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NEGROS OCCIDENTAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

Where to Stay in Negros Occidental | Brief History | Negros Occidental Descriptions
Historical Attractions | Cultural Attractions | Natural Attractions | Religious Attractions
Man-Made Attractions | Festivals and Special Interest Tours

BRIEF HISTORY

The island of "BUGLAS" was discovered in April 1565 by the crew members of the boat Esteban de Rodriguez, making Juan de Aguirre the first Spaniard to set foot on the island. From the accounts of these men, it was inhabited by short, dark-skinned natives called "Negrillos" - which gave rise to the present name of the island: NEGROS.

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL DESCRIPTIONS

Often referred to as the land of genteel people and large sugar plantations, Negros Occidental is blessed with beautiful natural scenery, unexplored waterfalls and mountains, white sand beaches, and crystal springs.

Negros Occidental’s wealth has always been its land, its charm in its people, its pride in its cuisine. These elements make for a destination that is best when experienced.

Geography
Strategically located as part of the Western Visayas Region, the province of Occidental Negros occupies the western portion of Negros Island. It is bounded to the north by the Visayan Sea; to the east by the province of Oriental Negros and partly by Tañon Strait; to the west by the Strait of Guimaras; and to the south by Sulu Sea.

Political Subdivision
The province is composed of 13 cities and 19 municipalities.

Climate
Negros Occidental has two pronounced seasons, wet (June-November) and dry ( December - May).

Population
The most recent census on population conducted on May 2000 shows that Negros Occidental has a population count of 2,565,723.

Language / Dialect
Hiligaynon – 78.81 % as of 1995
Cebuano – 21.01%"

Major Industries
Negros Occidental is the “Sugarbowl of the Philippines.” Sugar was introduced to the Negrense during the Spanish period and has been the main industry of the province since then. Other industries include aqua culture, agribusiness, steel fabrication, and beer breweries.

Economic
Crocodile Farm
(Bgy. Abuanan, Bago City).
An extension of the Palawan Crocodile Farm Institute.

Sericulture Farm (Bago City).
Specializes in the production of raw silk from the cocoon of silk worm. Managed by the Organization on Industrial Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA), a Japanese private organization.

Hanao Hanao Community Development (Bago City).
Community members were trained on “patadyong” weaving using handloom and pottery making as an alternative source of income during the milling season.

B-4 Duck Farm (Bago City).
One of the biggest producers of duck eggs in Negros, accounting for around 30,000 heads.

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HISTORICAL TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

Revolutionary Markers
These markers in Bago and Silay Cities and E.B. Magalona, 22 km. and 15 km. from Bacolod City, respectively; commemorate the spots where local revolutionaries fought against Spanish authorities during the Negros revolution of 1898 and the American forces later on.

Araneta and Lacson Monuments (Bago City and Talisay)
22 km. and 6 km. from Bacolod City, respectively; in memory of two great leaders of the Negros revolution.

Fountain of Justice (Bacolod City)
Where the Capitulation of Bacolod was signed between the Spanish authorities and revolutionary forces.

Instituto Rizal (Bacolod City)
First public school established in Bacolod in 1902.

Church of Talisay (Talisay)
7 km. from Bacolod City; constructed in the early part of 1900s; where the remains of Fr. Fernando Cuenca and Gen. Aniceto Lacson are being kept.

The House of Don Mariano Ramos (Bacolod City).
Ancestral home of the late Don Mariano Ramos, first appointed Presidente Municipal of Bacolod.

Capitol Building (Bacolod City)
Imposing structure of Romanesque neo-classical architectural design, official seat of government of the Province of Negros Occidental; served as headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

Old Fort at Himamaylan (Himamaylan)
83 km. from Bacolod City; served as a garrison when the town became the capital of Negros in 1795.

Yulo Ancestral House (Bacolod City)
By the sea; built in the early part of the 1900s; residence of Don Alfredo Yulo, mayor of Bacolod at the coming of World War II.

Balay Negrense (Silay City)
Originally the house of Victor Gaston, the eldest son of the Frenchman Yves Germaine Leopold Gaston who developed the sugar industry in northern Negros.

Ancestral House of Don Francisco Rodriguez
Built in 1938; occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1941.

Balay ni Tan Juan (Bago City)
Built in the 19th century, this house once served as the residence of Gen. Juan Anacleto Araneta. Also known as “Balay na Bato”.

Old Bago Bridge (Bago City)
This bridge played a crucial role during the battle for the liberation of Negros islands against the Japanese.

Japanese Shrine (Bgy. Paraiso, Sagay City)
Commemorates the 2nd World War.

Eusebio Lopez Memorial School (Bgy. Paraiso, Sagay City)
Served as an incarceration area of captured American pilots and soldiers. Was also the headquarters of the 4th Flt. Division of the Japanese Imperial Airforce.

