Diocese of San Carlos
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In a land area of 3,041 square kilometers, the Diocese of San Carlos occupies a territory on the northeastern part of Negros Island comprising 4 municipalities of Negros Oriental, and 7 of Negros Occidental including the City of San Carlos which is the see of the diocese.

Negros Occidental can be found near the central part of the country. It is one of the five provinces that compose Western Visayas or Region VI. It is located in the northwestern portion of Negros Island, the fourth biggest island in the Philippine archipelago.

It is bounded on the north by the Visayan Sea and on the south by the Sulu Sea. It is southeast of Panay Island from which is separated by the Guimaras Strait.

On the east are the Tanon Strait and Negros Oriental, which forms part of the Central Visayas or Region VII. Negros Oriental is located on the eastern side of the Negros Island in the Central Visayas Region, occupying the southern lobe of the island of Negros. While Negros Occidental belongs to Region VI (Western Visayas Region), Negros Oriental is in Region VII (Central Visayas Region) grouped together with other Cebuano-Speaking provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor.

Negros is basically volcanic. Mount Kanlaon is one of the mountain ranges found in the heart of Negros Island. One of the country's 13 most active volcanoes, Kanlaon is the highest peak in Central Philippines. At an elevation of 2,465 meters above sea level, the most dominant and attractive feature of which is its active summit-crater. Mt. Kanlaon has a land area of 24,577.6 hectares, with rainforest and verdant vegetation sliced from the cities of Bago, La Carlota, San Carlos and Canlaon (in Negros Oriental) and the towns of Murcia and La Castellana.

San Carlos diocese covers the towns of La Libertad, Guhulngan, Vallehermoso, and the City of Canlaon in Oriental and the towns of Manapla, Escalante, Toboso, Calatravan, Don Salvador, Benedicto and the cities of San Carlos, Cadiz and Sagay in Negros Occidental.

Negros Occidental is composed of 13 cities and 19 municipalities distributed in six legislative districts. 

Negros Oriental consists of twenty (20) municipalities, five (5) cities and five hundred fifty-seven (557) barangays. It is also further divided into three (3) legislative districts. 

Population: As of yearend 2008 the Diocese of San Carlos has a population of 864,195 of which 83.8 per cent are Catholics or equivalent to 724,313.

Among its earliest inhabitants were dark-skinned natives belonging to the Negrito ethnic group. Thus the Spaniards called the land "Negros" after the black natives whom they saw when they first came to the island.

Two of the earliest native settlements were Binalbagan and Ilog which later became towns in 1573 and 1584, respectively. Other settlements were Hinigaran, Bago, Marayo (now Pontevedra), Mamalan (now Himamaylan) and Candaguit.

When the Spanish explorers landed in Negros Oriental in 1565, they found natives who called the place "Buglas", named after a kind of tall grass resembling the present-day sugarcane plant. Buglas grass was then abundantly growing in the island. The Spaniards encountered many black people with black kinky hair among the inhabitants, they called the islandNegros. Kabilin, a book on provincial history, mentions what seemed to be the first known documentary reference of the island of Negros in the atlas drawn in 1545 by renowned Spanish cartographer Alonso de Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz' map bears the legend y de Negros, probably derived from the reports of the presence of small black people (negritos) on the island. Thus, a score of years before the Legaspi Expedition, the Spaniards already knew the island of Negros by this name. At that time, there were two (2) types of forest dwellers, the black natives called Ata or Agta (Negrito) and the Proto-Malay also known as Bukidnon with dark brown skin.

Along the coastline dwelt natives of Malayan heritage who were engage in little agricultural activities and barter trading with the Chinese and other Asian merchants who came as early as the 13th century. Although no written documents have been found, artifacts and relics belonging to the Sung Dynasty period in the 12th century were excavated in the towns of Bacong, Bayawan and La Libertad in Negros Oriental and Escalante in Negros Occidental. This indicates a flourishing trade and commerce with other neighboring countries such as China, India and the Malayan peninsula.

Language

Cebuano is the major language. English, Hilogaynon, and Tagalog are also widely spoken and understood, especially in the urban areas.

Negros Occidental is home to the Ilonggo (or Hiligaynon) language. Ilonggo is derived for Iloilo which was the early influence to Negros.

