Negros Oriental

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Welcome to the Land of Negros Oriental

Apo Island Rock

Negros Oriental, also called Oriental Negros or "Eastern Negros", is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. It occupies the southeastern half of the island of Negros, with Negros Occidental comprising the northwestern 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. 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.

 

History

Negritos, Malays and Chinese long inhabited the island called Buglas before the 1565 expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.

Legaspi anchored in Bohol and sent his men in a frigate to reconnoiter the island. A strong current carried the frigate for several days around Buglas. The Spaniards reported seeing many dark-skinned inhabitants, and so they renamed the island Negros. In 1571 Legaspi assigned encomiendas on Negros Island to 13 of his men. The following year, Augustinian friars began Christianization of the island. In 1734 Negros, was made a corregimento with the capital in Ilog, on the western side. In 1795 the island became an alcaldia with Himamaylan as capital also on the western section. In 1856 Negros became a politico-military province with Don Emilio Saravia y Nuñz as a first Gobernador Politico-Militar, and Bacolod, still on the western side, as the capital.

Due to difficulties in administering the far-flung settlements of the island, the Recollect priests petitioned for the division of the island. Thirteen years later, in January, Governor General Valeriano Weyler executed a Royal Decree establishing two separate Negros political units, Negros Occidental on the western side, Oriental Negros (and now known as “Oriental Negros”) on the southeastern portion. Oriental Negros was assigned Dumaguete as capital.

In 1897 Pantaleon Villegas of Bacong enlisted with the revolutionary forces of Aguinaldo and gained prominence as the legendary General Leon Kilat who led the attack on the Spanish garrison in Cebu. In commemoration of this historic event, a re-enactment of the Battle of Tres de Abril is celebrated as a major event of in Cebu City. Leon Kilat was treacherously assassinated on April 8, 1898, less than a week after causing a great setback to the Spanish forces.

In the last quarter of 1898, Don Diego de la Viña of Vallehermoso stirred Oriental Negros into action. With a band of insufficiently armed farmhands, he marched towards Dumaguete to liberate the capital, also liberating the northern towns along the way. The de la Viña forces arrived in Dumaguete just as the Spanish forces abandoned it.

In 1901, a civil government was established with Don Demetrio Larena as Governor.

The establishment of schools has contributed largely to the growth of the province. In 1901, Dr. David S Hibbard founded Silliman Institute in Dumaguete. It would become the first Protestant university in the Philippines. In 1904 ,seven Belgian nuns arrived to open St. Paul’s Academy, which would be the first St. Paul de Chartres institution in the country.

Tabacalera established in 1918 its first sugar central in the country in Bais, the Central Azucarera de Bais, thus stimulating the growth of the province’s sugar industry. Oriental Negros also cultivated grains and abaca, and was a good producer of copra.

On May 26, 1942, the Japanese landed in Dumaguete City. A combined effort of American and Filipino forces defeated the occupying powers on August 6, 1945.

The capital, Dumaguete, received its charter as a city in 1948, as rehabilitation and restoration work proceeded provincewide. Over the years, Oriental Negros has contained its development in a setting of natural beauty that continues to draw visitors for its ecotourism delights. Even as a geothermal plant in Valencia feeds industry and energizes the entire province as well as neighboring Negros Occidental and the islands of Panay and Cebu, Oriental Negros has managed to retain the laid-back charms and rural ambience that distinguishes the province from other developing centers of metropolitan character.

Oriental Negros marked the centennial of its creation as a Province on January 1, 1990. It has five component cities, 20 municipalities and 557 barangays with a total population posted at 1,126,061 by the 2000 Census of Population. With an area of 5,402.30 square kilometers, it is the largest of the island provinces in Central Visayas. Its 26,000 hectares of forests make up 60% of the region’s total forest cover.

 

Tourist Destinations

APO ISLAND – A haven for scuba divers. It has a wide array of corals and marine life. The Negros Oriental Marine Conservation program in its Marine Park has kept the underwater wonders in excellent condition. Apo Island can be reached from Malatapay, Zamboanguita (27.8 km) by a 35-minute motorized outrigger ride.

