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Negros Island is the 4th Largest Island in the Philippines – Where Nature and Culture Collide

4th Largest Island In The Philippines

Are you in search of an island getaway that combines relaxed vibes, rich history, and diverse natural beauty? Welcome to Negros Island – the 4th largest island in the Philippines.

This blog post is about to take you on a virtual journey, unveiling all fascinating aspects of this unique destination, from its captivating history to up-to-the-minute updates. Let’s embark on this exciting expedition!

Content Highlights
  • Negros Island is the fourth largest island in the Philippines, known for its relaxed vibes, rich history, and diverse natural beauty.
  • The island has a population of approximately 4.7 million people, making it the third most populated island in the country.
  • Negros Island has significant historical events such as Spanish colonization, the Negros Revolution, and the formation of the Republic of Negros.
  • The economy of Negros Island is thriving with major industries, including sugar production, organic farming, agriculture, and tourism.

Overview of Negros Island

Negros Island
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Negros Island is the fourth largest island in the Philippines, spanning a total area of 13,310 km² and located in the Central Visayas region.

Size and Population

Negros Island is big. It takes the spot as the fourth largest island in the Philippines. The island is home to a lot of people too. Based on numbers from 2020, about 4,656,945 people live here.

This makes it the third most crowded island in the country.

Geographical Features

Negros Island is rich in natural beauty. It has many mountains, rivers, and coasts. Mount Kanlaon is the biggest mountain on Negros Island. This volcano stands 2,435 meters high! Other tall mountains are Mount Mandalagan and Mount Talinis.

Beaches add to the charm of this island too. You can find some lovely ones in Bacolod and Dumaguete cities. For people who love hiking or trekking, there are long mountain chains to discover.

These include the Negros Occidental Mountains and the Negros Oriental Mountains.

History of Negros Island

History of Negros Island

Negros Island has a rich history that includes the precolonial era, Spanish colonization, the Negros Revolution, and the formation of the Republic of Negros, as well as significant events during the Commonwealth period and the post-Commonwealth era.

The island also faced challenges such as the Negros famine and underwent changes with the creation of the Negros Island Region.

Precolonial Era

Long ago, Negros Island was home to people for many years. They made their homes and built their communities on this rich land. This time is known as the pre-colonial era. Yet, these early days were not all peaceful.

Many locals were pushed from their lands when others came to claim it during colonial times.

Spanish Colonization

Negros Island has a rich history that includes the era of Spanish colonization. The Spanish arrived on the island in April 1565 and named it Negros after encountering indigenous people with dark skin.

For over three centuries, Negros Island was part of the Spanish East Indies until it was ceded to the United States in 1898. During this time, Spanish became the official language in the Philippines.

The period of Spanish colonization had a lasting impact on Negros Island and played a significant role in shaping its culture and heritage.

Negros Revolution and formation of the Republic of Negros

The Negros Revolution was a significant event in the history of Negros Island. During the Philippine Revolution, which happened from 1896 to 1898, the people of Negros rose up against Spanish colonial rule.

They fought for their independence and formed the Republic of Negros.

This revolution led to the establishment of a short-lived independent government on the island. The term “Republic of Negros” was first used in a scholarly work in the late 1960s. It represented a period when the people of Negros sought autonomy and self-governance.

Commonwealth Period

During the Commonwealth period, which lasted from 1935 to 1946, Negros Island and the rest of the Philippines were under the administration of the American Commonwealth government.

This period followed the Spanish-American War in 1898. For Negros Island, this time brought significant developments in infrastructure, education, and governance. It marked an important era that contributed to shaping the island’s history and its role in the larger context of Philippine history.

Specifically, it was during this time that Negros Occidental province on the western side of Negros Island became closely associated with the Commonwealth period.

Post-Commonwealth Era

After gaining independence from the United States in the twentieth century, Negros Island entered a period known as the Post-Commonwealth era. During this time, significant developments and changes took place on the island.

This era marked a shift in social and political dynamics, shaping the history of Negros Island. It is an important period to understand when exploring the island’s rich past and how it has evolved over time.

