Fourth Larges

Fourth Largest Island in the Philippines

Did you know that Negros Island is the fourth largest island in the Philippines? With a total land area of 13,309 km2 (5,139 sq mi), Negros Island boasts vast landscapes and a thriving population of 4,656,945 people as of 2020. This beautiful island located in the Visayas region is not only known for its stunning natural beauty but also for being home to some of the top fourth largest businesses in the country.

From leading companies to growth in various sectors, Negros Island has made its mark as a significant player in the industry. Whether it’s in the sugar industry, agriculture, or tourism, the island has consistently ranked as one of the top fourth largest destinations for businesses and continues to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

In this article, we will explore the geographical location, history, major cities and landmarks, natural beauty and tourist attractions, as well as the rich culture and heritage that make Negros Island a must-visit destination in the Philippines. Get ready to discover the hidden wonders of this fourth largest island and be captivated by its diverse offerings.

Geographical Location of Negros Island

Negros Island, located in the Visayas region of the Philippines, is a captivating destination with a diverse and fascinating geographical location. The island is divided into two provinces: Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. Situated in the central part of the country, Negros Island is surrounded by various bodies of water, offering stunning coastal views and abundant marine resources.

Negros Occidental, located in Western Visayas, is known for its rich agricultural lands and picturesque landscapes. The province is bordered by the Tañon Strait to the west and the Sulu Sea to the south, providing opportunities for water-based activities and breathtaking sunsets along its coastlines.

Negros Oriental, part of Central Visayas, is famous for its diverse natural wonders and vibrant marine life. The province is surrounded by the Bohol Sea to the east and the Visayan Sea to the north, offering a gateway to explore its white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and lush underwater ecosystems.

Table: Bodies of Water Surrounding Negros Island

Coastlines Body of Water
Negros Occidental Tañon Strait
Negros Oriental Bohol Sea
Western Coast Panay Gulf
Southern Coast Sulu Sea
Eastern Coast Guimaras Strait
Northern Coast Visayan Sea

The strategic location of Negros Island makes it easily accessible to both domestic and international visitors. Its central position in the country allows for convenient travel to and from other regions. The island’s unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality makes it a must-visit destination in the Philippines.

History of Negros Island

Negros Island, formerly known as Buglas, has a fascinating history that spans centuries. This section will explore the island’s journey from the precolonial era to modern times, highlighting significant events that have shaped its culture and development.

Precolonial Era: Indigenous Inhabitants

In the precolonial era, Negros Island was inhabited by various indigenous groups, including the Ata. These communities thrived in the island’s abundant natural resources and established their unique traditions and way of life.

Spanish Colonization and the Name “Negros”

During the Spanish colonization period, Negros Island fell under Spanish rule. The Spanish encountered dark-skinned natives and named the island “Negros,” meaning “black” in Spanish.

The Spaniards introduced Christianity and established settlements across the island. The influence of Spanish culture is still visible today in the architecture, language, and customs of the Negrenses.

The Sugar Industry and Economic Growth

The sugar industry played a significant role in Negros Island’s economy during the Spanish era. The island’s fertile soil and favorable climate made it ideal for sugarcane cultivation.

Sugar Cane Field

The sugar industry continued to thrive in the following centuries, contributing to the island’s economic growth and prosperity. Large sugar estates, known as haciendas, became prominent features of the landscape and shaped the social structure of Negros.

Negros Revolution and the Republic of Negros

Negros Island played a significant role in the Negros Revolution, a rebellion against Spanish rule in the late 19th century. Led by revolutionary figures such as Aniceto Lacson and Juan Araneta, the Negrenses fought for independence.

“This revolution aimed to liberate Negros from colonial oppression and establish the Republic of Negros, a short-lived independent state.”

The Negros Revolution marked a pivotal moment in the island’s history, symbolizing the indomitable spirit and determination of its people.

World War II and Japanese Occupation

During World War II, Negros Island experienced Japanese occupation. The island became a strategic location for the Japanese forces due to its vital sugarcane industry.

