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Western Visayas, Region VI, Philippines

Last modified: 2007-02-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: western visayas | visayas | aklan | antique | capiz | guimaras | iloilo | negros occidental | bacolod | bago | cadiz | la carlota | sancarlos | silay city |
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The Philippine Republic's Region VI, Western Visayas, comprises six provinces: Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, and Aklan. Negros Occidental is part of the island of Negros, fourth largest of the Philippine Islands. Guimaras is a separate island; the other four provinces share the island of Panay.

Flag images here drawn after Symbols of the State, published by the Philippines Bureau of Local Government.

See also:


[Aklan, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

The Philippine Province of Aklan occupies the northwestern coastal plain of the island of Panay, in Region VI, Western Visayas. Its 1,853 sq. km. supports a population of 441,000 in seventeen municipalities, of which Kalibo is the capital. After strenuous and sustained political efforts, Aklan was separated from Capiz by act of the national legislature in April 1956. Agriculture is a prominent part of the economy, principal products being rice, maize, coconuts, and cut flowers. Ocean- fishing is also important, as is tourism, Boracay, a white-sand island just offshore, being a world-class resort. Inland fishing and aquaculture yield several export products. This actually seems to explain every element in the shield. Cottage weaving is widespread, and rattan furniture is manufactured for export.
John Ayer
, 28 February 2001


[Antique, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

The province of Antique, on the western side of Panay, is separated from the other provinces by a long range of mountains. One of these, Mt. Madia-as, is the highest mountain on the island, a dormant volcano adorned with several lakes and more than a dozen waterfalls. The population is largely Malay, immigrants from Borneo centuries before the Spanish arrived. Their language, Kiniray-a, is Indo-Malayan. Several Visaya dialects are also spoken. The area was made a separate province by the Spanish government in 1790. Its name seems to be a Spanish adaptation of a local word. The province's area is 2,522, its population 456,000, no cities, eighteen towns, of which San José de Buenavista is the capital. Agriculture is important; sugar and coconuts lead, with coconut oil and coconut wine both being significant. Ocean fishing is also important; one website speaks of "the tuna highway along the coast." Seaweed is harvested. Marble and gemstones are mined. Other valuable mineral deposits are known but undisturbed. Like Capiz, it seems to have enormous potential for tourism, its many miles of sandy beaches being sparsely settled. There are also hot springs in the mountains.
John Ayer
, 28 February 2001


[Capiz, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

The Philippine Republic's Province of Capiz is on Panay Island, north of Iloilo. It occupies the fertile valley of the Panay River and a considerable amount of coastline. Its population is some 625,000. Its capital and only city is Roxas, population 118,000, birthplace of Manuel Roxas, first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines. The capital was formerly known by the same name as the province. There are sixteen towns besides; one of them is named President Roxas, another, Panay. This was founded by Manuel López de Legaspi, and is the second oldest Spanish town in the country. The province's economy is heavily agricultural, varied by considerable fishing and very widespread cottage weaving. Mineral deposits have been located. Opportunities for water sports, fishing, and spelunking abound--caves are very numerous and extensive--and the wildlife is abundant and diverse, but Panay does not seem to be much of a tourist destination. Many churches in the central Philippines are remarkably large and strong, meant not only for worship but as shelter from pirate raids. One such in Panay has a bell two meters in diameter and ten tons in weight, one of the largest in the world.
John Ayer, 28 February 2001


Flag not known.


[Iloilo, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

The Philippine Province of Iloilo is located on the island of Panay. Its current population seems to be about 1,907,000, of whom 366,000 live in the capital city, also named Iloilo. Besides this city there are more than forty municipalities, or towns. The land area is 4,767 The aboriginal population is Negrito, but Malays had established themselves in large numbers on the coastal lands centuries before the Spanish arrived. Miguel López de Legaspi, or Legazpi, who headed the first Spanish expedition that was carefully planned and prepared to bring Spanish government to the Philippines, established his headquarters on Panay for some years before moving to Manila. The city of Iloilo, a native town of some standing before the Spanish arrived, was repeatedly raided by Portuguese, Dutch, English, and Moros. In 1616 the Spanish built Fort San Pedro to protect the place from pirates. The island of Guimaras shelters the city from typhoons. Iloilo, like Negros Occidental, throve amazingly on the sugar trade in the second half of the nineteenth century.
John Ayer, 27 February 2001

