Negros Oriental

Negros Oriental (Cebuano: Sidlakang Negros; Tagalog: Silangang Negros), is a province in the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Its capital is the city of Dumaguete. It occupies the southeastern half of the large island of Negros, and borders Negros Occidental, which comprises the northwestern half. It also includes Apo Island, a popular dive site for both local and foreign tourists.

Negros Oriental
Sidlakang Negros
Province of Negros Oriental
Negros Oriental Capitol Building in Dumaguete City
Negros Oriental Capitol Building in Dumaguete City
Flag of Negros Oriental
Official seal of Negros Oriental
Veritas Via Vitae
("The truth is the way of life")
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°03′N 123°07′E / 10.05°N 123.12°E / 10.05; 123.12Coordinates: 10°03′N 123°07′E / 10.05°N 123.12°E / 10.05; 123.12
RegionCentral Visayas (Region VII)
Founded1 January 1890
and largest city
 • TypeSangguniang Panlalawigan
 • GovernorRoel R. Degamo (NP)
 • Vice GovernorEdward Mark L. Macias (NPC)
 • LegislatureNegros Oriental Provincial Board
 • Total5,385.53 km2 (2,079.36 sq mi)
 • Rank17th out of 81
Highest elevation2,465 m (8,087 ft)
 (2020 census) [2]
 • Total1,432,990
 • Rank19th out of 81
 • Density270/km2 (690/sq mi)
  • Rank35th out of 81
 • Independent cities0
 • Component cities
 • Municipalities
 • Barangays557
 • DistrictsLegislative districts of Negros Oriental
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63 (0)35
ISO 3166 codePH-NER
Spoken languages
Highway routesN6 (Philippines).svg N7 (Philippines).svg N709 (Philippines).svg N711 (Philippines).svg N712 (Philippines).svg N714 (Philippines).svg N715 (Philippines).svg
Income classification1st class

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 before). 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. With a population of 1,432,990 inhabitants, [2] it is the second most-populous province in Central Visayas after Cebu, the fifth most-populous province in the Visayas and the 19th most-populous province of the Philippines.


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

Negros, the second largest island in the Visayas and fourth largest island in the Philippines, is believed to have once been part of a larger landmass, but was cut off by rising waters at the end of the last ice age.[3] Among the early inhabitants of the island were the Negritos and the Austronesians, and later the Han Chinese, who are mainly merchants.[4] They called the island "Buglas", a native word which is believed to mean "cut off".[3]

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.[4] 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.[4] 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 1865 and the capital was transferred to Bacolod.

Due to its proximity to Mindanao, the southeastern coasts of Negros was in constant threat from Moro marauders looking for slaves, so watchtowers were built to protect the Christian villages. The Moro raids and Negros Oriental's distance from the Negrense capital of Bacolod, induced 13 Recollectionist priests to petition for the division of the island in July 1876.[4] 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 and only 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 Negros in 1898, disrupting government functions but without extreme violence and bloodshed. Revolutionary troops in the island were composed mostly of farm labourers and other prominent people of the province of Negros Oriental, who were organized and led by Don Diego de la Viña. The Spanish colonial government in Dumaguete and the rest of the island was overthrown on November 24, 1898. Later, the Negros Occidental area under the leadership of Gen. Araneta, along with the Negros Oriental area under the leadership of Don Diego de la Viña, merged to form the Cantonal Republic of Negros, a separate government from the more familiar Malolos Republic established in Luzon.[5]

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, through Act 2711.[6] 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, both Negros provinces were invaded by Imperial Japanese forces, resorting many residents to flee to the inland mountains.[8] Negros Island was liberated by combined Philippine & American troops with the local Negrense guerillas attacking the Japanese on August 6, 1945. The 7th, 73rd, 74th and 75th Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Commonwealth Army were established from January 3, 1942, to June 30, 1946, and the 7th Constabulary Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary was active from October 28, 1944, to June 30, 1946, at the Military General Headquarters in Negros Oriental.[clarification needed] They started the engagements of the Anti-Japanese Imperial Military Operations in Negros from 1942 to 1945 against the Japanese Imperial forces.[further explanation needed]

Modern-day historyEdit

On September 17 of 1971, Siquijor finally became an independent province by virtue of Republic Act No. 6396.[9]