CANLAON VOLCANO – Canlaon City, the summer capital of Negros Oriental, is 165.7 kilometers away from Dumaguete City. Canlaon Volcano stands 8,085 ft. above sea level. Its cool atmosphere gives a similar setting to Baguio in Luzon.

TAMBOBO BEACH - In a picture-pretty scenic bay, Tambobo Beach in Siaton is ideal for surfing, sailing, sunbathing or just relaxing. Tambobo Beach Club offers native cottages for rent and its restaurant provide varied cuisine. Foreign nationals have found this area a natural harbor for their yachts.

ANTULANG BEACH - Dotted with natural rock formations, this volcanic stretch of beach has enticing cerulean blue waters, an ideal snorkeling area and spectacular sunsets.

CASARORO FALLS – a tall waterfall amid lush virgin forest is a favorite for young and old climbers. It has a bamboo hanging bridge and rocks galore.

MT. TALINIS – dubbed “Cuernos de Negros” or Horns of Negros, this mountain can be reached through Valencia or Calungan, Bacong. It has five lakes in the vicinity. It is the object of mountain climbing enthusiasts. This is Negros Oriental’s eco-tourism centerpiece. The mountain stands 1,800 meters above sea level.

LAKES YAGUMYUM AND NAILIG – A half-day trek up Mt. Talinis in Valencia brings one to either one of the mirror clear lakes in the Mt. Talinis area where one may camp, swim or catch carp, tilapia and other fish in the lake surrounded by trees.

PULANG BATO FALLS – A large cascade of seemingly reddish water from the main Pulangbato Falls in Pulangbato, Valencia, finds its way into some unique shaped falls all the way down the mountain.

Pulang Bato Falls

PANDALIHAN AND PANLIGAWAN CAVES – two of the many caves in Mabinay having intricate natural limestone formations and interesting sights. It is only a short distance from the main road, 15 kilometers from the Poblacion.

DOLPHIN/WHALE WATCHING – Frolicking dolphins and whales at the Bais Bay give an exciting experience.

TWIN LAKES BALINSASAYAO AND DANAO – A trekking area for the adventurous. Giant trees, ferns and lush greenery unfold the astoundingly serene lakes with its fish stocks located in Sibulan.

MAPA (OISCA) MODEL FARM – with its terraced rice fields, a panoramic stretch of mountain ranges and lakes gives a feeling of infirmity.  A 300-year old Balete tree is home to black and red martinico “talking” birds, and the centerpiece of this vast expanse of natural beauty.

BUCALAN HOT SPRINGS – hot and bubbling spring in the rice paddies is truly an experience where one can virtually steam his food.  The grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes seems to guard this natural wonder.

BANICA VALLEY SWIMMING LAGOON – Water gushes from the river to fill the twin pools at the Banica Valley Swimming Lagoon.  The lagoon is ideal for family picnics.

CAYASO CAVE AND UNDERGROUND RIVER – located one kilometer from the Poblacion Municipal Hall, the cave goes down 20 feet into a winding path of stone. A gushing underground river of potable drinking water without a visible outlet.  Stalagmites and stalactites in different chambers glitter. 

MAPAO WHITE SAND BAR – A seven-kilometer stretch of elliptical white sand brings a refreshing swim in its invitingly clear water.  Its white mantle of sand may unearth some interesting shells.

TALABONG MANGROVE ISLAND – Through the island, gingerly stepping on a bamboo  boardwalk, Talabong Island is home to wild ducks and other migratory birds, surrounded with mangroves on white sand.

CENTROP (Center for Tropical Studies) – A research facility of Silliman University where  endemic trees grow together with endangered species of bats, wild boar and other mammals.  A special feature is the spotted deer found only in the islands of Negros and Panay.

ZOO PARADISE WORLD AND CAMPSITE - Neat rows of Ipil-ipil trees and flowers form  walkways in this large area where animals from different parts of the world can be found. Welcoming colorfully garbed community members are an attraction in itself as well as the memorabilia and stuffed collection of its founder environmentalist and world peace-loving Fr. Eleuterio Tropa.

VERANDA OF THE WORLD – Mountainside terraces with flowers or rice and an observation deck makes one think he is on top of the world viewing the majestic Mt. Talinis across from it.

