|Region||Western Visayas (Region VI)|
|Total (2000)|| 107,722|
Silay City is a 2nd class city in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 107,722 people in 21,446 households. It has a sizeable commercial and fishing port and it is the site of the new Silay City International Airport, which will replace the Bacolod City Domestic Airport.
The appellation Silay is derived from the name of a tree which grew abundantly in the area. The Kansilay is the city's official tree.
The Legend of Princess Kansilay
A local legend tells of how Silay City got its name. It is said that in the days of the datus and rajahs, there once lived a princess named Kansilay. An attack on the settlement by pirates was thwarted when the princess bravely led the people in the village's defense. The fight was furious and the princess fought like a seasoned warrior. Murals that used to grace some of the city's public buildings depict her as a fierce fighter wielding a huge talibong, a short native single-edged sword. The pirates were routed, but at the cost of the princess' life. Her paramour arrived in time to see her die. In grief, the people lovingly buried her. To their surprise, a tree grew right over her grave, the first Kansilay tree, a final gift from the brave princess.
Silay was first settled in 1565 under the name "Carobcob", which means 'ribcage' in the Hiligaynon dialect. In early writings, the settlement was also referred to as "Calubcub", "Caracol" and "Caraco".  The last two variations mean "snail" or a "spiral" in Spanish. On January 25,1571 it became an encomienda under the Spanish colonial system prevalent during that period. In 1760, it became a pueblo or town, and by 1896, it had become a leading sugar-producing area because of the Horno Economico (sugar mill) built by a France|Frenchman who became a permanent resident of Silay, Yves Leopold Germain Gaston.
- Main article: Negros Revolution
The Philippine flag was first raised in Silay on the afternoon of November 5, 1898 when Spanish soldiers stationed in the town surrendered to the hacienda laborers and the landowners who besieged the garrison.
Silay has been known in the past as the "Paris of Negros" and the "cultural and intellectual hub of Negros" because of Silaynons' love for knowledge and works of art. It became a chartered city on June 12, 1957 by virtue of Republic Act 1621.
On June 7, 2003, Silay City became the first and only Local Government Unit in the whole Philippines to hold a referendum through a People's Initiative approving the 2003 Annual Executive Budget.
Today Silay is one of the 25 tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is the seat of arts, culture and eco-tourism in Western Visayas.
Tagasilay, also referencing the Kansilay tree, is a barangay in the Philippine city of Zamboanga in the island of Mindanao. The apellation 'tagasilay' translates to 'from silay' or 'of silay' in Hiligaynon.
Silay City is politically sub-divided into 16 barangays.
- Website of the City of Silay
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- 2000 Philippine Census Information
- Photos - Silay museums/ancestral homes
- ^ Sa-onoy, Modesto P., Parroquia de San Diego, Today Printers and Publishers, Bacolod City, Philippines, 2006, p.1