Brief Description

Negros Occidental is a province located in the region of Western Visayas, in the Philippines. It occupies the northwestern half of the large island of Negros, with Negros Oriental comprising the southeastern half. Known as the “Sugarbowl of the Philippines”, Negros Occidental produces more than half the nation’s sugar output.

Negros Occidental faces the island-province of Guimaras and the province of Iloilo on Panay Island to the northwest across the Panay Gulf and the Guimaras Strait. The primary spoken language is Hiligaynon and the predominant religious denomination is Roman Catholicism. Bacolod City is the capital, seat of government and the most populous city of the province, but is governed independently as a highly urbanized city. With a population of 2,497,261 inhabitants, it is the most populated province in Western Visayas, the second most-populous province in the Visayas after Cebu and the 8th most-populous province of the Philippines.

Geography

Negros Occidental is located in the western side of Negros Island, the fourth largest island in the Philippines, with a total land area of 7,802.54 square kilometres (3,012.58 sq mi). If Bacolod City is included for geographical purposes, the province has an area of 7,965.21 square kilometres (3,075.38 sq mi). The province is approximately 375 kilometres (233 mi) long from north to south. It is bounded by the Visayan Sea in the north, Panay Gulf on the west, Negros Oriental province and Tañon Strait on the east and Sulu Sea on the south. Negros is basically volcanic, making its soil ideal for agriculture. Eighty percent of all arable land in the island region is cultivated.

The north and western parts of the province are largely composed of plains and gentle slopes. A mountain range lines the eastern part of the province, forming the basis of the border with Negros Oriental. Kanlaon Volcano, which is partially located in Negros Oriental, rises to a height of 2,465 m (8,087 ft) and is the highest peak in the Visayas.

Administrative Divisions

Antique is subdivided into 18 municipalities. San Jose de Buenavista serves as the provincial capital, the center of commerce and trade, and the seat of the provincial government and national government agencies.

  • Bacolod City
  • Bago City
  • Binalbagan
  • Cadiz City
  • Calatrava
  • Candoni
  • Cauayan
  • Enrique B. Magalona
  • Escalante City
  • Himamaylan City
  • Hinigaran
  • Hinoba-an
  • Ilog
  • Isabela
  • Kabankalan City
  • La Carlota City
  • La Castellana
  • Manapla
  • Moises Padilla
  • Murcia
  • Pontevedra
  • Pulupandan
  • Sagay City
  • Salvador Benedicto
  • San Carlos City
  • San Enrique
  • Silay City
  • Sipalay City
  • Talisay City
  • Toboso
  • Valladolid
  • Victorias City

Demographics

The population of Negros Occidental in the 2015 census was 2,497,261 people, with a density of 320 inhabitants per square kilometre or 830 inhabitants per square mile. If Bacolod City is included for geographical and statistical purposes, the total population is 3,059,136 people, with a density of 384/km2 (995/sq mi).

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 Occidental is predominantly a Hiligaynon-speaking province by 84%, because of its linguistic ties with Iloilo. Cebuano is spoken by the remaining 16%, especially in the cities and towns facing the Tañon Strait, due to their proximity to the island-province of Cebu. Sagay City and surrounding places, which both face Iloilo and Cebu, speaks a hybrid language composed of Hiligaynon and Cebuano. Filipino and English, though seldom used, are widely spoken and used on both sides of the island for educational, literary and official purposes.