Negros (island)

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Negros
Mount Canlaon.JPG
Mount Kanlaon
Ph locator map negros.png
Map of the Philippines showing Negros in red
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 10°00′N 123°00′E / 10.000°N 123.000°E / 10.000; 123.000Coordinates: 10°00′N 123°00′E / 10.000°N 123.000°E / 10.000; 123.000
Archipelago Visayas
Area 13,328.4 km2 (5,146.1 sq mi)
Area rank 62nd
Highest elevation 2,435 m (7,989 ft)
Highest point Kanlaon
Country
Philippines
Province Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental
Largest city Bacolod (pop. 511,820[1])
Demographics
Population 4,194,525[1] (as of 2010)
Density 315 /km2 (816 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Visayan (Hiligaynon, Cebuano)

Negros (Tagalog pronunciation: [ˈneɡros]) is an island of the Philippines located in the Visayas. It is the third largest island in the country, with a land area of 13,328 square kilometres (5,146 sq mi). Inhabitants of the island are called Negrenses.

Geography[edit]

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.


History[edit]

Negros was originally called Buglas, an old Hiligaynon word thought to mean "cut off", as it is believed that the island was separated from a larger landmass by rising waters during the last ice age. Among its earliest inhabitants were the dark-skinned Ati people, one of several aboriginal Negrito ethnic groups dispersed throughout Asia that possess a unique culture.

Upon arriving on the island in April 1565, the Spanish colonisers called the land Negros after the black natives they observed. Two of the earliest native settlements, Binalbagan and Ilog, became towns in 1573 and 1584, respectively, while other settlements of the period included Hinigaran, Bago, Marayo (now Pontevedra), Mamalan (now Himamaylan), and Candaguit (a sitio of San Enrique). In 1572, King Philip II of Spain conferred the title of Marques de Buglas to the heirs of Juan Sebastián Elcano; the current Marquis is the 17th in line, and 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 with Ilog as its first capital. The seat of government was later transferred to Himamaylan until Bacolod became the capital in 1849.

In 1890, the island was partitioned into the present-day provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. On 9 April 1901, the Second Philippine Commission under the chairmanship of William H. Taft arrived in Dumaguete. Weeks later on 1 May, the civil government under American sovereignty was established, and on 28 August, Dr. David S. Hibbard founded what is now Silliman University, with the help of the first Mayor Dumaguete, Meliton Larena, and The Hon. Demetrio Larena.

Unrecognised state[edit]

From 3 to 6 November 1898, the Negrense people rose in revolt against the local Spanish colonial government headed by politico-military governor Colonel Isidro de Castro. The Spaniards decided to surrender upon seeing armed troops marching in a pincer movement towards Bacolod. The revolutionaries, led by General Juan Araneta from Bago and General Aniceto Lacson from Talisay, bore fake arms consisting of rifles carved out of palm fronds and cannons of rolled bamboo mats painted black. By the afternoon of 6 November, Col. de Castro signed the Act of Capitulation, thus ending centuries of Spanish rule in Negros Occidental.

In memory of this event, every 5 November is observed as a special non-working holiday in the province through Republic Act № 6709 signed by President Corazon Aquino on 10 February 1989.

On 27 November 1898, the Cantonal Republic of Negros unilaterally proclaimed independence, but this was short-lived as the territory became a protectorate of the United States on 30 April 1899. The state was renamed the Republic of Negros (Spanish: República de Negros) on 22 July 1899, and eventually dissolved by the United States and annexed by the U.S. Military Government of the Philippine Islands on 30 April 1901.

Leaders[edit]

The leaders of the short-lived republic were:[2]

Economy[edit]

Sugar is the biggest industry in the island followed by gamefowl breeding[3]

Endangered Species[edit]

Negros Island and Central Philippines in general is generally recognized as a top priority area for wildlife conservation, both in terms of numbers of endemic species and severity of threat. More than half of the critically endangered species listed in the Philippines occurs in Negros and the West Visayas. It is the most threatened area of the Philippines, since it has the least remaining forest cover and the highest numbers of severely threatened endemic species and subspecies. Mt. Silay and Mt. Mandalagan are the two mountains peaks in North Negros Natural Park. These mountains have old growth forests. Threatened species recorded in this area are White-winged cuckoo shrike, Visayan Flowerpecker, Flame-templed babbler, Writhed-billed hornbill, Visayan tarictic hornbill, Rufous-lored kingfisher, Blue napped parrot, Philippine hawk-eagle. [1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]


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