About Negros Occidental City
Negros Occidental (Hiligaynon: Nakatungdang Negros), also known as Occidental Negros or Western Negros, is a province located in the region of Western Visayas, in the Philippines. It occupies the northwestern half of the large island of Negros, and borders Negros Oriental, which comprises the southeastern half. Known as the “Sugarbowl of the Philippines”, Negros Occidental produces more than half the nation’s sugar output.
Negros Occidental faces the island-province of Guimaras and the province of Iloilo on Panay Island to the northwest across the Panay Gulf and the Guimaras Strait. The primary spoken language is Hiligaynon and the predominant religious denomination is Roman Catholicism. Bacolod City is the capital, seat of government and the most populous city of the province, but is governed independently as a highly urbanized city. With a population of 2,497,261 inhabitants, it is the most populated province in Western Visayas, the second most-populous province in the Visayas after Cebu and the 8th most-populous province of the Philippines.
Culture Arts and People
Negros Occidental has long been a center of culture and arts; the wealth brought about by the sugar industry made sure that the Negrense principalía enjoyed an above-average standard of living.
Silay City, to the north of the capital of Bacolod City, nicknamed the “Paris of Negros”, is the cultural and artistic center of Negros Island Region. It has 30 heritage houses declared by the national historical institute, most notable of which is Balay Negrense; it is also the hometown of National Artist of the Philippines for Architecture Leandro Locsin and international mezzo-soprano Conchita Gaston.
This blossoming in art was due to the economical importance of the area during the Spanish era, Negros became probably the most hispanized and pro-Spanish area, due to the enormous investments of Spain in the sugar business.
Another famous treasure of Negrense art heritage can be found in Victorias City, within the confines of the Victorias Milling Company in its chapel is the world-famous mural of the Angry Christ, painted by artist Alfonso Ossorio, a scion of the Ossorio family who owned the mill.
The Negrenses’ joie de vivre is manifest in the various festivals all over the province, foremost being the famous MassKara Festival of Bacolod, Pasalamat Festival of La Carlota, Bailes de Luces of La Castellana and Pintaflores Festival of San Carlos. These and other local festivals are featured during the Pana-ad sa Negros Festival staged every April at the 25-hectare tree-lined Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. Dubbed as the “Festival of Festivals”, Pana-ad brings together the 13 cities and 19 towns in a showcase of history, arts and culture, tourism, trade, commerce and industry, beauty and talent as well as games and sports.
Negros Occidental is rich in structures and buildings that are remnants of a once affluent lifestyle. The Palacio Episcopal (1930), San Sebastian Cathedral (1876), and the Capitol Building (1931) are popular landmarks. In most towns, steam locomotives that used to cart sugarcane from the fields to refineries attract steam-engine enthusiasts from all over the world. There are also impressive churches all over the province, both built recently and during the Spanish era.
Info credit: Negros Occidental City – Wikipedia
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