Discover nature at its freshest in the province that promises the charming surprise of a lush countryside, a fascinating highland adventure, breathtaking caves, magnificent lakes, scenic beaches, world-class marine reserves, alluring dive sites, and even playful dolphins and whales.
An exhilirating journey awaits at the internationally acclaimed dive site of Apo Island, also home to the Balwarte Rocks and Negros Oriental Marine Conservation Park, all of which are consistent crowd drawers. View playful dolphins and pygmy sperm whales out in Tañon Strait at Bais Bay. Commune with birds and other wildlife at the 400-hectare protected mangrove forest that is the Bird Sanctuary and Mangrove Park. And do stop by to admire Canlaon Volcano, one of the tallest peaks in the Visayas.
Negros Oriental offers you the opportunity to commune with nature, undisturbed. The heavens have blessed this province with more than its fair share of nature’s bounty, with a bonus to boot – the warmth and the inherent charm of the Oriental Negrense.
Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Tagalog and English.
The five major cities are Bais, Bayawan, Canlaon, Tanjay, and Dumaguete (the capital). Situated on the plains of the southeastern coast, Dumaguete City is bounded on the north by the municipality of Sibulan, on the west by the Mindanao Sea, Valencia on the southeast, and Bacong on the south. There are 3 congressional districts, 20 municipalities, and 540 barangays.
1,126,000, according to the 2000 Census.
The Negritos, Malays, and Chinese have long inhabited the island called Buglas before the 1565 expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
Legaspi dropped anchor in Bohol and sent his men in a frigate to reconnoiter in the island. A strong current carried the frigate for several days around Buglas. The Spaniards reported seeing many dark-skinned inhabitants, and so they renamed the island “Negros.”
In 1571 Legaspi assigned encomiendas on Negros Island to 13 of his men. In the following year, Augustinian friars began the Christianization of the island. In 1734 Negros was made into a corregimento with its capital in Ilog, located on the western side. In 1795 the island became an alcaldia with Himamaylan as capital, also on the west. In 1856 Negros became a politico-military province with Don Emilio Saravia y Nuñez as the first Gobernador Politico-Militar, and Bacolod, again on the west, as capital.
Due to difficulties in administering the far-flung settlements of the island, the Recollect priests petitioned for the division of the island. Thirteen years later, in January, Governor General Valeriano Weyler executed a Royal Decree establishing two separate Negros political units, Negros Occidental on the western side and Negros Oriental on the southeast. Negros Oriental was assigned Dumaguete as capital.
Negros Oriental is Famous for…
Begun almost a century ago, the sugar industry is a recognized top dollar earner for Negros. Central Azucarera de Bais was established in 1918 as the first sugar central of the Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas SA, or Tabacalera, in the country. Located in Bais City, CAB propelled the province’s sugar industry and pioneered in the manufacture of paper from bagasse.
Sinulog de Tanjay
Celebrated every June 24 in Tanjay City, this is an old tradition that began with old men engaged in swordplay and dancing from house to house. Today, Sinulog de Tanjay is highlighted by street dancing and a mock battle between the Moros and Christians, followed by their reconciliation through the intercession of town patron Señor Santiago, held on the eve of the patron’s feast day.
The island offers the best diving around. On the southeast, the sanctuary is a gradual slope with a shallow wall. Thousands of tiny fish cluster around the bushes of black corals in crevices, and there are lapu-lapus, surgeons, some beautiful stony corals, and a collection of various species of clownfishes and anemones. Apo island is accessible by a 35-minute boat ride from Zamboanguita.
Apo Island Beach Resort, formerly Kan-Upe Cove Resort, is an internationally acclaimed dive site. The 12-hectare island has eight regular and honeymoon cottages. Located in Dauin, it has a hilly terrain and white-pebbled lagoon. Nestled within, the Balwarte Rocks and Negros Oriental Marine Conservation Park, with its spectacular coral gardens and marvelous marine life, are consistent crowd drawers.
PNOC Geothermal Power Plant
Nestled among mountains that spout steam from vents, set amidst a lush landscape at cool altitudes, is the power plant situated in Ticala, Valencia. The Palimpinon Power Plant is the centerpiece of the geothermal reserve in the care of the Philippine National Oil Company, which generates and supplies power to Negros, Panay, and Cebu.
Dolphin and Whale Watching
Regular cruises can take visitors out to Tañon Strait and Bais Bay to view playful dolphins and pygmy sperm whales, which surface from their natural habitat to put up an acrobatic show for enthusiasts. Visits are ideal between May and September. Spectacular underwater scenes reward snorkelers and divers.
One of the tallest peaks in the Visayas, the volcano raised Canlaon City’s skyline to 8,085 feet above sea level. The still active volcano is a favorite spot of intrepid mountain climbers. It can be accessed from Canlaon City, 165.7 kilometers from Dumaguete City.
Comprising 35 hectares adjacent to downtown Dumaguete, the university has been declared a bird sanctuary and is noted for its olden trees and cottage residences. Its major buildings, among them, the Guy Hall, Channon Hall, Oriental Hall, and Occidental Hall, had once been used by the Japanese Occupation forces for administrative and penal activities. Silliman University is located in Dumaguete City.
Bird Sanctuary and Mangrove Park
It is a 400-hectare protected mangrove forest which is a natural habitat and nesting place of birds and other wildlife. The park is located in Bais City. It is accessible by boat and then a walking distance through a 5,968 bamboo-split boardwalk.
Apo Island Rockclimbing
This tiny island off the coast of Dumaguete is almost completely ringed with 20m cliffs of stable limestone, offering fascinating climbing in a stunning setting. The island is surrounded by crystal water and extensive reefs, ideal for post-climb diving expeditions. Truly fearless (or perhaps foolhardy) climbers can cap off their ascent with a 12m dive into the ocean below. There are five established routes, ranging from 5.6 to 5.10, and the potential is there for many others. The island is a 30-minute boat ride from shore, and it is worth seeking the help of local climbers – contact the Dumaguete-based Cuernos de Negros Mountaineering Club, who can also arrange mountain treks into the interior of southern Negros.
How to Get to Negros Oriental
Negros Oriental is accesible by land, sea and air transportation: It is one hour and 15 minutes by plane from Manila, and 40 minutes from Cebu to Dumaguete City, capital of Negros Oriental. There are daily direct flights from Manila and Cebu. There are also daily sea voyages to and from different points in the Visayas and Mindanao and twice a week to and from Manila.