Negros Oriental History, Geography, Economy

Negros Oriental is a province of Central Visayas Region or Region VII, Philippines. It occupies the eastern half of Negros Island.

Negros Oriental History
Negros Oriental Provincial Capitol (Photo Credit: Facebook Page)

Profile of Negros Oriental Province (Geography)
Location –> Central Visayas Region, Philippines (See map below)
Neighboring Provinces –> Negros Occidental, Cebu across Tañon Strait
Capital –> Dumaguete City
Area –> 5,385.53 km2 (2,079.36 sq mi)
Population –> 1,354,995 (2015 census)
Terrain –> Mountainous with coastal plains
Industries –> Agriculture, Sugar Refining
Major Products –> Rice, Sugarcane, Coconut, Corn, Vegetables
People/Language –> Bisaya
Cities –> (6) Bais, Bayawan, Canlaon City, Dumaguete, Guihulngan, Tanjay
Municipalities (Towns) –> (19) Amlan, Ayungon, Bacong, Basay, Bindoy, Dauin, Jimalalud, La Libertad, Mabinay, Manjuyod, Pamplona, San Jose, Santa Catalina, Siaton, Sibulan, Tayasan, Valencia, Vallehermoso, Zamboanguita

Government Officials
Go here to see the elected provincial officials of Negros Oriental.

Negros Oriental History

Before the coming of the Spaniards, the island of Negros was called Buglas. It was settled by short, dark-skinned people with kinky hair. The Spaniards called them Negritos and the island was tagged as Negros. The Spanish authorities then divided the island into different encomiendas, one of them was rios de Tanae which later on became Tanjay. Due to the rising number of inhabitants brought about by the expanded production of sugarcane, the whole island of Negros became more difficult to govern. Consequently, a royal decree was issued on October 25, 1889, establishing Negros Oriental as a separate province with the island of Siquijor as part of its territory. On January 1, 1890, the island was formally divided into oriental and occidental provinces.

During the 1898 Revolution, Don Diego de la Viña of Vallehermoso town led a band of rebels to occupy Dumaguete. Later, General Emilio Aguinaldo appointed Don Demetrio Larena as “Presidente” of the province. The later was again appointed as the first governor of the province when the Americans organized a civil government in the province on May 1, 1901.

On August 28, 1901, Silliman Institute in Dumaguete was founded by Dr. David S Hibbard. It would later be upgraded to become the first Protestant university in the Philippines.

On March 4, 2023, then Governor Roel Degamo was assassinated by unknown assailants at his residence in Pamplona municipality where his wife Janice is the mayor.

Go here to see all the famous people from Negros Oriental Province.

Go here to see the candidates and results of the 2019 election in Negros Oriental Province.

Read the history of Negros Oriental in Tagalog here.

Economy of Negros Oriental

The province of Negros Oriental is primarily agricultural in economic activity. Rice, sugarcane and coconut are the chief products. In the coastal areas, most of the people depend on fishing as their main source of livelihood.

Negros oriental is the home of a geo-thermal plant that supplies electricity not only within the province but also to Negros Occidental and Cebu. There are three sugar milling plants in the province. Moreover, a coconut oil mill has been in operation in the capital city of Dumaguete for a long time.

Other products manufactured in the province, albeit on small scale basis, are tricycles, hollow blocks, processed foods and handicrafts. Tourism is slowly gaining attention.

RELATED: Profile of Bohol Province
See also: List of Philippine Provinces and Capital by Region

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