Cebuano is the main language of Negros Oriental because of its closeness to the Island of Cebu. Cebuano is spoken by 969,192 individuals (94.75%) and Hiligaynon or Ilonggo is generally spoken by 49,101 (4.80%) individuals mostly in areas around Basay, Bayawan, Sta. Catalina, Canlaon City and some areas in Mabinay.

At least 67 dialects or mother tongues are known to be spoken in the different parts of the province. Tagalog is understood by majority of the population as well as the English language. English remains the medium of instruction in schools, colleges, and other higher learning institutions.

History

Negros Island was originally called "Buglas", an old native word that is thought to mean "cut-off."

It is believed that Negros was once part of a greater mass of land but was cut off either by what geologists call a continental drift or by rising waters during the so-caled glacial age. Among its earliest inhabitants were dark-skinned natives belonging to the Negrito ethnic group with their unique culture. Thus, the Spaniards called the land "Negros" after the black natives whom they saw when they first came to the island in April 1565. Two of the earliest native settlements were Binalbagan and Ilog, that later became towns in 1573 and 1584, respectively. Other settlements were Hinigaran, Bago, Marayo (now Pontevedra), Mamalan (now Himamaylan) and Candaguit (now a sitio in San Enrique).

After appointing encomenderos in the island, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi placed Negros under the jurisdiction of the governor of Oton in Panay. In 1734, however, the 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.

The island remained a military district up to about the middle of the 19th century. Then in 1865, Negros Occidental was raised to the category of a politico-military province. During this time, several more towns were established like San Carlos and Calatrava.

Religious orders evangelized the province by turns: the Augustinians, Recollects, Jesuits, Dominicans, Seculars and again, the Recollects returning in the 1800s.

The latter half of the 19th century was a period of rapid economic expansion for Negros Occidental as evidenced by the growth of population resulting from the influx of immigrants coming from neighboring provinces like Iloilo, Antique, Capiz and Cebu. They settled in districts sparsely inhabited in the past and this resulted in the establishments of new towns: Saravia (now E.B. Magalona), Valladolid and Escalante in 1860.

The major boom to the province at this time was the widespread cultivation of sugarcane and the opening of ports like those in Iloilo and Cebu to foreign commerce. In 1856, Negros Occidental produced only 4,000 piculs of sugar. This increased to 100,000 piculs in 1864 and 2,000,000 in 1893. The cultivation of sugarcane then became widespread and soon after Negros Occidental led other provinces in the production of sugar. Modern machines were also introduced at this time and by 1864, seven machines operated by steam were used in the towns of Bacolod, Minuluan (now Talisay and Bago).

During the last decade of the 19th century, several important events occurred in the history of Negros Occidental. One was the making of Negros Occidental as a separate province from Negros Oriental in 1890. The other was when Negrense revolutionary troops led by Generals Aniceto Lacson and Juan Araneta joined the nationwide-Katipunan Movement and overcame the Spanish garrison in the province on November 5, 1898 when the Filipinos rose in arms against the Spanish rule. The revolt ended more than 300 years of foreign domination.

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 Occidental on April 20, 1901.

During the succeeding decades between 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, a free government and guerilla movement under Gov. Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. in Negros Island was organized. 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 written. Suffice it to briefly note here that this was mainly a period of rehabilitation from the destruction of war. With the sugar industry, the major pillar of the province's economy, as well as other areas being revived, consequent socio-economic growth in the province followed.

The socio-economic life of Negros Occidental from the 1950s up to the 1980s depended as before mainly on the sugar industry. Producing annually about 60% of the country's sugar output, an expansion in the industry with the establishment of several new mills in the late 1960s spurred increased production. A downturn caused by the low world sugar prices in the early 1980s was followed by possibly the worst industry and province-wide crisis starting in 1984, with the world sugar prices hitting rock bottom in 1985. The province was also hit by two destructive typhoons in 1984, Nitang and Undang, after a serious drought in 1983.

The year 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.

While the country was simmering like a volcano that later erupted at EDSA in February 1986, Negros Occidental was split into two provinces after a plebiscite in Cadiz on January 3, 1986. Negros Occidental (mother province) was left with 3 cities and 18 municipalities while Negros del Norte (new province) had 3 cities and 8 municipalities starting from the City of Silay to the northern tip, San Carlos City, including the new town of Don Salvador Benedicto. The creation of this new province was, however, opposed by the Negros Anti-Partition Movement and the Supreme Court declared the creation unconstitutional on July 11, 1986. On August 18, 1986, Negros del Norte was formally returned to Negros Occidental, thus making the province whole again.