LAKE BALANAN – This placid lake is located in the center of mountains. Crossing by banca is a pleasant experience.

MALONGCAY HOT SPRING – Two hot springs in the Dauin and Bacong areas through a  road that is bumppy but wildflowers strewn brings you to the area where after a little walk, one finds these hot springs in the middle of the shrubs and trees.

Museums

Some widely known museums are the Anthropology Museum and the Herbarium and Zoological Museum at the Marine Laboratory, both in Silliman University.  Their collection is one of the biggest in the world in terms of volume and diversity of species.

Historical Sites in Negros Oriental

Ruined watchtowers can still be seen; one in Buswang, and another at the mouth of the Amlan River. The other two are found near the school building of Ayuquitan and in Barangay Calo in Amlan

St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, Dumaguete – Known to Dumagueteños as the Dumaguete Cathedral Church, the St. Catherine of Alexandria Church is one of the solid structural witnesses of Dumaguete’s rich history and culture – and why it is nicknamed The City of Gentle People. It is the “Oldest Stone Church in Negros” that was originally built in 1754 to 1776. It was reconstructed in 1885 and the present facade was extended in 1936.

Spanish Fortress – Site of the Spanish fortress during the invasion of the Philippines. Located in the shoreline of Tampocon II, Ayungon.

Watch Tower – Served as a lookout for invaders with bells to warn the townfolk. That is how Bacong got its name.  A town crier would call “Bacon,” meaning "get up and fight."

Bacong Church and Pipe Organ – Built in 1865, Bacong Church has the oldest altar and a century-old pipe built in Zaragosa, Spain in 1894 through the efforts of Bacong’s first priest, Rev. Joaquin Soriano.

Sangki Coves – The landing site of a US Navy submarine during World War II, carrying assistance, war materials and supplies for the guerrilla forces. It was the landing site of Col. Jesus Villamor and party by the personal direction of Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur from Australia.

Bindoy - The only old ruins visible today are the remains of an old watchtower situated at the mouth of the river.

Moro Towers (Fortress) – These two ancient dome-shaped watchtowers were once used to warn against marauding pirates is located in the  Poblacion, near the beach and old church.

Provincial Capitol – Built in 1924, it houses the Office of the Governor and other provincial government offices.

Dumaguete City Bell tower – Built in 1811, it served as a watchtower and a belfry to forewarn townsfolk against piratical raids.

Channon Hall – was the kempetai or the torture chamber of the Japanese. at Silliman University Campus, Dumaguete City.

Guy Hall – This was used as the Japanese military headquarters, found at Silliman University Campus, Dumaguete City

Rizal Boulevard – on his way to his exile in Dapitan, Dr. Jose Rizal stopped at Dumaguete to eat breakfast in the house of the parents of Dr. Jose Longa along the Boulevard in Dumaguete City.

Barrio Bankal – the seat of the 7th District Government during World War II, found at Jimalalud.

Pamplona - “Sherwood Forces” in Mamburao, Pamplona was the site of the guerrilla headquarters of the Tanjay, Amlan-Bais Sector. 

Danao - is a fertile slope of a hill where a big lake was found on top. When the strong earthquake of May 5, 1925 shook in terrible fury, the sides of the lake cracked and a deluge came over the sitio, killing all the inhabitants, found in Siaton.

Barrio Casala-an – The seat of the 6th District Civil Government during World War II, found in Siaton.

Bonbonon Point -  During WW II on February 7, 1942, the PC Coastal Patrol suffered its first casualty when their patrol was shelled and sunk by a Japanese destroyer in these deep waters, in Siaton.

Lo-oc Beach – where the American Liberation Forces landed in April 26, 1945 under the command of Col. W.V. Mahoney, found in Sibulan.

Barangay Lo-oc – Site of the first Fil-Jap battle in Oriental Negros. This took place on October 11, 1942, where independent partisan guerrilla groups were united. The prominent enemy death casualty was Comdr. Tzuda of the Japanese Forces, found in Sibulan.

