Negros Occidental, it can be found near the central part of the country. It is one of the five provinces that compose Western Visayas or Region VI. It is located in the northwestern portion of Negros Island, the fourth biggest island in the Philippine archipelago.
It is bounded on the north by the Visayan Sea, and on the south by the Sulu Sea. It is southeast of Panay Island from which is separated by the Guimaras Strait.
On the east are the Tanon Strait and Negros Oriental, which forms part of the Central Visayas or Region VII.
The province is composed of 13 cities and 19 municipalities.
Negros Island was originally called “Buglas”, an old native word that is thought to mean “cut-off.”
It is believed that Negros was once part of a greater mass of land but was cut-off either by what geologists call a continental drift or by rising waters during the so-called glacial age.
Among its earliest inhabitants were dark-skinned natives belonging to the Negrito ethnic group with their unique culture. Thus, the Spaniards called the land “Negros” after the black natives whom they saw when they first came the the island in April 1565. Two of the earliest native settlements were Binalbagan and Ilog, that later became towns in 1573 and 1584, respectively. Other settlements were Hinigaran, Bago, Marayo (now Pontevedra), Mamalan (now Himamaylan) and Candaguit (now a sitio in San Enrique).
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Negros Occidental is located in the western side of Negros Island, the fourth largest island in the Philippines with a total land area of 792,607 hectares or 7,926.06 sq. kms. The province is approximately 375 kilometers long from north to south.
It is bounded by the Visayan Sea in the north, Panay Gulf on the west, Tanon Strait and Negros Oriental province on the east and Sulu Sea on the south. Negros is basically volcanic, making its soil ideal for agriculture. Eighty percent of all arable land is cultivated.
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Business and Industry
Negros Occidental is the Philippines’ major sugar producer. Its principal sugar-growing region is located in the north and west of the island, stretching from northwest along the coasts of the Visayan Sea and Guimaras Strait, which is one of the country’s principal lowland areas. Sugar refining has many by-products such as acetylene, fertilizers and rum.
Fishing is the major industry based in Cadiz City. There are also a number of fishponds and prawn farming has become a major industry.
Bacolod City is the center of commerce and finance in Negros Occidental. It is where you find oil companies, factories, bottling plants, allied industrial businesses, steel fabrication, power generation, agri-businesses, prawn culture and other aqua-culture ventures.
People, Culture and Arts
Sugar is central to the evolution of the Negrense culture. The affluence and the prosperity that the industry brought to the province nourished a charming, genteel, sometimes lavish spirit that sets the Negrense apart from his Ilonggo kinsman.
Negrense are regarded as affectionate, generous, fun loving people who enjoy the finer things in life. As a labor force, however, Negrenses are highly motivated, educated, skilled, trainable and entrepreneurial individuals.
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