Toward the end of 1987, the rays of hope started to shine when the overall economic situation showed an upturn. The campaign for agricultural diversification had been gaining momentum, paving the way for more landowners to invest in prawn farming, livestock and high-value crops such as fruits, vegetables and other cash crops. Investments upswing became apparent by 1988. The participation of the industrial sector accelerated consumer-led economic growth and development manifested by the increase in sales of consumer goods and by-products.

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.

People, Culture and Arts
Sugar is central to the evolution of the Negrense culture. The affluence and the prosperity that the industry brought to the province nourished a charming, genteel, sometimes lavish spirit that sets the Negrense apart from his Ilonggo kinsman. Negrense are regarded as affectionate, generous, fun loving people who enjoy the finer things in life. As a labor force, however, Negrenses are highly motivated, educated, skilled, trainable and entrepreneurial individuals.

Negrenses celebrate in style. Negros cuisine developed from this eagerness for festivity, though much of this remarkable cuisine is guarded jealously in family kitchens. Aside from dishes cooked with Spanish influences, probably the most famous dish Negros Occidental is remembered for is Inasal (barbecued marinated chicken).

Negros pastries and confectionary are equally renowned, with guapple pie, piaya, barquillos, pinasugbo, pastel de mangga, panyo-panyo, butong-butong and dulce gatas ranked among the favorites. Negros is also presently giving Davao and Bicol Region a run for their pastilles de durian and pili nuts, respectively.

Negrenses are noted for their artistic abilities as well as for their love for sports. Many Negrense artists-designers/architects, cartoonists/visual artists have gained national and international distinction in their fields. The province is also noted for its world-class athletes in track and field, swimming, football, softball, golf and boxing among others. Even in the field of cock-fighting, it is known as the home of the best handlers and gamefowl breeders.

The Negrenses' joie de vivre is manifested in the various festivals all over the province, foremost among which are famousMassKara Festival of Bacolod, Pasalamat Festival of La Carlota, Bailes de Luces of La Castellana and Pintaflores Festival of San Carlos. These and other interesting local festivals are featured during the Pana-ad sa Negros Festival staged every April at the 25-hectare tree-lined Pana-ad 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. Silay City has fine examples of sugar barons' palatial homes. In other 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.

History of Negros Oriental
The expedition of Ferdinand Magellan that arrived in the Philippines on March 16, 1521, and the succeeding expeditions in the following decades, has not been able to reach the island of Negros. It was only in 1571 or fifty years later when Legazpi came that the Spaniards discovered the island of Negros. Historical accounts compiled by Prof. Caridad Aldecoa-Rodriguez, a renowned local historian, have in her book, "Negros Oriental and the Philippine Revolution", that while anchored in the island of Bohol, Legaspi dispatched a frigate to reconnoiter the coasts of the islands that were visible from that point.

Legaspi and his men found the natives inhospitable, but there were plenty of food in the island. It was during the time of Legaspi that distribution of big tracts of land (encomiendas) to 15 encomenderos residing in Cebu and Iloilo was done. Three of the encomiendas were the Rios de Tanae (Tanjay), "Davi" (Dauin) and "Monalongon" (Manalongon) in the southern part of Negros Oriental. Tributes collected were, however, sent to Cebu or Iloilo governments where funds of Negros were administered. It was in 1734 when a separate military district government was established in the island.

As settlements in Negros Oriental continually grew and swelled out to other points along the coast, the sugar cane plantation expanded just as fast. Meantime, the government officials who resided in Bacolod could hardly cope up with government functions and rarely visited the Oriental part due to the inadequacy of roads and difficulty in communication facilities. Consequently, the socio-economic life of the Oriental Negrenses suffered a great setback. There was a pressing need for more officials to supervise closely government functions such as strengthening defenses against devastating Moro raids, apprehending and trying criminals, and opening of more curacies. A petition to separate Negros Oriental from Negros Occidental was presented to the Governor General, recommending the town of Dumaguete as capital. 

Thirteen years later, Governor General Valeriano Weyler, in compliance with a royal decree dated Oct. 25, 1889, established Negros Oriental as a separate province on Jan. 1, 1890 with an estimated population (the Negritos living in the hinterland had no accurate counts) of 94,782 consisting of 17 towns of Guihulngan, Jimalalud, Tayasan, Ayungon, Manjuyod, Bais, Tanjay, Amlan, Ayuquitan, Sibulan, Dauin, Nueva Valencia, Bacong, Dumaguete, Zamboanguita, Siaton and Tolong. The appointed Politico-Militar was Joaquin Tavera.