On 29 May 2015, the Negros Island Region was formed when Negros Oriental was separated from Central Visayas and transferred to the new region along with Negros Occidental and Bacolod, when President Benigno Aquino III signed Executive Order No. 183, s. 2015.[10] But it was abolished on August 9, 2017, when President Rodrigo Duterte revoked Executive Order No. 183, s. 2015 through the signage of Executive Order No. 38, citing the reason of the lack of funds to fully establish the NIR according to Benjamin Diokno, the Secretary of Budget and Management, reverting Negros Oriental back into Central Visayas.[11] However, with the Philippines' current presidential administration promoting federalism, the idea of the twin provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental reunified into one federal state/region is already in the talks of local provincial politicians, with some additional support from the native Negrenses. There is also a suggestion, jointly approved by the provincial governors, that Negros Oriental along with Negros Occidental, be renamed with their pre-colonial names as "Buglas Sidlakan" and "Buglas Nakatundan" respectively, with Negros, as a federal state, be named as "Negrosanon Federated Region", due to the negative racial connotation associated with the name "Negros".[12][13][14][15]


Rock formations at Apo Island
Mount Talinis (also known as the Cuernos de Negros), located southwest of Valencia, is the second highest volcanic mountain in Negros.

Negros Oriental occupies the south-eastern half of the island of Negros, with Negros Occidental comprising the north-western half. It has a total land area of 5,385.53 km2 (2,079.36 sq mi). 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 southeast. The Sulu Sea borders it to the south to southwest. Negros is basically volcanic, making its soil ideal for agriculture. Eighty percent of all arable land in the island region is cultivated.


Shoreline of a beach in Dauin town

The province's topography is characterized by low, grooved mountain ranges of which some lie close to the shoreline. At the southern end of the province is Mount Talinis, also known as Cuernos de Negros ("Horns of Negros"), which is a dormant complex volcano which rises to a height of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). At the northern end of the province is the active Kanlaon Volcano, the highest peak of the island region with a height of 2,465 metres (8,087 ft). There are a few flatlands and plateaus in the interior to the southwest of the province, which includes the Tablas Plateau.[16]

A view taken from Kanlaon Volcano's slope near the town of Canlaon

One of the landmarks of Dumaguete is the Dumaguete Bell Tower which stands next to the Saint Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral.[17] It once used to warn the city of impending pirate attacks.[18]


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.[19] The eastern part of the province is characterized by unpronounced[clarification needed] 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.[16]

Administrative divisionsEdit

Political divisions

Negros Oriental comprises 19 municipalities and 6 cities, further subdivided into 557 barangays.

Dumaguete City 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.

Legislative map 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.

  •  †  Provincial capital and component city
  •  ∗  Component city
  •   Municipality


Population census of Negros Oriental
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 151,338—    
1918 215,750+2.39%
1939 335,173+2.12%
1948 386,203+1.59%
1960 538,206+2.80%
1970 652,264+1.94%
1975 740,417+2.57%
1980 819,399+2.05%
1990 925,272+1.22%
1995 1,025,247+1.94%
2000 1,130,088+2.11%
2007 1,231,904+1.20%
2010 1,286,666+1.60%
2015 1,354,995+0.99%
2020 1,432,990+1.11%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority [21][22][22]
Languages Spoken (2000)[25]
Language Speakers
Other Visayan languages
Not Reported

The population of Negros Oriental in the 2020 census was 1,354,995 people, [2] with a density of 250/km2 (650/sq mi). As of 2010, its registered voting population are 606,634.[26] 34.5% of the population are concentrated in the six most populous component cities of Dumaguete, Bayawan, Guihulngan, Tanjay, Bais and Canlaon. Population growth per year is about 0.99% over the period of 2010–2015, lower than the national average of 1.72%. [21]

Residents of Negros are called "Negrenses" (and less often "Negrosanons") and many are of either pure/mixed Austronesian heritage, with foreign ancestry (i.e. Chinese and/or Spanish) as minorities. Negros Oriental is predominantly a Cebuano-speaking province due to its close proximity to Cebu, with 72% of residents reporting it as a first language. Hiligaynon is spoken by the remaining 28% and is common in areas close to the border with Negros Occidental. Filipino and English, while seldom used as first languages, are generally understood and used for official, literary, and educational purposes.


Christianity is the predominant religion in the province with Roman Catholicism (77%) as the largest single denomination .[27] However, there is a strong and growing presence of mainline and evangelical Protestant which forms about 12% of the province population. The Iglesia ni Cristo(1.4%),[28] the Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Aglipayan Church, also known as the Philippine Independent Church also has some presence. Adherents of Islam and Buddhism constitute a minority of the population.


