Negros Oriental

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Negros Oriental
Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol in Dumaguete
Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol in Dumaguete
Flag of Negros Oriental
Official seal of Negros Oriental
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 09°45′N 123°00′E / 9.750°N 123.000°E / 9.750; 123.000Coordinates: 09°45′N 123°00′E / 9.750°N 123.000°E / 9.750; 123.000
Country  Philippines
Region Negros Island Region (NIR/Region XVIII)
Founded March 10, 1917
Capital Dumaguete
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Roel Degamo (PDP-LABAN/UNA)
 • Vice Governor Mark Macias (Liberal Party)
 • Total 5,385.53 km2 (2,079.36 sq mi)
Area rank 18th out of 80
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 1,286,666
 • Rank 18th out of 80
 • Density 240/km2 (620/sq mi)
 • Density rank 33rd out of 80
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 6
 • Municipalities 19
 • Barangays 557
 • Districts 1st to 3rd districts of Negros Oriental
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6200 - 6224
Dialing code 35
Spoken languages Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Filipino, English[3]

Negros Oriental (Filipino: Silangang Negros; Cebuano: Sidlakang Negros), also called Oriental Negros or Eastern Negros, is a province in the Philippines located in the Negros Island region. It occupies the southeastern half of the island of Negros, with Negros Occidental comprising the north-western half. It also includes Apo Island - a popular dive site for both local and foreign tourists.

Negros Oriental faces Cebu to the east across the Tañon Strait and Siquijor to the south east (which happened to be part of the province). The primary spoken language is Cebuano and the predominant religious denomination is Roman Catholicism. Dumaguete City is the capital, seat of government, and most populous city of the province.


Negros Island, the third largest island in the Philippines, is believed to have once been part of the island of Mindanao, but was cut off by rising waters at the end of the last ice age.[4]

Among the early inhabitants of the island were Negritos, as well as Malays and Han Chinese.[5] They called the island "Buglas", a native word which is believed to mean "cut off".[4]

The Dumaguete Church with its belfry built in the 1760s and 1870s to warn townsfolk of attacks by marauding pirates. (1891)

Spanish explorers on the expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi first came to the island in April 1565. Legazpi dropped anchor in Bohol and sent his men to scout the island.[5] Because of the strong currents of the Tañon Strait between Cebu and Negros, they were carried for several days and forced to land on the western side of the island. They reported seeing many dark-skinned inhabitants, and they called the island "Negros" (Negro means "black" in Spanish). The island was sparsely settled at the time, except for a few coastal settlements including Ilog and Binalbagan. In 1571, Legaspi assigned encomiendas on the island to 13 of his men.[5] Augustinian friars began the Christianization of the island the next year. The island was administered as part of the jurisdiction of Oton until 1734 when it became a military district, and Ilog became the capital of the island. The capital was transferred to Himamaylan in 1795. Negros became a politico-military province in 1856 and the capital was transferred to Bacolod.

Due to its proximity to Mindanao, the southeastern coast of Negros was in constant threat from Moro marauders looking for slaves, and watchtowers were built to protect the Christian villages. The Moro raids and Negros Oriental's distance from the Negros capital in Bacolod induced 13 Recollectionist priests to petition for the division of the island in July 1876.[5] The island of Negros was then divided into the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental by a royal decree executed by Governor General Valeriano Weyler on January 1, 1890. Dumaguete was made the first capital of Negros Oriental. In 1892, Siquijor became a part of Negros Oriental, having previously been administered by Spain under the politico-military province of Bohol.

