|Location||South East Asia
|Major islands||Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate, Negros, Panay, Samar|
|Highest point||Kanlaon (2,435)|
|Province||Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental|
|Largest city||Bacolod (429,076)
|Population||3,700,000 (as of 2000)|
|Indigenous people||Bisaya (Cebuano, Hiligaynon)|
Negros is an island of the Philippines located in the Visayas, at . It is the 4th largest island in the country, with a land area of 12,706 square km (4,905 square mi.). People on the island are called Negrense.
Politically and culturally, Negros is divided into two provinces: Negros Oriental in the Central Visayas region, and Negros Occidental, part of the Western Visayas region. This division of the island, which roughly follows the mountain range at the center of the island, corresponds to the two ethnoliguistic groups on this part of the country. The western part (Occidental) is where the Ilonggo- or Hiligaynon-speaking Negrense are located and the eastern portion (Oriental) is home to the Cebuano-speaking population.
Negros is noted for being the country's prime producer of sugar. Sugar cane plantations abound in the agricultural areas of the island.
Kanlaon Volcano, in the northern part of the island is a semi-active volcano and overlooks Bacolod City. It is the highest peak in the island as well as the whole of the Visayan region. Other notable peaks in the island are Mt. Silay and Mt. Mandalagan in Negros Occidental, and Cuernos de Negros in Negros Oriental.
The volcanic activity in Negros is harvested into electricity through two geothermal power plants in the island. One is located in Palinpinon, Negros Oriental and the other one, to open in 2007 is in Mailum, Negros Occidental.
Negros Island was originally called "Buglas" - an old native word which is thought to mean "cut off". It is believed that Negros was once part of a greater mass of land, but was cut off either by what geologists call a continental drift or by the rising waters during the Ice age. Among its earliest inhabitants were dark-skinned natives belonging to the Negrito ethnic group with a unique culture.
Thus, the Spaniards called the land "Negros" after the black natives whom they saw when they first came to the island in April 1565. Two of the earliest native settlements, Binalbagan and Ilog, became towns in 1573 and 1584 respectively. Other settlements were Hinigaran, Bago, Marayo (now Pontevedra), Mamalan (now Himamaylan) and Candaguit (a sitio in San Enrique).
After appointing encomienderos in the island, Miguel López de Legaspi placed Negros under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Oton in Panay. In 1734 however, the island became a military district and Ilog was made as its first capital. The seat of government was later transferred to Himamaylan until Bacolod became the capital in 1849.
On November 3 to November 6, 1898, the Negrenses rose in revolt against the Spanish authorities headed by politico-military governor Colonel Isidro de Castro in the provinces of Negros Occidental viz. Oriental. The Spaniards decided to surrender upon seeing armed troops in a pincer movement towards Bacolod. The marching revolutionaries, led by General Juan Araneta from Bago and General Aniceto Lacson from Talisay, were actually carrying fake arms consisting of rifles carved out of palm fronds and cannons of rolled bamboo mats painted black. By the afternoon of November 6, Colonel de Castro signed the Act of Capitulation, thus ending Spanish rule in Negros Occidental. This event is commemorated in Negros Occidental every Cinco de Noviembre as the day the Negrenses bluffed the Spaniards to attain their freedom.
For a detailed article on this event, see Negros Revolution.
On November 27, 1898 the Cantonal Republic of Negros was established. It came under U.S. protection on April 30, 1899. On July 22, 1899 it was renamed Republic of Negros (República de Negros), but on April 30, 1901 this was extinguished by the United States.
- 5 November 1898 - 22 July 1899 Aniceto Lacson (to 27 November 1898 in Negros Occidental only)
- 24 November 1898 - 27 November 1898 Demetrio Larena (in Negros Oriental).
President of the Constituent Assembly (22 July 1899 - 6 November 1899) was José Luzuriaga
Civil Governor (6 November 1899 - 30 April 1901) was Melecio Severino.
- Official Website of the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental
- Official Website of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental