2Central Visayas is right in the center of the Philippines Central Visayas is right in the center of the Philippines. The four provinces include Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, each with its own character and treasure-trove of natural and man-made attractions.
5Negros Oriental (Cebuano: Sidlakang Negros) (also called Oriental Negros, "Eastern Negros") is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayasregion. It occupies the south-eastern half of the island of Negros, with Negros Occidental comprising the north-western half. It also includes Apo Island — a popular dive site for both local and foreign tourists. Negros Oriental faces Cebu to the east across the Tañon Strait and Siquijor to the south east. The primary spoken language is Cebuano, and the predominant religious denomination is Roman Catholicism. Dumaguete City is the capital, seat of government, and most populous city.
7Like other islands in the Visayas, both sides of Negros have beautiful beaches and attractive places of interest, they both possess towering mountains, volcanoes, serene lakes, and spectacular dive sites.Negros Oriental, the side facing Cebu Island, has perfect destinations for adventure travelers. There are mountains, volcanoes, falls and caves waiting for exciting explorations. Mt. Talinis, a 1900 meter-high dormant volcano, has challenging trails and refreshing waterfalls stops, which are called Pulangbato and Casiroro falls and for a persevering climb, Mt. Kanlaon, a fiery volcano with an impressive ascent of 8000 ft above sea level is a good target for extreme thrills and high-level trekking skills.
8How do I get into this beautiful island of Negros Oriental? Plane:If you come via Manila, traveling by air is the easiest and most convenient way to reach Negros Island via Dumaguete National Airport in about approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. At your convenience there are 4 cheap flights that you can choose from which are available on daily basis (sometimes cheaper when you can avail on their promos).Departing from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3), you can choose from the two airlines available, Cebu Pacific & Philippine Airlines.Philippine AirlinesMorning FlightAfternoonCebu Pacific AirMorning FlightAfternoon
9How do I get into this beautiful island of Negros Oriental? Travelling by Boat:If you crave for adventure and long travel through sea, then this is the best trip for you. At approximately 35 hours on a ship and seeing nearby islands, dolphins and while relaxing is a good consolation for the long trip.Super FerrySuper Ferry vessels sail the Philippines waters everyday of the week from Pier 15 in Manila on Mondays & Wednesdays. Schedules varies every month so better check out the Super Ferry official site.Don’t forget to enjoy your stay whichever way you prefer to get to Negros Island –Dumaguete.
10Geography:Negros Oriental occupies the south-eastern half of the island of Negros, with Negros Occidental comprising the western half. It has a total land area of 5, km². A chain of rugged mountains separates Negros Oriental from Negros Occidental. Unlike its sister province, which belongs to the Western Visayas region, Negros Oriental belongs to the Central Visayas region. Negros Oriental faces Cebu to the east across the Tañon Strait and Siquijor to the south-east. The Sulu Sea borders it to the south.Climate Negros Oriental has a tropical climate. Because of the mountain range running from the north to the south, the province has two types of climatic conditions. The eastern part of the province is characterized by unpronounced maximum rainfall with a short dry season lasting from one to three months. The western half of the province is characterized by a distinct wet season and dry season. Also because of the mountain range, the province is sheltered from the full impact of typhoons originating from the southwest. However, the northern part of the province (from Canlaon City to La Libertad) is in the path of typhoons from the east.
11LANGUAGE & DIALECT:Cebuano (sometimes known as Visayan) is the main language of the province, spoken by 95% of the population. Hiligaynon is spoken by the remaining 5%, and is common in areas close to the border with Negros Occidental. Filipino and English are generally understood, and are used for official, literary, and educational purposes.RELIGION:Christianity is the predominant religion in the province with Roman Catholicism as the biggest single denomination. Other denominations include mainline and evangelical Protestant groups, the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Aglipayan Church, also known as the Philippine Independent Church. Adherents of Islam and Buddhism constitute a minority of the population.
12POPULATION:Negros Oriental's total population as of the 2000 census was 1,126,061, making it the 20th most populous province in the country. 34.5% of the population is concentrated in the six most populous component LGUs of Dumaguete City, Bayawan City, Tanjay City, Bais City, Canlaon City, and Guihulngan. The province's average population density is 208 persons per km², lower than the national average of 276 persons per km². Population growth per year is about 2.11%, higher than the national average of 1.92%.
13Festivals of Negros Oriental SINULOG DE JIMALALUD- Jimalalud, on or about January street dancing and pageants to eliven fiesta.TAWO-TAWO FESTIVAL. Bayawan City , December street dancing with scarecrow higantes the day before fiesta celebrates the guardins of the city's crops.PASAYAW FESTIVAL -- Canlaon City , March honors patron St. Joseph with street dancing giving thanks for the harvest that makes the city the Province's rice and vegetable bowl.LENTEN RITES. Province-wide, movable -- traditional church rites, Via Crucis, Hatud procession of the Dead Christ on God Friday, sugat dawn procession on Holy Saturday.LIBOD SAYAW SA BINDOY. Street dancing based on Philippine filk dances during April 5 fiesta.YAG-YAG FESTIVAL. CANGMATING, Sibulan - street dancing and field presentations, colorful depictions of the barangay's coastal marine resources, last Sunday of April.SANTACRUZAN and MAYFLOWER FESTIVAL. Province-wide throughout May. Dumaguete -- last week of May; Ayungon- 3rd week.
14SAKUBHAN FESTIVAL. Santa catalina, April 22 celebrates the abundance of the town's sugar cane harvest.AYUQUITAN FESTIVAL. San Jose , May 7 -- street dancing retells the origins of the town's former place name derived from INUKITAN, brid pickings.GAPNOD FESTIVAL. Sibulan, June 12 decorated and lighted boats carry venerated images and devotees in a fluvial processin along the town's coastal waters.BUDYAS FESTIVAL. Amlan, June 29, old ritual invokes good fortune on fisherman, images of patron St. Peter and St. Paul are ferried by decorated sea crafts between the two chapels of Tandayag Amlan.SINULOG DE TANJAY. Tanjay, third week of July choreographed procession recounts ancient Monochristian conflict and the intercession of patron Senior Santiago.SILIMAN UNIVERSITY FOUNDER'S DAY. Weeklong activities ending August 28 commemorate the establishment, in 1901, of the first Protestan University in the country.HUDYAKA FESTIVAL. Bais City , on September 7- Mardi gras and eloborate floats brings secular revelry to the city fiesta.BUGLASAN FESTIVAL. The Province fiesta, agritourism fair, festival of festivals, every October.SANDUROT FESTIVAL. Dumaguete City , third week of November -- fiesta events welcome the various cultural strain that enrich the city's character.PASKO. Though December -- lighted display and gain Christmas animation in the parks and nightly activities to celebrate the holiday's season. Epecially Dumaguete city, Bais city, Bayawan and Tanjay cities. Mabinay, Sibulan, and Ayungon.
15HUGYAWAN DALANSAYAW. First Sunday of December, vigorous and elaborately choreographed street dancing by central visayas polytechnic college.PINASKUHAN SIYAWIT AND PAROL FESTIVAL. The annual provincial Christmas festival, every 2nd weekend of December.FOUNDATION UNIVERSIRY KASADYAAN FESTIVAL. Dumaguete City --3rd week of December -- features the Province's oldest and longest Mardi gras parade.DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING. Bais city, leisurly cruise travel of Bais Bay for delightful surprises, best during 2nd and 3rd quarter of the year.13th OF EVERY MONTH. Sibulan -- hordes of supplicants travel to shines of St. Anthony of Padua and the holy child at the parish church.FOUNDATION UNIVERSITY DAY-UY FESTIVAL. Fireworks burst over some 4,000 lanterns floating on the waterfront of Dumaguete’s Rizal Boulevard marking the Foundation University’s 61st anniversary during the Dal-uy Festival of Hope, an adaptation of the Asian tradition of wishing for peaceful coexistence. The event attracted thousands of students who decorate the floats and inscribe them with their hopes for the coming school year.=)
17The Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao In the mountains of southern Negros Island, 12 km west of the town of Sibulan, Negros Oriental peacefully lie the captivating Lake Balinsasayao and its twin lake, equally breathtaking Lake Danao. One of the major tourist attractions in the province, Lake Balinsasayao is a protected Natural Park, home to an expansive ecosystem and great biodiversity.The lakes are two small but deep crater freshwater lakes rising 1000 feet above sea level and separated by a narrow mountain ridge, situated in a hollow between four mountains, Mount Mahungot to the south, Mount Kalbasan to the north, Mount Balinsasayao to the east and Mount Guidabon to the west. Lake Balinsasayao lies to the northwest of the ridge and Lake Danao to the southeast.
21The Silliman HallThe first building to be ever constructed in 1903, 2 years after the birth of Silliman Institute, was the Silliman Hall, a well-situated three story edifice at the corner of Rizal Boulevard and Silliman Avenue with commanding views of the Dumaguete port and the Rizal Boulevard. It is, for the most part, a model of American design and architecture fashioned like an old-world colonial mansion.The Silliman Hall, being the only existing facility at that time, held the school library, classroom, faculty and other essential rooms in one roof. At the height of World War II, it was sequestered by the Japanese army and used as their sleeping and eating headquarters before they fled when the American forces came to the rescue.Today the Silliman Hall is being used as an ethno-anthro museum where artifacts and archaeological discoveries datingas far back as 2000 years ago are on exhibit. There is also an ethnographic collection retrieved from the tribal minorities of the Philippines. It also houses the Silliman University printing press. During special events, the Silliman Hall serves as a venue for corporate dinners and social gatherings.
