are Mt Silay and Mt Mandalagan in Negros Occidental, and Cuernos de Negros in Negros Oriental. The volcanic activity in Negros is harvested into electricity through two geothermal power plants in the island. One is located in Palinpinon, Negros Oriental, and the other, to open in 2007, is in Mailum, Negros Occidental.

Negros Island is considered the fourth largest island in the Philippines. It has some of the most beautiful diving places in the Philippines. Its white sand beaches are the gate to very popular dive sites. The famous Apo Island in the southeast; is a haven for scuba-diving; and it is only minutes away. The island consists of well protected coral reef that surrounds a volcanic island. Its dive sites are home to many kinds of aqua life including large jacks, fields of grass eels, clownfish, lots of colorful coral, and many more tropical fish.

Negros produces much of the Philippines’ sugar and is one of the wealthiest and most politically influential regions in the nation. The sugarcane farms and centrals (mills that produce raw sugar from cane) are concentrated in the north and west. Large numbers of migrant sugar workers annually cross the strait from Panay to harvest the cane. Rice, coconuts, bananas, papayas, and mangoes are secondary crops raised on Negros, and corn (maize) is the major food crop. Timber extraction and processing is important. Mineral deposits include copper, mined at Sipolay, and gypsum, coal, and rock phosphates; salt is produced in the east.

Negros Island was originally called Buglas – an old Hiligaynon word thought to mean “cut off.” It is believed that Negros was once part of a greater mass of land, but was cut off by rising waters during the Ice age. Among its earliest inhabitants were dark-skinned natives belonging to the Ati, one of several indigenous Negrito ethnic groups dispersed throughout Asia], who had a unique culture.

Thus, the Spaniards called the land Negros after the black natives they saw on their arrival on the island in April 1565. Two of the earliest native settlements, Binalbagan and Ilog, became towns in 1573 and 1584, respectively. Other settlements were Hinigaran, Bago, Marayo (now Pontevedra), Mamalan (now Himamaylan), and Candaguit (a sitio of San Enrique). In 1572 the Spanish King Philip II conferred the title of Marques de Buglas to the heirs of Juan Sebastián Elcano. The 17th and current Marques resides in Silay City, Negros Occidental.

After appointing encomenderos for the island, Miguel López de Legazpi placed Negros under the jurisdiction of the governor of Oton on Panay. In 1734, however, the island became a military district and Ilog was made its first capital. The seat of government was later transferred to Himamaylan until Bacolod became the capital in 1849.

In 1890, the island was divided into Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. On April 9, 1901, the Second Philippine Commission under the Chairmanship of William H. Taft, arrived in Dumaguete. On May 1, 1901, the civil government under American rule was established. On August 28, of the same year Dr. David S. Hibbard founded Silliman Institute now Silliman University with the help of Meliton Larena the first town mayor of Dumaguete & Hon Demetrio Larena.

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