Distance from Bacolod: 137.7 kilometers
Land Area: 19,170.00 hectares
Classification: 4th Class
No. of Barangays: 9 Barangays
Population: 19,987 (May 1, 2000) – 21,142 (2005 Projection)
Language: Hiligaynon/Ilonggo/Cebuano/English is spoken and understood
Candoni was derived from the native phrase Kan Dune, which means belonging to Dune, a legendary beautiful maiden named Dionesia who committed suicide after being forced by her parents to marry a man she did not love.
Formerly a barrio of the Municipality of Cauayan, Candoni started as the center of the Tabla Valley Settlement founded in 1935 by Santiago H. Diego, a prominent man from the Municipality of Isabela. He led a group of settlers with a pioneering spirit and prompted by the desire to have a piece of land they could call their own. Pooling their resources and organizing themselves into a cooperative they called Tablenos, the settlers started clearing the valley starting from where the town is now located. They toiled the forests enduring hardships, but many of them died of malaria.
Their efforts were noticed by the Provincial Government who supported them, starting with Gov. Emilio Gaston to Gov. Valenciano Gatuslao, who along with then Speaker Gil Montilla, helped them appeal to President Manuel Roxas in Malacanang for tangible government aid, which came in the form of the road from Dancalan, Ilog to Candoni, following the trail blazed by the Tablenos.
Candoni was finally declared a municipality on August 22, 1958 through Executive Order No. 314 signed by President Carlos P. Garcia. It was inaugurated on August 12, 1961, with Benjamin R. Nava as its first acting mayor.
Recent history of Candoni again showed its people’s struggle, this time, against the turmoils brought about by the insurgency problem. Fed up with being caught in the crossfire of battles between rebels and government forces, the people of Sitio Cantomanyog in Brgy. Haba of the town declared their area as a “Zone of Peace”, the first in the country ever to be declared as such by the residents composed of some 40 families, and this policy is respected by both rebels and government troops.
How to Get There
Candoni is located in the southern part of Negros Occidental. It is approximately three-and-a-half hour drive from Bacolod City aboard a public utility vehicle and about two hours and 45 minutes on a private car. From Bacolod City, buses are available at Bacolod South Terminal. From Kabankalan City, one can take the public utility jeepneys going to this town.
Sit-an Cave is a natural marvel that extends about one hundred fifty meters from its entrance to its hindmost part which resembles a church-like cavern with cool natural pool with overflowing water ranging from knee-high to waistline depth that forms an underground stream running along the columns of stalactites that hung like a pendant from its roof.
Pabalhas sa Tablas. The concept of “Pabalhas sa Tablas” originated from the actual history of Candoni, when a group of settlers decided to look for a land they can call their own.