WWII Memorial Wall (Cadiz City)
A monument to Negrenses who figured prominently in the liberation of Negros from the Japanese Imperial Forces.

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CULTURAL TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

Ancestral House of Dr. Soriano (Bacolod City).
Constructed in 1901, the house was made of hardwood with fine carvings; served as a hospital during the Japanese occupation.

Hofileña Ancestral House (Silay City).
15 km. from Bacolod city; home to a collection of rare art pieces, antiques and paintings done by Luna, Rizal, and Hidalgo; venue of the first wood printing in Negros.

Hacienda Fe Ancestral House of Don Eusebio Uriarte Y Hermanos (La Carlota City).
42 km. from Bacolod City; where the Circulo de Agriculture, a planters organization, formed to undertake an anti-locust campaign.

The House of Don Mariano Ramos (Bacolod City).
Ancestral home of the late Don Mariano Ramos, first appointed Presidente Municipal of Bacolod.

Gaston Farm House (Silay City).
15 km. from Bacolod City; typical example of a "sugar baron's mansion"; coverted into a museum and known today as the "Balay Negrense".

Ramos Residence
European architectural design; became the wartime residence of General Taga-ishi Kono, Provincial commander of the Japanese Imperial Army.

Negros Museum
Showcases the important historical events which made Negros the "sugar bowl of the Philippines."

Bernardino-Ysabel Jalandoni Museum
Built in 1912; converted into a Family Museum by the Silay Heritage group.

Lizares Ancestral House (Talisay).
One of the elaborately constructed mansions in Negros Occidental.

Hacienda House of Don Teodolfo M. Infante (Hacienda Guadalupe, San Carlos City).
Built in 1929 with intricate woodwork, it is considered to be the most beautiful hacienda house of that era; an architectural heritage masterpiece.

Steam Locomotives (San Carlos Milling Inc., San Carlos City).
Dates back to 1911. Used to bring sugar planters from the Hacienda to the Sugar Mills.

Central Azucarera dela Carlota Steam Loco (La Carlota City).
About 17 ALCO (American Locomotive Company) and Baldwin made steam locos are owned by Central Azucarera dela Carlota. About 9 are in running condition.

Muscovado Sugar Mills (Hacienda Canman-ug, La Carlota City).
These Muscovado Sugar Mills are forerunners of Modern Sugar Mills. The ruins of the Muscovado Sugar Mill which was constructed in 1910 and powered by an A & W Smith Steam Company engine manufacturer in 1883 in Glasgow. This is the only mill ruin left in Negros with stoves and caldrons still intact.

La Granja Agricolas (La Granja, La Carlota City).
Established in 1881. An Agricultural Model Farm or La Granja Modelo was created through a Royal decree issued on Nov. 15, 1881 but opened on July 8, 1884 with Engr. Jose sanchez as its 1st Director.

Ma-ao Sugar Central (Bago City).
Built in the early part of 1918. One of the oldest sugar centrals of Negros.

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NATURAL TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

Patag Valley Trekking (Silay City).
45 km. from Bacolod City; located 400 meters above sea level between the highlands of Mt. Silay and Mt. Marapara; home of the Philippines’ spotted deer; highlight of the visit is a skyline ride.

Danjugan Island (Cauayan).
177.5 km. from Bacolod City; 3 hectare reserve marine sanctuary, a virtual marine paradise to lovers of the underwater world.

Busac-Busac Spring (Hacienda Reboton, Bgy. Tinampa-an, Cadiz City).
Main source of potable water in Cadiz City.

Alinsiyawan Falls (Sitio Aglolo-od, Bgy. Palmpas, San Carlos City).Negros Occidental Falls
35 min. more or less by private vehicle and 1 hr. by public transport from Pamhawan proper direct to falls passing hacienda Euskara, Hacienda Neguri Pamhawan or Hacienda Basconia to Sitio Aglolo-od.

Sipaway Island (Eastern part of San Carlos City).
Also known as Refugio Island. Has century-old Balete tree, white sand beach resort, Lopez beach house for snorkeling & scuba diving, a private wharf and recreation center, and a huge public swimming pool.

Codcod Rice Terraces (Bgy. Codcod, San Carlos City).
28 km. from city proper. One of the 2 main sources of rice and vegetables.

Choco Hills (Bgy. Prosperidad, San Carlos City).
Can be seen along the Negros Translink Ecotourism Highway. Differ in sizes and variations. Distance is 18 km.

Kipot Twin Falls (Bgy. Mailum, Bago City).
Consists of a stream separated by a sharp overhang that splits the water into 2 seemingly identical cascades.

Bagacay Falls & Asaw Asaw Falls (Bgy. Mailum, Bago City).
The falls are located at a place accessible only by foot; is an ideal retreat haven for nature lovers.