Lake Danao and Balinsasayao – discovered by Don Miguel Patero in 1885. Evacuation place of Mr. Bell and Dr. Carson. The meeting to unite the guerrilla forces was held here.  Found in Sibulan

Sta. Catalina - Remnants of the walls of the convent and the old casa tribunal were destroyed during the Philippine Revolution.

Fil-Jap-Am Shrine – This tri-sidal shrine representing the three forces is the object of a yearly pilgrimage of Japanese and Filipino war veterans. Located in Barrio Sagbang was the site of a fierce battle during WWII where many soldiers died. Found in Valencia

Guinsoan Bridge Area - The Japanese under Col. Satosi Oie surrendered formally to the 503rd U.S. Airborn Division on September 19, 1945. Found in Zamboanguita.

AQUINO FREEDOM PARK - Dumaguete City, the Provincial Capitol Grounds, with piped-in music and a grand fountain in a landscaped garden.

Toruism

  • Beaches

Negros Oriental boasts of 1,377.6 km. of scenic white and golden sandy beaches. Each of the 17 coastal municipalities and cities has its own unique and mystifying beaches to choose from. The municipalities of Valencia, Mabinay, Pamplona and the City of Canlaon are located in the interior portion of the province and do not have beaches but have other interesting sights to offer.

Among the most known beaches in the province are La Vista del Mar in Bayawan City, Antulang Beach and Tambobo Bay in Siaton; Salawaki Resort in Zamboanguita; Coconut Plantation and Apo Island in Dauin; Talisay Beach in Bacong; Baybayon, St. Mortiz and Panorama in Sibulan; Wuthering Heights in San Jose; Talabong, Mapao and White Sand in Bais City; Opada’s Beach Resort in La Libertad; and, Midtown Resort, Ganahan Beach, Malusay Beach and Bulado Beach in Guihulngan.

  • Waterfalls

At present, there are about eight known waterfalls that can be found in the province. These are:  Casaroro and Pulangbato Waterfalls located in Valencia; Inihawan Enchanted Falls, Quipot and Pantao Waterfalls all three are found in Canlaon City; Lourdes Falls in Bayawan City; Pagsalsalan Falls found in Ayungon; and Kinayan Falls situated in Guihulngan.

  • Caves

There are 33 caves in the entire province.   Among those explored are: Odloman Cave – 8,870 m. long/82 m. deep;  Panligawan Cave- 143 m.long/22 m.deep; Pandalihan Cave- 282 m. long/25 m.deep; Ayakan Cave-233 m. long/30 m. deep; Tolopan Cave- 333 m.long/51 m. deep; Tuntunan Cave- 580 m.long/15m. deep;  Baliw Cave 769m. long/55m. deep; Mambayo Cave- 326 m. long/35 m. deep; and, Tubod III Cave- 116 m.long/14 m. deep.

Some of the widely-known lakes in the province are the  Balinsasayao and Danao Twin Lakes in Sibulan, Lake Melipendol of Valencia, Lake Yayumyum in Mt. Talinis, Valencia, Lake Halawig of Mt. Talinis; Kinayan Lake of Guihulngan and Balanan Lake of Siaton.  Lake Cristituto Tirambulo is a man-made Highland Resort found in Paniabonan, Mabinay.

List of Accommodations

  • Bethel Guest House - Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
  • Hotel Palwa - Dr. V. Locsin St., Dumaguete City, 6200 Negros Oriental
  • Florentina Homes Apartment Hotel - East Rovira Drive, Negros Oriental
  • Coco Grande Hotel - Hibbard Avenue, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
  • La Residencia Al Mar - Upper Luke Wright St, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
  • Plaza Maria Luisa Suites Inn - Legaspi Street, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental
  • Atmosphere Resorts - Dauin Negros Oriental Philippines
  • Bahura Resort and Spa - Dauin Negros Oriental Philippines
  • Hotel Nicanor - San Jose St., Dumaguete City Negros Oriental, Philippines
  • Apo Island Beach Resort - Apo Island Negros Oriental Philippines

Accessibility

  • 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's total more than 900 kilometers, though only about half of these are paved.
  • A large portion of residents does 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. 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.
  • The primary seaport of the province is located in Dumaguete City. Additionally, there are five other seaports in the province classified as tertiary.