A Geothermal power station in Valencia

Negros Oriental has, for a long time, been a major supplier of electricity to its neighboring provinces in the Visayas with its excess power capacity generated by the 192.5-MW Palinpinon geothermal plant.[36] 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.

Manjuyod White Sandbar, often dubbed as the "Maldives of the Philippines"

With its vast fertile land resources, Negros Oriental's other major industry is agriculture. The primary crops are sugarcane, sweetcorn, coconut and rice.[16] 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 Bayawan City. There are also mineral deposits like gold, silver and copper found throughout the inner areas of the province.

The Forest Camp Resort in Valencia

The province is already emerging as a major technological center in Visayas, 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 City and is expected to spillover into the province's secondary cities and fast-growing towns.

Other industries include water bottling and warehousing, as well as cold and dry storing. Retailing has penetrated other urban areas outside Dumaguete, with the entry of supermarkets and shopping malls in cities such as Bayawan, Tanjay and Bais. The town of Bacong, which borders Dumaguete in the south, hosts many industrial plants geared for the local and export markets, which can bolster economic growth. Negros Oriental is also a notable tourist destination in the Visayas.


Pedicab, 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.[37]

A large portion of residents do not own private vehicles, and are totally reliant on public transport. Buses and jeepneys link the cities and municipalities of the province. For short distances within a town, motorized tricycles (locally known as pedicabs) are available. Moreover, motorcycles for hire locally called as habal-habal is the primary mode of transportation in the hinterlands or places wherein it can't be reached with other types of vehicles.

The Dumaguete Airport located in Sibulan is the province's only commercial airport.[37] It is a domestic airport with multiple daily flights to and from Manila, served by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. The airport also serves flights to and from Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. 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.[37]

The primary seaport of the province is located in Dumaguete City. Additionally, there are five other seaports in the province classified as tertiary.[38]


Most colleges and universities in the province are concentrated in Dumaguete City, which befit the role as Center of Learning in the South and is widely known as a university city. Here are the list of some universities, colleges and other tertiary institutions located in the province of Negros Oriental:

School Location
AMA Computer College Dumaguete City
Asian College Dumaguete City
Bayawan College Bayawan City
Colegio de Santa Catalina de Alejandria Dumaguete City
Diaz College Tanjay City
Foundation University Dumaguete City
La Consolacion College Bais Bais City
Maxino College Dumaguete City
Metro Dumaguete College Dumaguete City
Negros College Inc. Ayungon
Negros Maritime College Foundation Inc. Sibulan
Negros Oriental State University Main & Bajumpandan Campuses Dumaguete City
Negros Oriental State University Bais City Campuses I & II Bais City
Negros Oriental State University Bayawan-Sta. Catalina Campus Bayawan City/Santa Catalina
Negros Oriental State University Guihulngan City Campus Guihulngan City
Negros Oriental State University Mabinay Campus Mabinay
Negros Oriental State University Pamplona Campus Pamplona
Negros Oriental State University Siaton Campus Siaton
Presbyterian Theological College Dumaguete City
Saint Francis College – Guihulngan Guihulngan City
Saint Joseph College of Canlaon, Inc. Canlaon City
Saint Joseph Seminary College Sibulan
STI College Dumaguete City
Silliman University Dumaguete City
St. Paul University Dumaguete Dumaguete City
Southern Tech College Bayawan City
Villaflores College Tanjay City


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

  1. Jimalalud: January 15 - Sr. Sto. Niño
  2. Canlaon: March 19 - Sr. San Jose
  3. Sibulan: June 13 - St. Anthony of Padua
  4. Tayasan: June 13 - St. Anthony of Padua
  5. Tanjay City: July 25 - St. James the Greater
  6. Bacong: August 28 - St. Augustine of Hippo
  7. Bais City: September 10 - St. Nicholas of Tolentino
  8. Dauin: September 10 - St. Nicholas of Tolentino
  9. Manjuyod: October 4 - St. Francis of Assisi
  10. Dumaguete City: November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria
  11. Amlan: November 30 - St. Andrew

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".[39] 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.[40]

Skyline of a beach resort in the province

The province is the home of the last living remnants of the Inata language speakers. The Sebwano language is spoken throughout the province, while the indigenous Minagahat language is spoken in the south.