22The Silliman HallSilliman University is the oldest American university in the Philippines, established in 1901.Did You Know That?In March of 1942, Bais City became the Capital of the Philippine Commonwealth government. This happened during the time of President Manuel Quezon. Pres. Quezon en route to Australia stayed in Bais for a few days and ran the commonwealth government affairs in this city.
23APO IslandA 72-hectare, 200-meter high volcanic island about 5 kilometers off the municipality of Dauin. Five pocket beaches of white pebbles, two mangrove lagoons, and a lighthouse. The Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape comprises hectares (72 terrestrial, the remaining is the marine area surrounding the island). An average total coral cover of 63.1% and a magnificent variety of corals and marine life led to Apo Island’s being acclaimed as one of the world’s Ten Best Divesites. Coconut Point is referred to as the best divesite in southern Visayas. In “Clown-fish City” the colorful Amphiprion melanopus inhabit anemones that have colonized seven large coral heads. This underwater splendor is replicated in the Schedd Aquarium of Chicago. Apo Island is approximately 45 minutes by motorized outrigger (pumpboat) from Dauin.
27Dolphin and Whale Watching Bais CityDolphin and Whale WatchingThe Bais City Tourism Council generally oversees and organizes the tours. The cruises take you out to Tañon Strait, the natural habitat of dolphins and pygmy sperm whales.Out in the sea, the boat comes to a stop and the guests are told to clap their hands or whistle to encourage the dolphins to play. True enough, you could view them leaping in the air in pairs or groups. Children can only squeal in delight. Meanwhile, the whales prefer to emerge when it is calm and quiet.The dolphin and whale watching package tour usually comes with lunch consisting of seafood and traditional Filipino dishes. It is served right on the boat for that unique, worthwhile experience. If you plan your own trip and rent a boat from for your dolphin and whale watching trip on the pier in Bais, then make surer you have packed a lunch and plenty of drinks. for lunch you can bring fish and meat and have the boat crew BBQ it for you while you swim and enjoy the sun.
28Dolphin and Whale Watching Bais CityDolphin and Whale Watching
29Manjuyod White Sand Bar During low tide, a 7-kilometer stretch of pristine white sand seems to float right in the midst of Bais Bay’s sparkling blue waters. Known among the locals as White Sand, this strip of beach is a popular destination for families on vacation. It is also a stopover point for dolphin and whale watching cruises of Bais City because of its proximity to Tañon Strait.There are several cottages dotting the strip, all of which look like pretty little houses on stilts. This is so because during high tide, the water could rise up to its floors. They can be rented for the day or for overnight stays.
32Mabinay CavesIf spelunking is your type of adventure then Mabinay is just the right town to visit. Located 87 kilometers northwest of Dumaguete City, Mabinay is mainly an upland town and is the second to the last town before reaching the province of Negros Occidental.The interior of the land is primarily bounded with mountains and getting there is a bumpy uphill ride requiring two hours of travel time from Dumaguete City. On both sides of the road one gets a good view of the surrounding hills with oddly placed trees on the inclines and some clusters of lush vegetation. It is the province’s second largest town.
33How to get to Mabinay Caves? Arranged package tours are offered by several linked associations like the Dumaguete Outdoors and the South Negros Speleo. Rates for a one day activity include P1600 (minimum for the required two cave guides), P150 for each person’s transportation cost round trip, P170 for breakfast and lunch, and P5 for the cave entrance fee. Rentals of certain equipment, safety helmet with headlamp, batteries and belt bags cost around P75. Booking ahead for a well planned trip is advisable.
36Antulang Beach Resort Siaton Negros Oriental Nestled 40 kilometers south of Dumaguete City, Philippines, ANTULANG BEACH RESORT is proud to be the only resort in Negros island with private pool villas as well as suites and cottages equipped with heated outdoor jacuzzis, satellite TV, DVD/audio players and mini-bars. Suspended on seven sprawling hectares of sheer cliffs peppered with bright-colored bougainvilleas, swimming pools and premium rooms are positioned right at the cliffs' edge, ensuring guests a commanding view of an endless sea, while winding staircases lead directly to the half a kilometer stretch of isolated white sand beach. Activities such as diving, kayaking, horseback riding and rappelling are offered along with scheduled cruises to famed Apo Island and nearby Tambobo Bay. An added highlight for our guests: Although sunrise and sunset are both visible from the resort, at certain times of the year one can marvel at Antulang's sunset and the simultaneous rising of a full moon.