The new province left no time concerning itself with local administration and development. Public works and other needs of the towns were attended to with public funds. A court of peace was put up in every town and, at the provincial capital town, a Court of First Instance. But in the later part of 1898, Negros Oriental rebel forces, under the leadership of Don Diego de la Viña, succeeded in driving the Spanish forces and government officials from all towns. On Nov. 25, 1898, the Provincial Revolutionary Government of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was established in Dumaguete, the capital town, with Don Demetrio Larena as Presidente.

On April 9, 1901, the Second Philippine Commission under the Chairmanship of William H. Taft, arrived in Dumaguete. On May 1, 1901, the civil government under American rule was established. On Aug. 28, of the same year Dr. David S. Hibbard founded Silliman Institute now Silliman University.

In 1924, Hon. Herminigildo Villanueva was elected Governor and a Capitol Building was erected. The province experienced real war in a grand scale when World War II broke out in December 1941. The war, aside from the physical devastation wrecked throughout the province, also left painful scars, which up to this date remain unhealed. But the people came out stronger and more determined. However, the people found out that the political independence they gained did not equate economic independence and self-sufficiency. 

The struggle for the improvement of the quality of life still remains a quest for every Negrense along with the rest of the Filipino nation. Ninety years after 1901, the Local Government Code of 1991 (LGC) was made into law and took effect on Jan. 1, 1992. With the advent of the LGC, a new era in local government finance and administration spearheaded Negros Oriental in the development of the '90s.

History and origin of San Carlos
The original name of San Carlos was "Nabingkalan", which referred to the Negrito settlement of inhabitants from towns of the Western Coast of Cebu Island who came to Negros. The settlers were led by an enterprising Cebuano from Badian, Carlos Apurado, who developed the area into a thriving Christian village with the help of his fellow pioneers.

"Nabingkalan" is also derived from the name of "Nabingka", a beautiful princess who ruled the territory for many years that when she died, the inhabitants of this Negrito region mourned the death of their beautiful princess for two years. In order to perpetuate her soul, the people gave the name of "Nabingkalan" to the place where their beautiful princess ruled for a long period.

In 1856, the first politico Military Governor of Negros Island, Don Emilio Saravia, renamed the place "San Carlos" and established it as "pueblo" status in 1890 when Negros Island was divided into two provinces Occidental and Oriental Negros. San Carlos was recorded as an "arrabal" or barrio of Calatrava, then known as "Hilub-ang."

In January 1892, the Bishop of Diocese of Jaro in Iloilo appointed a recollect as the first parish priest of San Carlos and three years later, the place regained its momentum for progress with 16 well-equipped "haciendas" in operation.

In 1898, San Carlos acquired its township status when Gen. Juan Araneta of the Revolutionary Negros Republic officially proclaimed it as a municipality. This was confirmed by the American Military Administration in 1901.

Five years later, in 1906, a constraint of the new administration from of local government implemented by the American Administration made Calatrava an "arrabal" or barrio of San Carlos.

San Carlos became a city on July 1, 1960. Each year, the city celebrates the Pintaflores festival on November 3-5 that culminates in a fascinating street dancing competition participated in by floral-painted dancers donned in colorful, ethnic-inspired costumes.

Brief History
Diocese of San Carlos 
(Diocesis Sancti Caroli)

Suffragan of Jaro
Created: March 30, 1987
Erected: February 10, 1988
Comprises the towns of La Libertad, Guhulngan, Vallehermoso, and the City of Canlaon in Negros Oriental and the towns of Manapla, Toboso, Calatrava, Don Salvador Benedicto and the cities of San Carlos, Escalante, Cadiz and Sagay in Negros Occidental
Titular: San Carlos Borromeo

The Diocese of San Carlos occupies a territory on the northeastern part of Negros Island comprising 4 municipalities of Negros Oriental, and 7 of Negros Occidental including the City of San Carlos which is the see of the diocese. 

The history of the Diocese of San Carlos is very closely linked with that of her sister dioceses on the same island: those of Bacolod, Dumaguete and Kabankalan. Its territory was carved partly from the Diocese of Bacolod, and partly from the Diocese of Dumaguete. The day of its creation coincides with that of the Diocese of Kabankalan, which covers the southern portion Negros Occidental. 

