Distance from Bacolod: 82.9 kilometers
Land Area: 38,420 hectares
Classification: 4th Class
No. of Barangays: 19 Barangays
Population: 88,684 (May 1, 2000) – 93,809 (2005 Projection)
Language: Hiligaynon/Ilonggo/Cebuano/English is spoken & understood
Himamaylan was once the capital of Negros Occidental. This was during the time when Spaniards first settled in Negros and made the town their center of island government. They started to build a fortress in the place, but this was never completed. However, it served as an ideal lookout point against frequent Moslem raiders.
The town’s story began with the Negritoes, a listless band of small black people with short and kinky hair. They led a fine, simple life, roaming the wide hunting grounds and generally let alone other inhabitants in the area. That was until the Malays came and drove them into the mountains.
The newcomers were likewise nomadic, but they were not used to the swamps and pretty soon they acquired a malady called “hima” which was like the disease known as athlete’s foot. Hima was syptomized by crippling itchy sores between toes.
The Malays were also a highly superstitious people. They believed in evil spirits for which they employed with doctors called “babaylan” . These were the kind of people the Spaniards came upon. With their swollen feet and witch doctors, the Malays soon came to be known as Himamaylans (from hima and babaylan) by the conquistadores. The name became that of the place as well.
Himamaylan could have been truly the hub of activities of the entire province if not for its inaccessibility which made communication difficult.
Subsequently, the Spaniards transferred their capital site to what is now Bacolod. Spanish rule of the place was ended by the Americans in April 4, 1899.
The town got its place in history when the Japanese came during the World War II. While its residents all fled to the mountains, the town became a battleground for Negros Occidental’s liberation from the invaders. The first shot that started guerilla activity in the province was fired in Barrio Buenavista where a shrine today has been put up by the veterans of war.
How to get there
Himamaylan is about an hour and a half drive south of Bacolod City. Public utility vehicles plying the southern Negros route pass through this city.
Himamaylan City is bounded on the north by the Municipality of Binalbagan, on the south by the City of Kabankalan, on the east by the town of Tayasan and on the west by the Panay Gulf.
General Pascual Ledesma Y Villasis Monument located at the Gatuslao Park is a tribute to a prominent son of Himamaylan who led the expedition against Korea.
Spanish Kota (Fortress) is one of the two Spanish forts in the province, it is a reminder of Himamaylan as the former seat of governance during the Spanish Rule (1795-1849) in Negros Island. It is near the Pascual Ledesma Monument and the fishing wharf.
Buenavista Heroes Park is in memory of the gallantry of Himamaylanons who fought against the Japanese invaders during the Second World War.
Acapulco Summer Resort has a twin swimming pool nestled amid the mountains of Barangay Mahalang. It has a cave and cottages for excursionists.
Festivals and Events
Himaya-an Festival (April 25). The occasion gathers the community in one grand celebration. Featuring tribal dance parade, aqua-agro fair and all night street dance party.
Seafood Festival (March 31 Charter Day). Celebrates the bounty of the sea where local & foreign tourists converge for sumptuous meal offered by the waters of Himamaylan City.
Feast of Our Lady of Snows (August 5) Commemorates the yearly feast of our Patron Saint.