Land Area: 15,610.00 hectares
Classification: Highly Urbanized City
No. of Barangays: 61 Barangays – (41
Urban, 20 Rural)
Population: 429,076 (May 1, 2000) –
453,873 (2005 Projection)
Language: Hiligaynon/Ilonggo/English is
spoken and understood
Negros Island was
“Buglas”, an old
native word that is
thought to mean
April 1565 - the
Spaniards called the
land “Negros” after
the black natives
whom they saw when
they first came to the
island. Two of the
Binalbagan and Ilog.
1734 - island became a military district and Ilog was made its first capital. The seat
of government was later transferred to Himamaylan and thereafter Bacolod became
the capital in 1849.
April 20, 1901 - This resulted in the establishment of the short lived “Cantonal
Government of the Republic of Negros” which reunited the two provinces until the
Americans arrived in May 1899. A civil government was established in Negros
1901 and the 1930s - Negros Occidental was under the American occupation as with the
rest of the country. Nonetheless, the economic growth continued especially with
Philippine sugar having a part of the US market despite some accompanying socio-
economic problems during this period.
When the Japanese landed in the province on May and instead organized a free
government and guerilla movement under Gov. Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. in Negros
Island. They helped bring about the surrender of the Japanese forces in Negros in
1945.The history of the province for the post World War II period has yet to be formally
In 1849, then Gov. Valdevieso y Morquecho declared Bacolod as the
capital of the whole island of Negros. Subsequently, with the splitting
of Negros into two provinces, Bacolod was named capital of the
province of Negros Occidental in 1884.
On October 19, 1938 - Bacolod became the fifth chartered city during
the Commonwealth period under President Manuel L. Quezon, with
Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. as its appointed chief executive.
1985 - also marked the period when Negros Occidental became known throughout the
country and abroad as suffering from historic socio-economic crisis. Various forms of
international aid were sent to Negros and many Negrenses , national and foreign
government and government organizations, responded in cooperation with the Philippine
Government to help the province cope with the crisis.
However, just when the economic boom was beginning to seep in the overall
economy of Negros Occidental brought about by the acceleration of various
economic activities, the recurring ills of the sugar industry in the second half of the
1990′s slowed down the continuing economic uptrend of the province. Nevertheless,
with the widespread benefits brought about by the positive changes in the socio-
economic condition of the province by the 2000′s, clear sign of economic recovery
for Negros Occidental is anticipated.