39Casaroro FallsIn the town of Valencia, Negros Oriental located 9.4 kilometers west of Dumaguete City lies the beautiful Casaroro Falls considered to be the most photographed waterfall in the entire Negros province.Casaroro Falls is lodged deep into the rock crevices of the rugged Valencia mountains. With an astounding height of 100 feet, the water plunges into a deep cold basin before it flows down to a stream. The waterfall is considerably narrow, instead of the usual wide cascade, but this is precisely what makes Casaroro unique. Though despite its narrowness, the volume of water that drops is heavy and causes a roar as it touches the pool. Around the basin are natural boulders huge enough to rest any traveler’s weary feet.
42Bahura is a tropical sanctuary tastefully designed in the heart of a 5-hectare beachside coconut plantation. From the Dumaguete airport you will experience a 25-minute introductory tour through interesting and historical landmarks in town and an hour's drive to spectacular cave explorations, cascading waterfalls and whale and dolphin-watching centers. All is lush, serene and worthwhile here…just as how you want your time to be. Bahura offers a refreshing blend of discovery, excitement and relaxation. A tropical paradise where you can do everything, or if you prefer, absolutely nothing at all. A natural playground waiting to be explored. A place to bond and find new adventures. A place that you will return to year after year. We offer the perfect vacation for every visitor.
45BREATHING SPACE by: JAY ICAMEN DEJARESCO Guihulngan’s bid to be the sixth and newest city of Negros Oriental has been thwarted after the Supreme Court last Tuesday (November 18) voided the town’s cityhood law.The biggest setback suffered by Guihulngan is the reduction of its share in the Internal Revenue Allotments. Guihulngan stood to receive a much larger IRA share had it remained a city.According to Director Terry Domugho, a native of neighboring La Libertad, and our go-to-guy when it comes to local government data, information and issues, a town stands to receive about three times its I.R.A. share (as a town) if it is converted into a city. He promised to provide the data for Guihulngan, particularly comparative figures on its I.R.A. share. The high court in an en banc ruling (G.R. No ) Tuesday declared as unconstitutional Republic Act No. 9409, the law that converted the municipality of Guihulngan into a city.It became law on March 24, However, subsequently, the League of Cities filed a petition in the Supreme Court to declare as unconstitutional such “cityhood law”, along with fifteen other similar laws that converted towns into cities.According to the League of Cities, the “cityhood” laws violated the constitution because it exempted Guilhulngan and other similar towns from complying with the income requirement in the local government code.
47The local government code Section 450 requires that in order for a town to be eligible to become a city, it must have an income of at least P100-million. The local government code also prescribes the minimum size and population for an applicant town. But when the Guihulngan “cityhood” law was enacted, it contained a provision (Section 61) that exempted the town from complying with the income requirement in the local government code.The League of Cities, represented by the cities of Bais and Bayawan for Negros Oriental, protested the unfairness. The leagues argued there is no basis for making such exemptions from compliance with the income requirement.The Supreme Court agreed saying that the constitution specifically requires that the criteria prescribed in the local government code in order for a town to become a city must be followed.The Supreme Court cited Section 10 Article X of the 1987 constitution which provides that: “No …city…shall be created,… except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code. “Congress cannot create a city through a law that does not comply with the criteria or exemption found in the Local Government Code,” the Supreme Court declared. The creation of cities must be through a general law, meaning the local government code, and not “cityhood” laws, the court noted.But the policy protest of the league of cities is that they don’t want towns to become cities, and eventually share in the internal revenue allotments for cities, by making short-cuts (not complying with the income threshold requirement).The Supreme court also cited Section 6 Article X of the constitution which provides that: “Local government units shall have a just share in the national taxes.” If towns are allowed to become cities without complying with the prescribed criteria in the local government code, then it would subvert the constitutional mandate for cities to have a “just share” in the national taxes.
48BOARDWALK IN TANJAYThey are building an elevated walkway, the Boardwalk, that takes you through the mangroves and out over the water. The boardwalk is about 8 to 10 feet off the ground so when the tide comes in people can jump into the water from the boardwalk. The boardwalk branches off into two separate walkways that each end with a pier. They are in the process of building a small building on one of the piers. They also plan to build some treehouses. Since it was Friday, it was pretty quiet, just us and the workers. On the weekends, it is very popular and families can picnic in the picnic area before going out on the boardwalk. The water under the mangroves was only six inches deep and very clear. We could see schools of small fish and the sprouts of young mangroves. The posts for the walkway are concrete, and the workers add more wet concrete onto the posts and sculpt the posts so they resemble cut tree logs. They were working on this while we were there. One worker had to carry buckets of wet concrete out to the end of the walkway where the others were working. The view from the pier is of the coast line of Negros heading north and the island of Cebu to the east. Beautiful.