Negros Famine

The Negros famine in the 1980s was a serious problem on the island. Many people did not have enough food to eat, especially children. This led to protests and increased government control.

Although hunger is still an issue in the Philippines, famines like this are rare now.

Negros Island Region

The Negros Island Region was a separate administrative region in the Philippines from 2015 to 2019. Its aim was to promote development and tourism on Negros Island as a whole. The provincial capital of the region was Dumaguete City, which is located in Negros Oriental.

However, the Negros Island Region was later abolished.

Demographics and Administrative Divisions

Negros Island has a diverse population and is divided into multiple administrative divisions. Read on to discover more about its demographics and the regions that make up this vibrant island.

Population Statistics

According to the latest data, the population of Negros Island has seen consistent growth over the past decades. The below table illustrates the growth and distribution of the population across various regions of the island.

Region Population (2020) Annual Growth Rate
Negros Oriental 1,432,990 1.18%
Negros Occidental 2,623,172 5.8%
Bacolod City 561,875 1.42%

The table shows that Negros Occidental has the highest population, followed by Negros Oriental and Bacolod City. The overall growth rate of the island’s population aligns with the Philippines’ national annual growth rate of 2.5% in 2022.

Administrative Divisions

Negros Island, the fourth largest island in the Philippines, is divided into two provinces: Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. These provinces are part of two different administrative regions. Negros Occidental belongs to the Western Visayas region, while Negros Oriental is part of the Central Visayas region.

Province Region Capital Population (2015 Census)
Negros Occidental Western Visayas (Region VI) Bacolod 3,059,136
Negros Oriental Central Visayas (Region VII) Dumaguete 1,354,995

This administrative division mirrors the Philippines’ hierarchical governance structure at four levels. This structure ensures effective management of more than 2,000 permanently inhabited islands out of the over 7,000 islands that make up the Philippine archipelago.

Economy of Negros Island

Negros Island boasts a diverse economy, with major industries including agriculture, manufacturing, and services. Tourism is also a growing sector, attracting visitors with its natural wonders and cultural heritage.

Discover more about the island’s thriving economy by reading on.

Major Industries and Sectors

The major industries on Negros Island are sugar production, organic farming, and agriculture. Sugar is the biggest industry on the island, with Negros Occidental playing a significant role in the country’s sugar industry.

Organic farming and agriculture also contribute to the economy, with primary crops including sugarcane, corn, coconut, and rice. These industries help support local livelihoods and contribute to the sustainable development of Negros Island.

Additionally, efforts are being made to promote organic farming practices and environmentally friendly approaches in the Philippines as a whole.


The tourism industry plays a vital role in the economy of Negros Island, which is the fourth largest island in the Philippines. Many tourists are attracted to the island because of its beautiful natural landscape, including beaches, mountains, and waterfalls.

One popular tourist destination on Negros Island is Apo Island Marine Reserve, where visitors can enjoy scuba diving opportunities. Tourism not only brings revenue to the island but also supports other sectors like hospitality, transportation, and retail.

With a range of activities for travelers to explore and immerse themselves in the local culture, Negros Island offers an unforgettable experience for tourists from all around the world.


Negros Island has a good transportation system that connects both provinces. There are buses, taxis, and tricycles available for people to move around the island. The transportation infrastructure is regularly updated and improved.

This sector provides job opportunities for locals and helps with economic development. The transportation system is essential for trade and commerce on the island, allowing goods and services to be easily transported within and outside of Negros Island.


Negros Island is known for its abundant renewable energy resources. One significant source of renewable energy on the island is the Palinpinon Geothermal Power Plant located in Valencia, Negros Oriental.

This power plant uses geothermal energy to provide electricity for the residents of Negros Island. Another company that operates on the island is San Carlos, which focuses on providing sustainable and clean energy solutions in San Carlos, Negros Occidental.

It’s important to note that the Philippine Energy Plan aims to have an optimal power energy mix by 2030, with 70% base generation capacity defined as coal. If you are interested, you can also read on budget-friendly Travel Destination.

