Negros is the largest of belonging to the Philippines Visayas islands and the third largest island in the archipelago.
The island is 13,328 km ² and has, according to the census of 2007 of 3.6 million inhabitants. The main cities of the island are Bacolod City in the north, Kabankalan City to the west and Dumaguete City in the southeast.
The neighboring islands of Negros in the north- west of Panay and the smaller Guimaras, separated by the Guimaras Strait and the Gulf of Panay. In the east the island of Cebu, separated by the Tanon Strait and in the southeast the smaller Siquijor and the island of Bohol lies. Far to the south is Mindanao separated by the Mindanaosee and far to the west the Palawan archipelago, separated from Negros by the Sulu Sea. The Visayan Sea separates Negros from the main island of Luzon Philippines.
The island's shape is reminiscent of a sock; the coast line is, however, relatively uniform and is deeply incised by a few deep bays, such as the Bay of Bais City. Upstream of the coast are coral reefs and many smaller islands, such as the Apo Island in the south, Danjugan Iceland off the west coast and the island Sipaway off the east coast.
The topography of the island is dominated by the volcanic mountains of the Cuernos de Negros in the southeast and the volcanoes Mandalagan, Kanlaon and Silay in the northern center of the island. In the north- east and north- west of the island large plains stretch out, which are mostly used for agricultural purposes. In the southwest of the island is the water catchment area of the Ilog River, which forms a 50 km ² large delta at its mouth.
Until the mid-19th century, the island was mostly wooded with a tropical rain forest. With the increasing expansion of sugar cane production, the lowlands were largely deforested. Today, rainforests height can only be found from about 800 meters in the northern part of the island. The southern and south-eastern part of the island is now more forested than the northern. Prior to the shores of the island there are numerous coral reef with a very high biodiversity. Most of the reefs are marine protected areas where economic activities are largely prohibited in order to protect the fish stocks. It can be found on the island's many waterfalls, small lakes and numerous cave systems. Because of the insular nature of life on Negros numerous endemic endangered species such as the Visayan Warty Pig (Sus cebifrons ) and the Prince Alfred deer (Cervus alfredi ) and the Negros Shrew.
The collection of avifauna, among other holdings of the Tariktik - Hornbill ( Penelopides panini ), the Negros Fruit Dove ( Ptilinopus arcanus ), the Negros Bleeding- Dove ( Gallicolumba keayi ), the spotted Fruit Dove ( Ducula carola ) and the Negrosdschungelschnäpper ( Rhinomyias albigularis ) were demonstrated. To protect the biodiversity of the island's National Park Mount Kanlaon Natural Park were established in the island center and south of the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park. Other protected areas are the Northern Negros Natural Park, the Sagay Marine Reserve, the Ilog - Hilabangan Watershed Forest Reserve and the Kabangkalan Watershed Forest Reserve.
The geology of Negros reveals the volcanic history of the island. The strata consist of a mixture of volcanic basalt, slag, Tuffgesteinen and a sequence of sedimentary rocks of limestone, shale, sand and siltstone. The emergence of various rock strata could be traced from the Jurassic to the Holocene.
The island of Negros was established at the collision of two geotectonic small plates by the Palawan - plate pushed under the Philippine plate and uplifted the islands of the Western Visayas from the sea. This subduction zone gave rise to the many volcanoes on the island and is highly prone to earthquakes. In the past, many strong earthquakes shook the island, such as 1948 an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 or 6 February 2012, an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 on the Richter scale shook the island, many buildings could collapse and 48 people killed.
By far the most important economic sector is agriculture, about 60 % of the Philippine sugar production comes from the island of Negros. At about 450,000 acres, which is more than half of the arable land of Negros, sugar cane is grown. Other agricultural products are rice, corn, bananas, and many products from coconuts. Strongholds of the sugar industry's Victoria and Binalbagan. There you will find the largest sugar refineries of the island. According to the Philippine Bureau of Statistics NSCB the island belongs to the more affluent regions of the country, although the distance between rich and poor is particularly strong on Negros. The rich wealthy upper class has the large sugar cane plantations and the rest of the population lives in poverty and often works on the plantations. In recent decades, other industries on the island have settled, thus increasing the earning potential of the population has expanded.
Negros was once called by the locals Buglas, which means in the native languages of Negros Cut off and alludes to the form of a kind of grass taller than a man. It is believed that Negros was once part of a much larger land mass and was separated both by tectonic changes as well as by rising sea levels after the end of the last ice age from the other islands of the Visayas.
The first known inhabitants of the island were the dark-skinned Negritos. According to them, the Spaniards named the island on their arrival in April 1565th The Negritos lived mainly along the coast of the island, they were descendants of Malay immigrants. Two of the first recorded settlements date back to the Negritos, Binalbagan and Ilog. Most Negritos operated Agriculture and bartered with Chinese and other Asian traders who regularly visited the island since the 13th century. Although no written documents were found which were artifacts and relics from the time of the Sung dynasty in the 12th century in the cities Bacong be excavated Bayawan City and La Libertad in Negros Oriental and Escalante City in Negros Occidental. The first known mention of the island of Negros goes back to 1545, in the atlas of the renowned Spanish cartographer Alonso de Santa Cruz. On the map of Santa Cruz Island y de Negros was recorded.
The Spaniards reached Negros in April 1565, when a ship rounded the island and examined in detail. Already in 1571 13 encomiendas were established on the island by the conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi, and placed under the jurisdiction of the colonial administration of Oton province on the island of Panay. 1572 began the Christianization of the people of Negros by the monks of the Augustinian Order.
In 1734 the island became a separate district by establishing a military administrative district with administrative headquarters in Ilog. In 1795, Negros became an independent province with its capital Himamaylan. In 1865 the island was divided only into two politico-military administrative districts, which were converted into the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental on 1 January 1890.