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Negros Island in the Philippines

Negros Islands is situated in the Visayas and are one of the largest islands in the country.

Negros is divided in two provinces - Negros Oriental (located in Central Visayas) and Negros Occidental (located in Western Visayas). Negros is known for the prime production of sugar.

The presence of a volcano was utilized to produce electricity with the help of two geothermal plants in the island. The island was believed to be a part of a big mass of land but was isolated caused either by the continental drift or by the rising waters during the ice age. Inhabitants of the island were dark-skinned who belonged to the ethnic group Negrito.

The Spaniards called the place Negros because of the black-skinned natives that they saw. The people in Negros bluffed their freedom by making fake guns, scaring the Spaniards who were handling the area. The island celebrates its freedom every November 5, a special holiday signed by then President Corazon C. Aquino, the first lady president of the county.

Negros Oriental

Negros Oriental is made up of twenty municipalities, 5 cities and 557 barangays. Oriental Negros is divided in three legislative districts. It is mainly an agricultural province. The province has beautiful beaches and resorts. The amenities features in each of the resorts are ideal for vacation of family, friends or honeymoon setting. The area also celebrates festivals.

> Buglasan Festival celebrates the beginnings of the islands. It was first created for the presentation of every province in the country in the National Folk Arts Festival. Later in 1990, the festival was revived and incorporated as the festival of festivals. The main event is always the street dancing competition joined by many groups.

> Tawo Tawo Festival is about the celebration of a good rice harvest. The presence of the scarecrows or called locally as "Tawo Tawo" drives away the birds locally called maya which feeds on the golden grains of rice.

The festivity focuses on the dance presentations with different choreographies with the main characters: carabaos, farmers, mayas and scarecrows.

Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental is the forth most populated province in the Philippines. Aside from sugar, it is also produces other products like rice, corn, fruit, coconut vegetables and crops. Poultry is also a successful industry coupled with the province's efficient control of contagious diseases in birds and other livestock. The location of Negros is also very ideal for fishing where most families make this as a means of living. The rich fishing grounds contribute much both for business and private purposes. Mineral deposits are also rich in this province like copper, silver and molybdenum which are ideal in industrial and agricultural use. The province is frequently visited by the locals as well as tourists for these many reasons:

> Its festivals attract the people especially tourists. The best known festival is the Maskara of Bacolod during October and Panaad sa Negros in April.

> Silay City is known for the cultural and artists shows. Jose "Pitong" Ledesma was responsible in inviting actors from Europe to perform in operattas and zarzuelas in the city. Department of Tourism recognizes Silay City as one of the best destination in the Philippines.

> The San Diego Pro-Cathedral that has a dome similar to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican. The church was designed by Antonio Bernasconi, an Italian architect.

> There are ancestral houses that are considered as cultural landmarks by National Historical Institute.

1. Steam Locomotives which is among the oldest buildings is found at Hawaiian Philippines Company.

2. The Gastons' ancestral mansion was converted to museum where one can see the lifestyle of the early sugar traders. The museum is open during Tuesday until Sunday, from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

3. Another museum in Silay which is worthy to visit is the Bernardino-Jalandoni House.

4. Art works of the top artists in the country are displayed in Hofileña Ancestral House.

> Silay City Park features a fountain, children's park, family lane and a basketball court. In 1951, the park was claimed as the most beautiful plaza in the Philippines."

> Cruising is also available if you want to experience the beautiful seas of Negros. Experience romantic sunset while drinking your favorite cocktail onboard. Lovers especially will surely enjoy one of the cruises along Negros Islands in the Philippines during full moon.






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