Iloilo City

[Iloilo City, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

The port of Iloilo was opened to international trade in 1855, and swiftly became the second busiest port in the Philippines (after Manila), a position it held well into the twentieth century. Its city government was inaugurated in 1890, and in 1896 the government of the young King Alfonso XIII dubbed the city "La Muy Leal y Noble Ciudad de Iloilo" ["The Very Loyal and Noble City of Iloilo"]. During the twentieth century the provincial economy acquired other strengths, and it now produces on a grand scale in commercial deep- ea fishing and in growing rice, maize, and fruits, in addition to sugar. It also grows other foodstuffs on a smaller scale, and has handicrafts and some industry. There are deposits of commercially important minerals. During World War II, if I understand correctly, the Ilonggos resisted so strenuously that the Japanese were never able to establish their authority over Panay.
John Ayer, 27 February 2001

Negros Occidental

[Negros Occidental, Philippines] by Jaume Ollé, 12 January 2001

The people of Negros Occidental speak mostly Ilonggo, a Visaya dialect; Cebuano, another Visaya dialect, is a distant second. Most also speak English. In the second half of the nineteenth century sugar cane cultivation grew enormously, drawing many settlers from other islands. Negros Occidental was made a separate province in 1890. In spite of three periods of warfare, sugar remained dominant long into the twentieth century, as the province came to produce most of the country's total sugar production. In the late 1970s the world price of sugar fell sharply, and continued into the early 1980s, and in 1983 the province suffered a serious drought, and, in 1984, two typhoons. An attempt in 1986 to separate the northern part as the province of Negros del Norte was defeated. Meanwhile, starting in 1985, the province received considerable help from the national government and foreign donors to recover economically, which included economic diversification. Today the province has substantial production of coffee, cacao, black pepper, fruits, and grains. It also has a large copper mine. Gold, silver, molybdenum, iron, gypsum, coal, and other minerals are mined. Light industry is growing. Should one wish to visit and disburse, there are excellent opportunities for aquatic recreations, including underwater photography. Mount Kanlaon, the highest peak on the island, is a bird sanctuary, home to a hundred species known nowhere else in the world. The sugar industry led to the building of steam railroads, now nicknamed "iron dinosaurs." Some are still roar and race and breathe fire; others, abandoned, moulder away. The population of Negros Occidental is 2,556,000 in six cities and twenty-six towns. In addition to the capital city of Bacolod, Negros Occidental has five cities, Bago, Cadiz, La Carlota, San Carlos, and Silay, to which the provincial government's website adds Kabankalan, Sagay, Talisay, and Victorias.
John Ayer
, 24 February 2001


[Bacalod, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

The city of Bacolod (pop.429.000) is the capital of Negros Occidental. Bacolod, which was rather slighted yesterday, seems to have the lion's share of the province's architectural points of interest; in addition to the seat of provincial government, it boasts a cathedral, an episcopal palace, and numerous magnificent  homes built on the wealth of the sugar trade in former generations, also a number of museums and art galleries.
John Ayer, 24 February 2001


[Bago, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

Bago, the next city south of Bacolod, has a twin waterfall: two waterfalls side by side, falling thirty meters.
John Ayer, 24 February 2001


[Cadiz, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

Cadiz, located at the northern extremity of Negros, was so named by the Spaniards because its location reminded them of Cadiz in Spain. It became a separate town in 1878, and was chartered as a city in 1967.
John Ayer, 24 February 2001

La Carlota

[La Carlota, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

La Carlota is named for Carlota, the wife of an early Spanish official in the town, who showed the natives such tender kindness that they chose to name the growing town after her. The city is home to a major agricultural research station.
John Ayer, 24 February 2001

San Carlos

[San Carlos, Philippines] by Dirk Schönberger, 12 January 2001

Source: Symbols of the state

San Carlos in Negros Occidental is an important transportation center, with a seaport serving the sugar trade, an airport, and frequent ferry connections to Cebu. Its chief industry seems to be sugar milling.
John Ayer, 7 April 2001

Silay City

Silay City was founded as a town in 1760, and chartered as a city in 1957. Its population is more than a hundred thousand, but various official websites give differing figures. The city was the home of the (originally French) Gaston family, who developed the sugar industry into a big business in Negros Occidental. Their elegant home is now open to the public as a museum. Silay City is a center of arts, culture, and handicrafts. On the flank of Silay Mountain is Patag Valley, where the Japanese forces in Western Visayas made their last stand; thousands of them perished there. The site is preserved with all its improvised fortifications. The Japanese maintain a memorial there to their war dead. Silay City is a major tourist destination, and in addition to its cultural attractions offers swimming, diving, sailing, salt-water and fresh-water fishing, and hiking into Mt. Kanlaon and other destinations.

Flag is not known.
John Ayer, 24 February 2001