Endangered Species on Negros Island

[Video Credits @Philippines Travel SIte]

Conservation of endangered species on Negros Island is a crucial topic for environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

Importance of Conservation

Conservation is extremely important on Negros Island because it is home to many endangered species. In fact, more than half of the critically endangered species listed in the Philippines can be found here.

This makes Negros Island one of the most threatened areas in the country. By protecting these endangered species and their habitats, we can preserve the unique biodiversity that makes Negros Island so special.

Efforts like the Negros Rainforest Conservation Project and the Negros Island Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan are focused on ensuring that these valuable species are safeguarded for future generations to enjoy.

Species at Risk

The Negros Island is home to several endangered species. Here are some species in danger:

  • Philippine freshwater crocodile: This crocodile is critically endangered. Its decline is a big worry for conservation efforts.
  • Visayan warty pig: These pigs were nearly extinct, but conservation efforts have helped them slowly recover.
  • Negros bleeding-heart dove: This bird is at risk due to habitat loss and hunting.
  • Negros fruit dove: Habitat loss and deforestation threaten this colorful bird.
  • Black shama: This bird’s population has declined due to habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade.
  • Rufous-lored kingfisher: Deforestation and habitat loss are major threats to this kingfisher’s survival.
  • Walden’s hornbill: This hornbill faces risks from deforestation and habitat fragmentation.
  • Philippine spotted deer: Hunted for its meat, this deer has experienced a significant population decline.
  • Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat: Destruction of its roosting sites and hunting pose a threat to this bat species.
  • Philippine bare-backed fruit bat: Loss of suitable habitats endangers these bats’ survival.

Notable People from Negros Island

The island of Negros has produced influential individuals who have made significant contributions to the Philippines.

Influential Individuals

Negros Island has been home to many influential individuals who have made significant contributions in various fields. Here are some notable figures associated with Negros Island:

  1. Carlos Hilado – A prominent politician and lawyer, Hilado served as the Secretary of Finance under President Ferdinand Marcos. He played a vital role in restructuring the country’s financial system.
  2. Juan Araneta – Known as the “Father of Negros Sugar Industry,” Araneta played a crucial role in shaping the region’s economy through his innovations in sugarcane farming and production.
  3. Leonor Ledesma – Ledesma was an influential educator and philanthropist who founded several schools in Negros, contributing to the advancement of education in the region.
  4. Alfredo Montelibano Sr. – Montelibano was a successful businessman and politician who served as both governor of Negros Occidental province and congressman for numerous terms.
  5. Ramon Hofileña – A renowned art collector and patron, Hofileña established the Balay ni Tana Dicang museum, showcasing Negrense art, culture, and heritage.
  6. Victorias Milling Company Owners (Delgado Family) – The Delgado family owns the Victorias Milling Company, one of the largest sugar mills in Asia. They have had a significant impact on Negros Island’s sugar industry.
  7. Edward James Elric – A well-known philanthropist, Elric has dedicated his life to improving healthcare services in Negros Island through his medical missions and donations.

Contributions to the Philippines

Notable people from Negros Island have made significant contributions to the Philippines. These contributions span various fields, including arts, culture, politics, and business. The island’s rich history and cultural heritage have greatly influenced the development of the entire country.

Additionally, Negros Island’s geographical location and natural resources have played a vital role in contributing to the overall economic growth of the Philippines. Being the fourth largest island in the archipelago of over 7,000 islands, Negros Island holds importance on both regional and national levels.

Travel Guide to Negros Island

To explore Negros Island, start by planning your transportation options. You can easily reach the island through flights or ferries from major cities in the Philippines.

How to Get to Negros Island

To travel to Negros Island, you have a few options:

  • Fly to Bacolod City: You can book a flight to Bacolod City, which is the main gateway to Negros Island. The city has its own airport, and you can catch direct flights from Manila and other major cities in the Philippines.
  • Fly to Dumaguete City: Another option is to fly into Dumaguete City, located on the southern coast of Negros Island. From there, you can take a ferry or a bus to your desired destination on the island.
  • Take a ferry: If you prefer traveling by sea, you can take a ferry from various ports in Cebu or Iloilo to different destinations in Negros Island. There are regular ferry services available, offering convenient access to the island.
  • Bus or private vehicle: If you are already in the Philippines, you can also reach Negros Island by taking a bus or driving your own vehicle through land routes connected to neighboring islands such as Panay and Cebu.

The Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Negros Island is between November and April. During these months, the island has warm temperatures and lower rainfall levels, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the beautiful landscapes.

If you want to avoid heavy rainfall, it’s recommended to plan your trip in April-May or November-December. However, for those who prefer warm temperatures and minimal precipitation, January through March is considered the best time to visit.

The average temperature during these months is favorable for visitors, providing a comfortable experience while enjoying all that Negros Island has to offer.

Moving Around and Transportation Options

Getting around Negros Island is easy and convenient. Here are the different transportation options available:

  • Buses: The primary mode of transportation on the island is buses. They are reliable and affordable, making them a popular choice for both locals and tourists.
  • Taxis: Taxis are widely available in major cities and towns on Negros Island. They provide a convenient way to travel within the island, especially if you prefer a more private and comfortable ride.
  • Light Rail Transit (LRT): The LRT system is not available on Negros Island.
  • Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT): The MRT system is also not available on Negros Island.
  • Jeepneys: These colorful public vehicles are a common sight in Negros Island. They operate along fixed routes and are a budget-friendly option for short distances.
  • Tricycles: Tricycles are motorcycle-powered vehicles with sidecars that can accommodate passengers. They are commonly used for short trips within towns and villages.

Accommodation Options

There are many places to stay on Negros Island. Here are some accommodation options for travelers:

  1. Luxury resorts: Experience the ultimate in comfort and luxury at one of the island’s high-end resorts. These resorts offer spacious rooms, beautiful views, and a range of amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and fine dining options.
  2. Budget-friendly hotels: If you’re traveling on a budget, don’t worry! There are plenty of affordable hotels on the island that provide clean and comfortable rooms at reasonable prices. These hotels often include basic amenities like free Wi-Fi and breakfast.
  3. Guesthouses and homestays: For a more authentic experience, consider staying in a guesthouse or homestay. These accommodations are typically run by local families who offer cozy rooms in their homes. You’ll get a chance to interact with locals and learn more about their culture.
  4. Beachfront cottages: If you want to be close to the beach, rent a cottage right on the shore. These cottages offer stunning views of the ocean and easy access to the sand and surf. It’s the perfect option for beach lovers.
  5. Eco-lodges: For those who want to immerse themselves in nature, there are eco-lodges available on Negros Island. These lodges are designed to have minimal impact on the environment and offer unique experiences like jungle treks and wildlife encounters.

Also Read: The Most Stunning Beaches Around the World.

Top Things to Do and Attractions

Here are some top things to do and attractions when visiting Negros Island:

  • Visit the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao & Danao, where you can enjoy beautiful scenic views and go boating or kayaking.
  • Explore the historical San Sebastian Cathedral, known for its stunning architecture and religious significance.
  • Discover the New Government Center, a modern complex that showcases Negros Island’s development and progress.
  • Take a tour of Silliman University, one of the Philippines’ oldest universities with a rich history and beautiful campus.
  • Experience the beauty of Casaroro Falls, a majestic waterfall nestled in the lush mountains of Negros Island.
  • Dive into the vibrant underwater world at Apo Island Marine Reserve, home to diverse marine life and colorful coral reefs.


Negros Island may not be known for its vibrant nightlife, but there are still some enjoyable options to explore. Tripadvisor offers recommendations for the top nightlife attractions on Negros Island.

While it may not have bustling clubs or bars like other destinations, Negros Island is part of the Visayas archipelago and offers lively cities where you can find restaurants, cafes, and local hangouts.

It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy some live music or entertainment in a more relaxed atmosphere. So even though it may not be a party hotspot, you can still have a fun evening on Negros Island enjoying the local scene.