The Philippine Revolution reached the province in 1898, disrupting government functions but without bloodshed. Revolutionary troops in the province were composed mostly of farm laborers and other prominent people of the Negros Oriental province who were organized and led by Don Diego de la Viña. The Spanish government in Dumaguete was overthrown on November 24, 1898. Later, the Negros Occidental area under the leadership of Gen. Araneta only, in contrast to the Negros Oriental area under the leadership of Don Diego de la Viña, formed the Cantonal Republic of Negros, a separate government from the more familiar Malolos Republic established in Luzon.[6] In 1901 the Negros Oriental province was reorganized by the United States and a civil government was established with Demetrio Larena as governor. The American government made Siquijor a "sub-province" of Negros Oriental. Negros Oriental became a province under the American civil government on March 10, 1917. In 1934 Negros Oriental became a corregimiento, a separate military district. Under the American colonial government, transportation infrastructure was developed with improvements of roads and new bridges.[7]

During World War II, the province was invaded by Japanese forces and many residents were forced to flee to the mountains to escape.[8] Negros Island was liberated by combined Filipino & American troops with the local Negrosanon guerillas attacking the Japanese on August 6, 1945. The 7th, 73rd, 74th and 75th Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Commonwealth Army were established from 1942 to 1946 and the 7th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary was active from 1944 to 1946 at the Military General Headquarters in Negros Oriental. They started the engagements of the Anti-Japanese Imperial Military Operations in Negros Oriental from 1942 to 1945 against the Japanese Imperial forces.

On September 17, 1971, Siquijor finally became an independent province by virtue of Republic Act No. 6396.


Rock formations at Apo Island.


Negros Oriental occupies the south-eastern half of the island of Negros, with Negros Occidental comprising the western half. It has a total land area of 5,402.30 km².[9] A chain of rugged mountains separates Negros Oriental from Negros Occidental. Negros Oriental faces Cebu to the east across the Tañon Strait and Siquijor to the south-east. The Sulu Sea borders it to the south.

The province's topography is characterized by low, grooved mountain ranges which mostly lie close to the shoreline. At the southern end of the province is the Cuernos de Negros (Horns of Negros) stratovolcano which rises to a height of 1864 meters. At the northern end of the province is Mount Canlaon, the highest peak in the island with a height of 2465 meters and an active volcano. There are a few plateaus in the interior to the west of the province.

One of the landmarks of Dumaguete is the Dumaguete Bell Tower which stands next to the St Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.[10] It once used to warn the city of impending pirate attacks.[11]


Negros Oriental has a tropical climate. Because of the mountain range running from the north to the south, the province has two types of climatic conditions.[12] The eastern part of the province is characterized by unpronounced maximum rainfall with a short dry season lasting from one to three months. The western half of the province is characterized by a distinct wet season and dry season.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Negros Oriental is subdivided into 19 municipalities and 6 cities, which are further subdivided into 557 barangays.

Dumaguete is the provincial capital and seat of government. It is also the province's most populous city, despite having the smallest land area among all component cities and municipalities of Negros Oriental.

For purposes of legislative representation, the cities and municipalities are grouped into three congressional districts, with each district electing a congressman to the House of Representatives of the Philippines.