“Negros Island witnessed the hardships and atrocities of war under the Japanese occupation.”

The local resistance movement, supported by Filipino and American forces, played a crucial role in liberating the island from Japanese control.

Overall, the history of Negros Island reflects its resilience and the determination of its people to preserve their cultural heritage and strive for progress. The island’s journey from Buglas to Negros, the growth of the sugar industry, the Negros Revolution, and the impact of World War II have shaped its identity and contributed to its rich historical tapestry.

Major Cities and Landmarks in Negros Island

Negros Island is home to several major cities and landmarks that showcase its vibrant culture, natural beauty, and rich heritage. Let’s explore some of the notable destinations on the island:

Bacolod City

Bacolod, the largest city and the capital of Negros Occidental, is a bustling urban center renowned for its vibrant culture and warm hospitality. It is famous for the annual MassKara Festival, a colorful celebration of music, dance, and intricate masks.

Other Major Cities

Aside from Bacolod, Negros Island is home to other significant cities, including Bago, Cadiz, Himamaylan, Kabankalan, Sagay, San Carlos, Silay, Sipalay, Talisay, and Victorias. Each city has its own unique charm and attractions, offering visitors a diverse range of experiences.

Sugar Mills and Plantations

Negros Island is often referred to as the “Sugar Bowl of the Philippines” due to its thriving sugar industry. The island is dotted with sugar mills and plantations, creating a picturesque landscape of vast sugarcane fields and contributing significantly to the local economy.

Kanlaon Volcano

A prominent natural landmark on Negros Island is the Kanlaon Volcano, an active stratovolcano considered one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. Rising 2,465 meters (8,087 feet) above sea level, Kanlaon Volcano offers breathtaking views and opportunities for hiking and exploration.

Dive Sites and Underwater Reefs

For diving enthusiasts, Negros Island boasts stunning dive sites and vibrant coral reefs. The clear waters surrounding the island are teeming with marine life, offering divers a chance to encounter colorful coral formations, tropical fish, and other fascinating underwater creatures.

City Province Main Attraction
Bacolod Negros Occidental MassKara Festival
Bago Negros Occidental Historical sites
Cadiz Negros Occidental White-sand beaches
Himamaylan Negros Occidental Churches and heritage sites
Kanlaon Negros Occidental Kanlaon Volcano
Sagay Negros Occidental Marine reserves
San Carlos Negros Occidental Beach resorts and waterfalls
Silay Negros Occidental Spanish colonial architecture
Sipalay Negros Occidental Unspoiled beaches and dive spots
Talisay Negros Occidental The Ruins
Victorias Negros Occidental Victorias Milling Company

Explore these cities and landmarks on Negros Island to experience the vibrant culture, natural wonders, and captivating attractions that make the island a must-visit destination.

Natural Beauty and Tourist Attractions in Negros Island

Negros Island is renowned for its natural beauty and tourist attractions. Visitors to Negros Oriental can explore the famous Chocolate Hills, a collection of unique limestone formations that dot the landscape. These hills, which turn brown during the dry season, create a mesmerizing sight that draws tourists from around the world.

Chocolate Hills

The island is also home to the adorable Tarsier monkeys, an indigenous primate species known for their large eyes and agile movements. These fascinating creatures can be found in select areas of Negros, providing visitors with an opportunity to witness them up close in their natural habitat.

For beach lovers and divers, Negros offers a plethora of attractions. Its pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters provide the perfect setting for relaxation and water activities. The island’s underwater world is teeming with life, with coral reefs boasting vibrant colors and a diverse array of marine species. Diving enthusiasts will find themselves immersed in a breathtaking underwater paradise.

The lush jungle scenery and picturesque landscapes of Negros Island make it a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. From trekking through dense forests to discovering hidden waterfalls, there are countless opportunities to explore the island’s natural wonders.