Travel Tips

Here are some travel tips for your visit to Negros Island:

  • Pack lightweight and breathable clothing, as the island can get hot and humid.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellent, especially if you plan on spending time outdoors.
  • Bring comfortable walking shoes for exploring the island’s natural attractions.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, as the tropical climate can be dehydrating.
  • Respect the local customs and traditions of the people on Negros Island. Be mindful of proper attire when visiting religious sites or participating in cultural events.
  • Learn a few basic phrases in Filipino or Hiligaynon, the local dialect spoken on the island. This will help you communicate with locals and show respect for their language.
  • Be cautious when swimming or snorkeling in unfamiliar waters. Follow safety guidelines and take note of any warnings or precautions from local authorities.
  • Keep your belongings secure while traveling around the island. Use lockable bags or safes provided by your accommodation to store valuables.
  • Support sustainable tourism by practicing responsible travel habits. Dispose of waste properly and minimize your impact on the natural environment.
  • Finally, be open to embracing new experiences and interacting with locals. Negros Island has a rich culture and friendly people who can enhance your travel experience.

Latest Updates and Developments in Negros Island

Infrastructure projects are currently underway on Negros Island, aiming to improve transportation and connectivity within the region. Additionally, various tourism initiatives and conservation efforts have been implemented to protect the island’s natural resources and promote sustainable development.

Infrastructure Projects

The Philippines has increased spending on infrastructure projects on Negros Island in recent years. Some important projects include:

  1. Construction of new roads and highways to improve transportation efficiency.
  2. Expansion of ports to accommodate larger ships and increase trade opportunities.
  3. Upgrading and modernization of airports to cater to growing tourism demands.
  4. Installation of renewable energy systems, such as solar panels and wind turbines, to promote sustainable development.
  5. Improvement of water supply systems to ensure access to clean and safe water for residents.
  6. Development of telecommunications infrastructure to enhance connectivity and communication capabilities.
  7. Building of schools, hospitals, and other public facilities to provide essential services to the local community.
  8. Rehabilitation of existing structures damaged by natural disasters or aging.

Tourism Initiatives

The government and local communities in Negros Island are working together to promote tourism and attract visitors. Here are some important initiatives:

  1. The Department of Tourism (DOT) has recognized the efforts of local government units (LGUs) in reopening safe tourist destinations in Negros Island and other parts of the country.
  2. The National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016 – 2022 aims to develop and improve tourism programs in Negros Island and other areas of the Philippines.
  3. The NTDP 2016 – 2022 focuses on delivering targeted and prioritized tourism initiatives in Negros Island and other regions.
  4. Despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts are being made to revive tourism in Negros Island, with strict health protocols in place.
  5. Community-based tourism projects have been initiated to showcase the unique culture, heritage, and natural attractions of Negros Island.
  6. Ecotourism initiatives are being promoted to raise awareness about conservation efforts and protect the island’s biodiversity.
  7. Sustainable tourism practices are being encouraged to minimize negative impacts on the environment and support local livelihoods.
  8. Collaboration between LGUs, private sector stakeholders, and community groups is key to implementing successful tourism initiatives in Negros Island.

Conservation Efforts

Conservation efforts in Negros Island are crucial to protect its unique biodiversity and natural resources. Here are some initiatives that have been undertaken:

  1. The Negros Island Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NIBSAP) aims to conserve the island’s biodiversity by aligning all plans developed in both provinces.
  2. The Negros Rainforest Conservation Project focuses on protecting the area with the highest number of critically endangered endemic species in the Philippines.
  3. The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation works towards combating plastic pollution and involving communities in conservation efforts.
  4. Jurong Bird Park actively participates in conserving the endangered Negros bleeding-heart species.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Now, we’ll delve into some frequently asked questions regarding this subject.

1. Which is the 4th largest island in the Philippines?

Luzon Island is the 4th largest island in the Philippines.

2. What are some must-visit attractions on Luzon Island?

Some must-visit attractions on Luzon Island include Manila, Banaue Rice Terraces, Mount Mayon, and Taal Volcano.

3. Are there any recent updates or developments about Luzon Island?

For recent updates or developments about Luzon Island, it’s best to check reliable news sources or official tourism websites for the latest information.

4. How can I travel to Luzon Island?

You can travel to Luzon Island by air through major airports such as Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila or Clark International Airport in Pampanga. There are also ferry services available from nearby islands.

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