Formerly known as “Nabingkalan” derived from the word “Nabingka” a beautiful daughter of negrito chieftain who settled in the area that ruled the village in early part of 17th century. Nabingka was very famous to her native inhabitants because of her alluring face, mental and physical prowness, but a saddened death came for the beautiful princess of the village and all of her people mourned for two days to pay respect to the lovely daughter of the chieftain. To perpetuate the memory of the said princess their village was name after her “Nabingkalan” so that princess will be remembered and remained in the heart of her people.

Years later, the settlement was bought by enterprising Cebuano, Carlos Apurado from Badian, Cebu who developed and converted the area into a thriving Christian village with the help of his fellow pioneers. Don Emilio Saravia, the first politico Military Governor of Negros Island or Buglas of what they called the Negros before, renamed Nabingkalan into “San Carlos” in 1856 and established it as a “pueblo” during this time the Negros was divided into two provinces under politico military of Spain, the West Negros under Iloilo and East Negros under Cebu and the barrio of Nabingkalan under Calatrava was belong to the jurisdiction of Iloilo.

With the conversion of the place into pueblo, the prosperous years come to people of San Carlos but in spite of the good economic growth of the place, in 1890 the Negros was divided into two provinces, the Occidental and Oriental Negros, San Carlos lost its pueblo status and San Carlos was recorded as “arrabal’ or barrio of Calatrava (Hilub-ang).

On October 16, 1898 a parish priest of Calatrava visited the San Carlos and noticed that the place was more prosperous than the town (Calatrava) so he called all the cabesa of the barangay of the town and conduct a short conference after talking with the cabesa de barangay he decided to make a new town for San Carlos in honor of the patron saint of the barrio, Saint Carlos Borromeo whose feast day was November 4 and on the same day, the seat of town was transferred to San Carlos.

In 1898, San Carlos acquired its township status when Gen. Juan Araneta of the Revolutionary Negros Republic officially proclaimed it as a municipality. This was confirmed by the American Military Administration in 1901.
Five years later, in 1906, a constraint on the new administration form of local government implemented by the American Administration made Calatrava an “arrabal” or barrio of San Carlos.

San Carlos became a city on July 1, 1960. Each year, the city celebrates the Pintaflores festival on November 3-5 that culminates in a fascinating street dancing competition participated by floral-painted dancers donned in colorful, ethnic-inspired costumes.


The city of San Carlos was located along the coast of Tanon Strait was intersected with the four big cities in the Visayas namely: Cebu City, Iloilo City, Dumaguete City and the province capital Bacolod City. The city of San Carlos has a long coastline that range almost 40 kilometers which is abundant of mangrove which right now was protected by the city’s mayor reforestation project. The city was also famous with its beach resort that are now one of the major attraction for local and foreign tourist, and this white sand beaches can be found in the island of Sipaway. the Philippine Ports Authority has chosen the San Carlos City port from among other ports in the province for its expansion program in 1998 which include the reclamation of four hectares of sea to accommodate various port buildings, facilities and container vans, an extension on the eastside for two RO-RO vessels and the extension of the length of the port to 242.5 meters.

San Carlos has also two pronounced seasons same as with the different cities of Visayas, the rainy season which cover the month of May to January with a huge amount of rains recorded in the months of August and September, and dry seasons that hit the city from February to April. The month of December were considered as the coldest month of the city while April considered as the hottest month.