City or
District[13] Area
(per km²)
No. of

Amlan (Ayuquitan) 2nd 111.85 22,206 198.5 8 6203 4th 9°27′49″N 123°13′36″E / 9.4636°N 123.2266°E / 9.4636; 123.2266 (Amlan)
Ayungon 1st 265.1 46,146 174.1 24 6210 2nd 9°51′31″N 123°08′37″E / 9.8587°N 123.1436°E / 9.8587; 123.1436 (Ayungon)
Bacong 3rd 40.3 32,286 801.1 22 6216 4th 9°14′43″N 123°17′42″E / 9.2452°N 123.2951°E / 9.2452; 123.2951 (Bacong)
Bais 2nd 319.64 74,722 233.8 35 6206 3rd 9°35′29″N 123°07′17″E / 9.5914°N 123.1213°E / 9.5914; 123.1213 (Bais)
Basay 3rd 162 24,913 153.8 10 6222 4th 9°24′36″N 122°38′27″E / 9.4099°N 122.6409°E / 9.4099; 122.6409 (Basay)
Bayawan (Tulong) 3rd 699.08 114,074 163.2 28 6221 2nd 9°22′00″N 122°48′20″E / 9.3668°N 122.8055°E / 9.3668; 122.8055 (Bayawan)
Bindoy (Payabon) 1st 173.7 39,416 226.9 22 6209 3rd 9°45′21″N 123°08′27″E / 9.7557°N 123.1408°E / 9.7557; 123.1408 (Bindoy)
Canlaon 1st 170.93 50,627 296.2 12 6223 4th 10°23′11″N 123°13′28″E / 10.3865°N 123.2245°E / 10.3865; 123.2245 (Canlaon)
Dauin 3rd 114.1 25,239 221.2 23 6217 4th 9°11′28″N 123°15′56″E / 9.1911°N 123.2655°E / 9.1911; 123.2655 (Dauin)
Dumaguete 2nd 33.62 120,883 3595.6 30 6200 3rd 9°18′19″N 123°18′29″E / 9.3054°N 123.3080°E / 9.3054; 123.3080 (Dumaguete)
Guihulngan 1st 388.56 93,675 241.1 33 6214 5th 10°07′12″N 123°16′22″E / 10.1199°N 123.2728°E / 10.1199; 123.2728 (Guihulngan)
Jimalalud 1st 139.5 29,044 208.2 28 6212 4th 9°58′45″N 123°12′01″E / 9.9791°N 123.2003°E / 9.9791; 123.2003 (Jimalalud)
La Libertad 1st 139.6 38,904 278.7 29 6213 3rd 10°01′35″N 123°14′02″E / 10.0264°N 123.2338°E / 10.0264; 123.2338 (La Libertad)
Mabinay 2nd 319.44 74,187 232.2 32 6207 1st 9°43′35″N 122°55′46″E / 9.7265°N 122.9294°E / 9.7265; 122.9294 (Mabinay)
Manjuyod 1st 264.6 41,107 155.4 27 6208 2nd 9°40′46″N 123°08′57″E / 9.6795°N 123.1492°E / 9.6795; 123.1492 (Manjuyod)
Pamplona 2nd 202.2 34,906 172.6 16 6205 3rd 9°28′20″N 123°07′06″E / 9.4722°N 123.1184°E / 9.4722; 123.1184 (Pamplona)
San Jose 2nd 54.46 19,098 350.7 14 6202 5th 9°24′50″N 123°14′30″E / 9.4138°N 123.2417°E / 9.4138; 123.2417 (San Jose)
Santa Catalina 3rd 523.1 73,306 140.1 22 6220 1st 9°19′59″N 122°51′47″E / 9.3330°N 122.8631°E / 9.3330; 122.8631 (Santa Catalina)
Siaton 3rd 335.9 73,285 218.2 26 6219 1st 9°03′51″N 123°01′56″E / 9.0641°N 123.0323°E / 9.0641; 123.0323 (Siaton)
Sibulan 2nd 163 51,519 316.1 15 6201 2nd 9°21′32″N 123°17′05″E / 9.3589°N 123.2847°E / 9.3589; 123.2847 (Sibulan)
Tanjay 2nd 276.05 79,098 286.5 24 6204 4th 9°30′58″N 123°09′26″E / 9.5162°N 123.1573°E / 9.5162; 123.1573 (Tanjay)
Tayasan 1st 154.2 34,609 224.4 28 6211 3rd 9°55′23″N 123°10′20″E / 9.9231°N 123.1723°E / 9.9231; 123.1723 (Tayasan)
Valencia (Luzurriaga) 3rd 147.49 31,477 213.4 24 6215 1st 9°16′54″N 123°14′41″E / 9.2817°N 123.2446°E / 9.2817; 123.2446 (Valencia)
Vallehermoso 1st 101.25 36,943 364.9 15 6224 3rd 10°20′05″N 123°19′34″E / 10.3348°N 123.3260°E / 10.3348; 123.3260 (Vallehermoso)
Zamboanguita 3rd 85.86 24,996 291.1 10 6218 4th 9°06′07″N 123°11′55″E / 9.1019°N 123.1987°E / 9.1019; 123.1987 (Zamboanguita)
 †  Provincial capital and component city      Component city      Municipality
  • Coordinates mark the city/town center vicinity, and are sorted according to latitude.
  • Italicized names are former names.
  • Income classifications for cities are italicized.