Rafael Salas Park and Nature Center (Guintubdan, Bago City).
A special interest park that serves as a gateway to the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park.

Guintubdan and Mt. Kanlaon Natl. Park
(Sitio Guintubdan, Bgy. Ara-al, La Carlota City).
A tropical hideaway beneath a canopy of forest. Has springs, waterfalls, giant trees, ferns, among others.

Isla Puti (Escalante).Negros Occidental Beach
101 km. from Bacolod City; immense sand bar islet jutting out of the sea and measuring about 2 hectares in area.

Sagay Marine Sanctuary (Sagay).
86 km. from Bacolod City; established in 1978; an aggregate area of 200 hectares covering the so-called carbin reef, maca reef, maca shoal, and panal reef.

Ubong Cave (Hinobaan).
202 km. from Bacolod City; system of cave passages situated at the coastline of Sitio Ubong. Ideal for beginner spelunkers.

Pating Cave (Kabankalan).
Highest cave found in the eastern part of Bgy. Magballo.

Hagdanan Cave (Kabankalan).
Named so because of the natural formation of stairs made of stone inside the cave leading to the water under it.

Carbin Reef & Maca Reef (Sagay City).
Serves as a breeding ground of diverse marine species.

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RELIGIOUS TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

Balaang Bukid ni Maria
(Sitio Tongo, Bgy. Palampas, San Carlos City).
About 6.5 km. from city proper. Features Stations of the Cross with a Holy Cross statue of the Blessed Mother and a shrine overlooking the scenic areas of San Carlos.

Church of Our Lady Of Peace and Good Voyage (Lapaz, La Carlota City).
One of the early few churches of Romanesque architectural design. Built in 1876-77 and made of Silay red brick and corral stones.

St. John the Baptist Church (Bago City).
It is a century-old edifice built during the time of Fr. Juan Penido, with Mexican architecture. Located at the southern portion of Bago Public Plaza.

San Vicente Ferrer Church (Sagay City).
2 centuries old church. Devotees flock to the shrine of San Vicente every Friday, especially the 1st Friday of the month.

Chapel of Carthweels (Manapla).
Main attraction in the Chapel is Christ crucified in a cartwheel, as well as the altar made from a large solid rock and the virgin Mary carved out of solid "santol" tree.

San Sebastian Cathedral
Bishop's Palace built by Fr. Julian Gonzaga served as refuge for the Spanish military and civil officials.

The Church of San Diego (Silay City).
15 km. from Bacolod City; Basilica type of architectural work constructed in the 1920s.

Mural of Birhen sang Barangay (Bacolod City).
Large mural mosaic of 95,000 pieces of shells of various species in their natural colors. A unique work of art found at the Chapel of Sta. Clara.

Sta. Ana Grotto (San Carlos City).
Built by Atty. Silverio Eusebio in the late 1960s; gained attraction among those whose illnesses and disabilities were miraculously "cured."

La Carlota Church (La Carlota City).
Constructed in 1876 out of corals and ducks eggs.

Church of Valladolid
Constructed in 1877 under the supervision of the Recollect friar Carlos Ubeda.

Church of St. Joseph
Found at the heart of Victorias Milling Co. complex; features the world-renowned mural of "Christ" done in psychedelic colors.

Church of Vito (Sagay City).
This century-old church is a mecca of the devotees of St. Vincent Ferrer.

Church of St. Magdalene (Hinigaran).
Built in 1858, the church was said to have a bell made of silver and gold weighing 480 kg.

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MAN-MADE TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

La Fortuna Nature and Wildlife Lagoon
(Sitio Katingal-an, Bgy. Buluangan, San Carlos City).
Owned by the Ledesma family. About 12 km. from the city proper. Lagoon has Taiwan-variety and Tilapia fishes. Area is planted with various fruit and hardwood trees. Has several species of birds & domesticated animals.

Negros Museum
Showcases the important historical events which made Negros the "sugar bowl of the Philippines."

Fort San Juan
Constructed in 1888; served as the jail for prisoners during the Spanish era.

Mambucal Mountain Resort (Murcia)
30 km. from Bacolod City; gateway to the Mt. Kanlaon National Park; built as a spa in 1928; situated at an altitude of roughly 2,000 ft. above sea level on the north-western foot of Mt. Kanlaon.

FESTIVALS AND SPECIAL INTEREST TOURS

Masskara Festival (Bacolod City; every October).Negros Occidental Festival
A masquerade balll and beaming images of smiling masks; street dancing and stomping to the frenzied beat of Latin sambas; depicts the Negrenses’ happy disposition despite adversities in life.

Pasalamat Festival (La Carlota City; every May).
Based on the tradition of giving thanks to the Gods of the elements after a bountiful harvest by the ancients in "Buglas".