There are at least seven local media publications in general circulation around the province. These publications include The Negros Times,[41] Dumaguete MetroPost,[42] The Negros Chronicle,[43] Dumaguete Star Informer, Times Focus, and Island News .[44] Sun.Star Dumaguete publishes news online bi-weekly. PLDT, Globe Telecom and their subsidiaries are major providers of network connection within the province. Major providers, in TV and radio are ABS-CBN, GMA, The 5 Network and CNN Philippines. Cable TV provides access to BBC, ESPN and other international programs. The province is mainly served by one regional newscast: TV Patrol Central Visayas (shared with ABS-CBN Cebu).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Census of Population (2020). Highlights of the Philippine Population 2020 Census of Population. PSA. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Files Magazine". Panay News. Archived from the original on 18 December 2005. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d WOW Philippines - Negros Oriental history Archived August 19, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Republic of Negros". World Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  6. ^ "An Act Amending the Administrative Code" (PDF). Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. 10 March 1917. Retrieved 23 April 2016. The Province of Oriental Negros consists of territory in the south and eastern part of the Island of Negros, with adjacent small islands, and includes also the subprovince of Siquijor, which consists of the island of the same name. The province contains the following municipalities: Ayungon, Ayuquitan, Bacong, Bais, Dauin, Dumaguete (the capital of the province), Enrique Villanueva, Guijulñgan, Jimalalud, La Libertad, Larena, Lazi, Luzuriaga, Manjuyod, Maria, San Juan, Siaton, Sibulan, Siquijor, (Talingting), Tanjay, Tayasan, Tolong, Vallehermoso, and Zamboanguita. This province also contains the municipal district of Tambo.
  7. ^ "Major Hubs 5 Major Destinations". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  8. ^ Mills, S.A., 2009, Stranded in the Philippines, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, ISBN 9781591144977
  9. ^ "Republic Act No. 6398 - An Act Separating the Subprovince of Siquijor from the Province of Oriental Negros and Establishing It as an Independent Province". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. 17 September 1971. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Executive Order No. 183; Creating a Negros Island Region and for Other Purposes". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Malacañan Palace, Manila, Philippines. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Duterte dissolves Negros Island Region". Rappler. August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  12. ^ Teresa D. Ellera (26 March 2018). "2 governors push Negros Island state". Sun.Star. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  13. ^ Juancho R. Gallarde (27 March 2018). "Governors want Negros federal state". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Negros governors unite for Negros Island federal region". The Negros Daily Bulletin. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  15. ^ Nanette Guadalquiver (19 May 2018). "Push for Negros Island as one federal region continues". The Philippine News Agency. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "Negros Oriental Provincial Agricultural Profile" (PDF). Department of Agriculture - Agriculture and Fisheries Market Information System (AFMIS). 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Dumaguete Belfry - Philippines". Dumaguete Info: the Website of Gentle People. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Climate Condition". Agribiz Oriental. Archived from the original on 27 January 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Province: Negros Oriental". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  21. ^ a b c Census of Population (2015). Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  22. ^ a b c Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region VII (Central Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  23. ^ Gallarde, Juancho R. (30 August 2013). "In Negros Oriental: Valencia town readies bid to become a city". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "Negros Oriental: More Than One-Third of the Houses Were Built in the Latter 90's (Results from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, NSO); Table 4. Household Population by Ethnicity and Sex: Negros Oriental, 2000". Philippine Statistics Authority. 9 September 2002. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  26. ^ "Region: NIR - Negros Island Region". Philippine Statistics Authority. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  27. ^ "MAP: Catholicism in the Philippines". 18 January 2015.
  28. ^ "MAP: Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines". 26 July 2014.
  29. ^ "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  30. ^; publication date: 29 November 2005; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  31. ^; publication date: 8 February 2011; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  32. ^; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  33. ^; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  34. ^; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  35. ^; publication date: 4 June 2020; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  36. ^ Gatdula, Donnabelle L. (26 October 2009). "EDC takes over Tongonan, Palinpinon geothermal plants". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  37. ^ a b c "Transportation". Agribiz Oriental. Archived from the original on 19 May 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  38. ^ "Negros Oriental". Department of Trade and Industry. Archived from the original on 6 October 2003. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  39. ^ Amarado, Romy G. (25 October 2003). "The 'fantastic' Buglasan Festival of Dumaguete". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Dumaguete City, Philippines. Inquirer News Service. Archived from the original on 30 August 2005. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  40. ^ "Buglasan Festival 2015 opens with 'Fiesta sa Nayon'". Sun.Star Dumaguete. Philippine Information Agency. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  41. ^ "The Negros Times". The Negros Times. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  42. ^ "Visayan News". Dumaguete MetroPost. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  43. ^ "(Home page)". The Negros Chronicle. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  44. ^ "Negros Oriental (home page)". The Visayan Daily Star. Retrieved 16 April 2016.

External linksEdit

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