Negros Oriental Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Negros Island, the fourth largest island in the Philippines, is believed to have once been part of the island of Mindanao, but was cut off—either by continental drift or the rising waters at the end of the ice age.
Among the early inhabitants of the island were dark-skinned peoples belonging to the Negrito ethnic group, as well as Han Chinese and Malays. They called the island "Buglas", a native word which is believed to mean "cut off".
Spanish explorers on the expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi first came to the island in April 1565. Legaspi dropped anchor in Bohol and sent his men to scout the island. 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. 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 1856 and the capital was transferred to Bacolod.
Due to its proximity to Mindanao, the south eastern coast of Negros was in constant threat from Moro marauders looking for slaves, and watchtowers were built to protect the Christian villages. The Moro raids and Negros Oriental's distance from the Negros capital in Bacolod induced 13 Recollectionist priests to petition for the division of the island in July 1876. 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 City was made the first 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 the province in 1898, disrupting government functions but without bloodshed. Revolutionary troops in the province were composed mostly of farm laborers and other prominent people of the Negros Oriental province who were organized and led by Don Diego de la Viña. The Spanish government in Dumaguete was overthrown on November 24, 1898. Later, the Negros Occidental area under the leadership of Gen. Araneta only, in contrast to the Negros Oriental area under the leadership of Don Diego de la Viña, formed the Cantonal Republic of Negros,a separate government from the more familiar Malolos Republic established in Luzon. 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. 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.
During World War II, the province was invaded by Japanese forces and many residents were forced to flee to the mountains to escape. Negros Island was taken back from the combined Filipino & American troops with the Allied Negrosanon guerillas attacked Japanese on August 6, 1945.
On September 17, 1971, Siquijor finally became an independent province by virtue of Republic Act No. 6396. (See Province of Siquijor)
Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negros_Oriental