Kali-kalihan Festival (Don Salvador Benedicto; every November).
Celebration of age-old practice showcasing ancient skills in martial arts and beliefs in the forces of nature; walking on live charcoal is one of the highlights.

Pinta Flores Festival (San Carlos City; every November).
Coined from the words "pinta" and "flores", depicts the tradition of welcoming visitors through dancing as in the "pintados" during the coming of the Spaniards in the Visayas. Flowers instead of tattooes are painted on the bodies and constumes of the dancers.

Cadiz Ati-atihan (Cadiz City; every January).
Festival in honor of the Sto. Nino, patron of Cadiz City believed to have created miracles protecting the city from the invading pirates a long time ago.

Negros Occidental Sinulog FestivalSinulog (Ilog and Kabankalan; every January).
Re-enactment of the battle between the Christian forces and the invading Moro pirates in the Ilog river; commemorates the defiance of Datu Manyabog against the conquering forces of Gov. Emilio Saravia.

Ugyonan (Snake Festival) (every May 1).
Also known as “cooperation,” it is celebrated through sports competition, street dancing, cultural events, and float parade.

Sinigayan Festival (Sagay City, every 3rd week of March / March 19).
An annual thanksgiving in honor of St. Joseph, showcasing the best of Sagay’s arts, culture, products, and people.

Babaylan Festival (Bago City; Feb. 19).
A unique festival that explores the Babaylan folktales, rediscovers music, dances, rituals, and other artistic endeavors of the early Bagonhons. Held during the city’s charter anniversary celebration.

Al Cinco De Noviembre (Bago City, every Nov. 5).
A historical festival that commemorates the victory of the Negrenses’ bloodless revolt against the Spaniards in 1898.

Bailes De Luces (La Castellana; Dec. 30 – Jan. 5).
The town’s celebration of Charter Day and a befitting culmination of the Christmas season, the festival is conceptualized as a festival of hope and thanksgiving.

Dinagsa Ati Atihan Festival (Cadiz City; 4th Sunday of January).
A revelry from sunrise to sunset, with ceaseless and rhythmic beating of drums. A sea of humanity in cadence with black soot “ati” performing rituals, all in honor of El Señor Sto. Niño.

Kadalagan Festival (Victorias City; March 21).
The festival is in commemoration of the city’s Charter Anniversary which falls every 21st of March and goes with week-long festivities.

Banana Festival (La Castellana; April 1 – 5).
A harvest festival that opens on the first day of April, showcasing the different varieties of banana which is abundant in the municipality.

Pana-ad sa Negros (Bacolod City; April 12 – 21).
It is one grand celebration bringing together all the ten cities and twenty two municipalities in a showcase of trade, tourism, commerce and industry, arts and culture, beauty and talent, as well as games and sports.

Hinugyaw sa Hinigaran Festival (Hinigaran; Apr. 25-30).
“Hinugyaw,” meaning rejoice/revelry in the local dialect, is celebrated every 25th to 30th of April every year.

Manlambus Festival (Escalante City; May 30).
“Manlambus” is a Visayan term meaning “to strike with a club” - because its coastal waters were then teeming with fishes that catching them could be done simply by clubbing.

Mudpack Festival (Murcia; June 24).
The festival is a symbolic celebration of man’s return to primitive time when he was closer to nature.

Minuluan Festival (Talisay City; Sept. 4-10).
A celebration honoring the Creator and the Minuluan tribe.

Kansilay Festival (Silay City; Nov. 5-13).
The 9-day celebration starts with the celebration of “ El Cinco de Noviembre “, a one-day bloodless revolution in Silay which caused the surrender of the Spanish civil guards.

Ilonggo Sarsuela Festival (Silay City; last week of Nov.).
The best ilonggo sarsuela scripts written by Silaynon playwrights are produced by independent theater groups, school-based drama clubs, and barangay cultural ensembles.

Festival of Lights and Music (La Carlota; Dec. 16-31).
The Festival of Lights and Music is the very onset of festival season in La Carlota City.

Special Interest Tours

Trekking
Mt. Kanlaon, the highest peak in the Visayan island, rises 2456m above the fertile lowland plains of northern Negros. The mountain is an active volcano the last major eruption was in 1978. Government geologists monitor the mountain constantly, but eruptions are difficult to predict, and there is an element of risk. It has been closed to trekkers intermittently in the past, but there are plans to open it again, trekkers should check with authorities before planning any hike.
Despite its fiery reputation, Mt. Kalaon is a popular trek. The main attraction is the dense forest clinging to the mountain, and the views from the top are magnificent.

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Where to Stay in Negros Occidental | Brief History | Negros Occidental Descriptions
Historical Attractions | Cultural Attractions | Natural Attractions | Religious Attractions
Man-Made Attractions | Festivals and Special Interest Tours

   

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