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Location of Negros within the Philippines
Location of Negros within the Philippines
Waters Pacific Ocean
Archipelago Philippines
Geographical location 10 ° 3 '  N , 123 ° 1'  E Coordinates: 10 ° 3 '  N , 123 ° 1'  E
Negros (Philippines)
surface 13,328 km²
Highest elevation Canal
2435  m
Residents 3,602,173 (2007)
270 inhabitants / km²
main place Bacolod City, Dumaguete City

Negros is the largest of the Visayas Islands belonging to the Philippines and the third largest island in the entire archipelago.

The island is 13,328 km² and according to the 2007 census has 3.6 million inhabitants. The main cities on the island are Bacolod City in the north, Kabankalan City in the west and Dumaguete City in the southeast.


The neighboring islands of Negros are Panay to the northwest and the smaller Guimaras , separated by the Guimaras Strait and the Gulf of Panay . In the east lies the island of Cebu , separated by the Tanon Strait and in the southeast the smaller Siquijor and the island of Bohol . Far to the south Mindanao is separated by the Mindanao Sea and far to the west the Palawan archipelago , separated from Negros by the Sulu Sea . The Visayas Sea separates Negros from the main island of the Philippines, Luzon .

The shape of the island is reminiscent of a sock; however, the coastline runs relatively evenly and is only deeply cut by a few deeper bays , such as the bay of Bais City . In front of the coast are many coral reefs and smaller islands such as Apo Island in the south, Danjugan Island off the west coast and Sipaway Island off the east coast.

The topography of the island is determined by the volcanic mountains of the Cuernos de Negros in the southeast and the volcanoes Mandalagan , Kanlaon and Silay in the northern center of the island. In the northeast and northwest of the island there are large plains, most of which are used for agriculture. In the southwest of the island is the catchment area of ​​the Ilog River , which forms a 50 km² delta at its mouth.


The Kanlaon volcano

Until the middle of the 19th century, the island was largely forested with a tropical rainforest. With the ever greater expansion of sugar cane production, the lowlands were largely deforested. Nowadays, rainforests are only found in the northern part of the island from about 800 meters above sea level. The southern and southeastern part of the island is now more forested than the northern one. There are numerous coral reefs with a very large biodiversity off the coast of the island . Most of the reefs are marine protected areas where economic activity is largely prohibited in order to protect fish stocks. There are many waterfalls , smaller lakes and numerous cave systems on the island . Because of its island location, numerous endemic endangered animal species such as the Visayas pustular pig ( Sus cebifrons ) and the Prince Alfred deer ( Cervus alfredi ) and the Negros shrew live on Negros .

In detecting the Avifauna were, inter alia, inventories of Tariktik-Hornvogel ( Penelopides panini ), the Negros pigeon ( Ptilinopus arcanus ), the Negros-gallicolumba ( Gallicolumba keayi ), the spotted Fruchttaube ( Ducula Carola ) and the Negrosdschungelschnäpper ( Rhinomyias albigularis ) proven. To protect the island's biodiversity, the Mount Kanlaon Natural Park national parks were established in the center of the island and the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in the south . Other protected areas are the Northern Negros Natural Park , the Sagay Marine Reserve , the Ilog-Hilabangan Watershed Forest Reserve and the Kabangkalan Watershed Forest Reserve .


The geology of Negros reveals the volcanic history of the island. The rock layers consist of a mixture of volcanic basalts , slag , tuff and a succession of sedimentary rocks made of limestone, slate, sandstone and siltstone. The formation of the various rock layers could be traced back from the Jurassic to the Holocene .

The island of Negros was formed when two geotectonic small plates collided, when the Palawan plate pushed under the Philippine plate and the islands of the western Visayas rose from the sea. This subduction zone gave rise to numerous volcanoes on the island and is extremely prone to earthquakes. In the past, the island was shaken by many strong earthquakes , such as an earthquake measuring 8.1 in 1948 or an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale on February 6, 2012, shaking the island, collapsing numerous buildings and killing 48 people.


Capitol Park in Bacolod

By far the most important branch of the economy is agriculture, around 60% of the Philippine sugar production comes from the island of Negros. Sugar cane is grown on around 450,000 hectares, which is more than half of the agricultural area of ​​Negros . Other agricultural products include rice , corn , bananas and numerous products made from coconuts . The strongholds of the sugar industry are Victoria and Binalbagan . The largest sugar refineries on the island are located there. According to the Philippine statistics agency NSCB, the island is one of the wealthier regions of the country, but the gap between rich and poor is particularly pronounced on Negros. The wealthy wealthy upper class owns the large sugar cane plantations and the rest of the population often lives in poverty and works on the plantations. In the last few decades other industries have also settled on the island, which has increased the income opportunities for the population.


Capitol of Negros Oriental in Dumaguete

Negros was once called "Buglas" by the locals, which means "cut off" in the native languages ​​of Negros and alludes to the shape of a tall grass species. It is believed that Negros was once part of a much larger land mass and was separated from the other islands of the Visayas both by tectonic changes and by rising sea levels after the end of the last Ice Age .

The first known inhabitants of the island were the dark-skinned Negritos . The Spanish named the island after them when they arrived in April 1565. The Negritos lived mainly along the coast of the island, they were descendants of Malay immigrants . Two of the first settlements documented in writing go back to the Negritos, Binalbagan and Ilog . Most of the Negritos were farming and bartering with Chinese and other Asian traders who had visited the island regularly since the 13th century. Although no written documents were found, artifacts and relics from the Song Dynasty period in the 12th century have been excavated in the cities of Bacong , Bayawan City, and La Libertad in Negros Oriental and Escalante City in Negros Occidental. The first known documentary mention of the island of Negros dates back to 1545, in the atlas of the renowned Spanish cartographer Alonso de Santa Cruz . On the map of Santa Cruz, the island y de Negros was recorded.

The Spaniards reached Negros in April 1565 when a ship circled the island and examined it more closely. As early as 1571, 13 encomiendas were set up on the island, by the conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi , and placed under the jurisdiction of the colonial administration of the province of Oton on the island of Panay. In 1572 the Christianization of the population of Negros began by the monks of the Augustinian order .

In 1734 the island became an independent district through the establishment of a military administrative district with the administrative center in Ilog. In 1795 Negros became an independent province with the capital Himamaylan . In 1865 the island was first divided into two politico-military administrative districts, which were converted into the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental on January 1, 1890 .

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