Municipality applying for cityhood[15][16]

Ph map negros oriental.png


Population census of
Negros Oriental
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 925,272 —    
1995 1,025,247 +1.94%
2000 1,130,088 +2.11%
2007 1,231,904 +1.20%
2010 1,286,666 +1.60%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

Negros Oriental's total population as of the 2010 census is 1,286,666.[2] 34.5% of the population is concentrated in the six most populous component LGUs of Dumaguete City, Bayawan City, Tanjay City, Bais City, Canlaon City, and Guihulngan. The province's average population density is 208 persons per km², lower than the national average of 276 persons per km². Population growth per year is about 2.11%, higher than the national average of 1.92%.[17]

Residents of Negros are called "Negrenses" (and less often "Negrosanons"). Cebuano (sometimes known as "Bisaya") is the main language of the province, spoken by 95% of the population. Hiligaynon/Ilonggo is spoken by the remaining 5%, and is common in areas close to the border with Negros Occidental. Filipino and English, though seldom used, are generally understood and used for official, literary and educational purposes.

Languages Spoken (2000)[18]
Language Speakers
Other Visayan languages
Not Reported


Christianity is the predominant religion in the province with Roman Catholicism (91.4%) as the biggest single denomination. Other denominations include mainline and evangelical Protestant groups, the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Aglipayan Church, also known as the Philippine Independent Church. Adherents of Islam and Buddhism constitute a minority of the population.


A Geothermal power station in Valencia, Negros Oriental.
A BPO office in Dumaguete.

Negros Oriental has, for a long time, been a supplier of electricity to its neighboring provinces in the Visayas with its excess power capacity generated by the 192MW Palinpinon geothermal plant. This plant has recently been expanded with an additional 49MW capacity, bringing total power output of the province to over 240MW. Despite the huge power excess of the Province, other power sources such as hydro, wind and solar are being explored to provide additional power capacities that can be sold to neighboring areas.

With its vast fertile land resources, Negros Oriental's other major industry is agriculture. The primary crops are sugarcane, corn, coconut and rice. In the coastal areas, fishing is the main source of income. People are also involved in cattle ranches, fish ponds and rubber plantations, especially in the City of Bayawan. There are also mineral deposits like gold, silver and copper.

Negros Oriental is emerging as a technological center in Central Philippines with its growing business process outsourcing (BPO) that has started to penetrate the Province's secondary cities, and other technology-related industries. Vehicle assembly is a growing industry in Amlan. Construction of mass housing and subdivisions is very evident in the periphery of Dumaguete, and is expected to spillover in the Province's secondary cities and fast growing municipalities. Other industries include water bottling, warehousing, and cold and dry storing. Retailing has penetrated urban areas outside Dumaguete with the entry of hypermarts in cities such as Bayawan, Tanjay and Bais. The town of Bacong, Dumaguete's neighbor in the south, hosts industrial plants geared for the local and export markets. Negros Oriental is also becoming a notable tourist destination in the Visayas.


A motorized tricycle in Dumaguete City.

Negros Oriental has a network of roads, including a national road that spans the circumference of Negros Island. National and provincial roads in the province total more than 900 kilometers, though only about half of these are paved.[19]

A large portion of residents do not own private vehicles, and are totally reliant on public transport. The main form of public transport between the cities and municipalities of the province largely consists of privately operated jeepneys that link major towns to rural areas. For short distances within a town, motorized tricycles (locally known as pedicabs) are available.