Culture and Heritage in Negros Island

Negros Island is a treasure trove of vibrant culture and rich heritage. From its unique culinary delights to its colorful festivals and stunning architecture, Negros offers a truly immersive experience for visitors.

Negrense Cuisine

The Negrense cuisine is a culinary masterpiece that reflects the island’s diverse cultural influences. The dishes showcase a harmonious blend of local flavors and foreign influences, creating a gastronomic adventure for food enthusiasts. From the famous Chicken Inasal to the delectable Bacolod-style La Paz Batchoy, Negros cuisine is a feast for the senses.


The festivals in Negros Island are a testament to its vibrant traditions and spirited celebrations. One of the most famous festivals is the MassKara Festival held in Bacolod City, where people don vibrant masks and costumes while dancing to lively music. Another notable celebration is Sinulog sa Kabankalan, a cultural extravaganza showcasing the island’s devotion to Santo Niño.

Spanish Colonial Architecture

Negros Island boasts magnificent Spanish colonial architecture, a reflection of its colonial past. One iconic landmark is the Ruins of Lacson Mansion in Talisay City. This grand mansion was once a sugar mill owner’s residence and is now a picturesque ruin surrounded by beautiful gardens. It serves as a reminder of Negros’ rich history and architectural grandeur.

Silliman University

Silliman University, located in Dumaguete City, holds a special place in Negros’ educational and cultural landscape. Established in 1901, it is the first American school in the Philippines and continues to be a center of academic excellence. The university’s sprawling campus and historic buildings make it a must-visit destination for those interested in the island’s educational heritage.


Negros Island, with its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse attractions, has become a captivating destination for travelers. The tourism industry in Negros has experienced significant growth, attracting both domestic and international visitors to explore the hidden paradise of the island.

The economic development of Negros Island is driven by various sectors, including the sugar industry, agriculture, and tourism. The island’s unique blend of industries contributes to its vibrant economy, making it a thriving destination in the Philippines.

Travelers to Negros Island are treated to breathtaking landscapes, from picturesque white-sand beaches to vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. The island’s lush jungle scenery and the famous Chocolate Hills offer an opportunity for nature lovers to immerse themselves in the island’s natural wonders.

In addition to its natural beauty, Negros Island boasts a rich cultural heritage. Visitors can indulge in the Negrense cuisine, a delightful fusion of local flavors and international influences. Festivals such as the MassKara Festival and Sinulog sa Kabankalan showcase the island’s colorful traditions and provide a glimpse into its vibrant culture.

With its diverse attractions, strong tourism industry, and impressive economic growth, Negros Island is truly a destination that offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler. From exploring its natural wonders to immersing in its vibrant culture, Negros Island is a must-visit destination when planning a trip to the Philippines.


What is the land area of Negros Island?

Negros Island has a total land area of 13,309 km2 (5,139 sq mi).

Where is Negros Island located?

Negros Island is located in the Visayas region of the Philippines, in the central part of the country.

How many provinces are there in Negros Island?

Negros Island is divided into two provinces: Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.

What is the population of Negros Island?

As of 2020, the population of Negros Island is 4,656,945 people.

What is the significance of the sugar industry in Negros Island?

The sugar industry has played a significant role in the economy of Negros Island throughout history.

What are some major cities in Negros Island?

The major cities in Negros Island include Bacolod, Bago, Cadiz, Himamaylan, Kabankalan, Sagay, San Carlos, Silay, Sipalay, Talisay, and Victorias.

What are some famous landmarks in Negros Island?

Some famous landmarks in Negros Island include the Kanlaon Volcano and the Ruins of Lacson Mansion.

What are some tourist attractions in Negros Island?

Negros Island offers attractions such as the Chocolate Hills, tarsier monkeys, white-sand beaches, coral reefs, and jungle scenery.

What is the Negrense cuisine known for?

The Negrense cuisine offers a unique culinary experience with dishes that blend local flavors and influences from other cultures.

How has the tourism industry grown in Negros Island?

The tourism industry in Negros Island has seen significant growth, attracting both domestic and international visitors.

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