The Dumaguete Airport located in Sibulan is the province's only government-operated airport.[19] It is a domestic airport with multiple daily flights to and from Manila, served by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Based on 2002 statistics, an average of 5,800 outgoing passengers and 5,700 incoming passengers pass through the airport every month. However, this airport is due for transfer to Bacong because of congestion in its current location.[19]

The primary seaport of the province is located in Dumaguete City. Additionally, there are five other seaports in the province classified as tertiary.[20]


Dumaguete City, the provincial capital, is known as a university town due to the existence of many universities and colleges in the city.[21] These universities include: Silliman University (1901), the oldest American established university in Asia;[22] St. Paul University Dumaguete (1904), the first Paulinian school in the Philippines and oldest catholic school in Negros Island known for its Nursing, Tourism, Liberal Arts in History and English, Public Administration, Mass Communication, Business Administration and Education; Negros Oriental State University (formerly NOTS-1927, EVSAT, CVPC); and Foundation University (1949). The Colegio de Sta. Catalina De Alejandria (COSCA), Negros Oriental High School (1902), Ramon Teves Pastor Memorial-Dumaguete Science High School (1986), Dumaguete City High School (1967), Catherina Cittadini (St. Louis) School, Holy Cross High School and St. Louis School-Don Bosco (1967) can be also found in the city. There are also institutions and colleges inside (e.g. Metro Dumaguete College, STI, Maxino College, PTC, AMA Computer College, Asian College) and outside the city.


Each town in Negros Oriental celebrates an annual town fiesta, usually dedicated to a saint who is the patron of the town. In some of the larger towns, there are particular fiestas for specific neighborhoods or barangays.

Additionally, the Buglasan Festival, which was revived in 2001, is celebrated annually in October in the provincial capital of Dumaguete and is hailed as Negros Oriental's "festival of festivals".[23] It is a week-long celebration where you can see unique booths of each town and city in Negros Oriental featuring their native products and tourist attractions. The highlight of the occasion is the float parade and street dancing competition.[24]


There are at least four local publications in general circulation around the province. These publications include, the Dumaguete MetroPost, Negros Chronicle, Dumaguete Star Informer, Times Focus, Island News and the Visayan Daily Star


  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 2013-01-21. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Provincial Profile". Provincial Government of Negros Oriental. Retrieved April 28, 2010. Archived October 15, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Panay News - Negros History
  5. ^ a b c d WOW Philippines - Negros Oriental history Archived August 19, 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ - Philippines - Republic of Negros
  7. ^ - Dumaguete/Negros Oriental
  8. ^ Mills, S.A., 2009, Stranded in the Philippines, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, ISBN 9781591144977
  9. ^ GlobalPinoy, Travel - Negros Oriental
  10. ^ "Dumaguete Belfry - Philippines". Dumaguete Info: the Website of Gentle People. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  11. ^ Grele, Dominique; Lily Yousry-Jouve (2004). 100 Resorts in the Philippines: Places with a Heart. Asiatype, Inc. p. 247. ISBN 978-971-91719-7-3. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  12. ^ Agribiz Oriental - Climate Archived January 27, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b c d "Province: Negros Oriental". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010 (Central Visayas)" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Gallarde, Juancho R. (30 August 2013). "In Negros Oriental: Valencia town readies bid to become a city". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  16. ^ Camion, Victor L. (21 November 2013). "House to hear Valencia cityhood". Sun.Star Dumaguete. Archived from the original on 24 November 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Negros Oriental economic indicators
  18. ^ Table 4. Household Population by Ethnicity and Sex: Negros Oriental, 2000
  19. ^ a b c Agribiz Oriental - Transportation Archived May 19, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Department of Trade and Industry - Negros Oriental Archived February 3, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Bangayan, Dorothy (2006-12-14). "Let's do Dumaguete!". Sun.Star Davao. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  22. ^ Dexter R. Matilla. "Heritage diary of Negros Oriental". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  23. ^ - The 'fantastic' Buglasan Festival of Dumaguete
  24. ^ - Buglasan Festival Archived August 20, 2010 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Geographic data related to Negros Oriental at OpenStreetMap