Way back during the Spanish era, the island of Negros was part of the then Diocese of Jaro when this was created in 1868. Negros stayed under the jurisdiction of the Jaro diocese until 1933, then the Diocese of Bacolod was created and the entire island of Negros was placed under its jurisdiction. When the Diocese of Dumaguete was created in 1955, it was separated from that of Bacolod.

On March 30, 1987, the Diocese of San Carlos and the Diocese of Kabankalan were created and these two new ecclesiastical territories were separated from the jurisdictions of Bacolod and Dumaguete. All four dioceses on Negros Island are now suffragans of the Archdiocese of Jaro.

From its creation in 1987, the diocese has witnessed the construction of monumental buildings on a 3-hectare lot donated by a generous family of San Carlos. Completed are the Bishop's Home and chancery offices. Still under construction are the dormitories for lay seminars and the seminary buildings of the St. John Mary Vianney Seminary. All these have been made possible by financing from the faithful and some benefactors from abroad. 

In line with its vision and mission, and the directions set by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, the diocese has embarked on its diocesan thrust: the formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities. About 567 BEC's have become operative in the region since 1988. The various commissions have pursued their respective programs in the parochial and diocesan levels. And all these have brought about a greater awareness of the faith.

The socio-economic programs are being implemented through the Social Action Center (SAC). And most effective in improving the socio-economic climate are the small cooperatives. The SAC is also helping feed malnourished children and their mothers, supplementing material help with nutrition information and the introduction of herbal medicines, acupuncture, etc. Summarily the Diocese of San Carlos is much involved in the delivery of services through its varied apostolates, especially to the poor and the marginalized.

As to its financial viability, the diocese is now implementing the tithing system in some parishes.

Vision
We, the Pilgrim Church of the Diocese of San Carlos, are committed in Faith to Incarnate the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Justice and Love, where there are viable living conditions in freedom and participation, integrity, culture and religious maturity.

Mission
We also strive to build the diocese a people of God living as witnessing community in worship/prayer, in preaching, in service, in sharing, in unity, and participation for the transformation of the present day society.

Political

A Philippine province is headed by a Governor. A Provincial Council (Sangguniang Panlalawigan) is composed of a Vice Governor (Presiding Officer) and Provincial Board Members. A Philippine city or municipality is headed by a Mayor. A City Council (Sangguniang Panlungsod) or Municipal Council (Sangguniang Bayan) is composed of a Vice Mayor (Presiding Officer) and City or Municipal Councilors. A barangay is headed by a Barangay Captain, who is also the presiding officer of the barangay council. The Barangay Council is composed of seven (7) Barangay Kagawads. A similar unit called a Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan) is headed by an SK Chairperson with a similar rank to a Barangay Captain. The council is composed of SK Members.

Transportation

  • Airport
    The Dumaguete City airport is the only major airport in Negros Oriental serving daily domestic flights to and from Manila with two airline companies (Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific). Its facilities are for all weather conditions. The province has also two private airports, one located in Tolong, Sta. Catalina and the other in the Pamplona Estate in Pamplona. Another private airport is soon to be constructed in Bayawan City.

  • Seaport
    The Dumaguete seaport is a major link to Mindanao traffic and is part of the "Strong Republic Nautical Highway" route.

    The Guihulngan Port caters mainly to small vessels ferrying passengers between Guihulngan and Tangil, Dumanjug, Cebu

  • Roads and bridges 
    All cities and municipalities are linked by an extensive road and bridge network stretching more than 1,500 kilometers crisscrossing the province with seven alternative scenic routes to the nearby province of Negros Oriental.

    Road surface analysis in the province of Negros Oriental shows that there is a total of 909.768 kilometers of national and provincial roads, 120.42 kilometers of which are concrete-paved, 308.885 kilometers or 33.95 per cent are asphalt-paved, 352.596 kilometers or 38.76 per cent are gravel roads and 127.867 kilometers or 14.05 per cent are earth roads.

    There are 140 national bridges in Negros Oriental with a total length of 4,782 linear meters, 139 of which are permanent bridges and one is a temporary bridge. A few of these bridges have already undergone repairs and upgrading, especially the bridge approaches.

    There are 17 provincial farm-to-market bridges with an aggregate length of 434.68 linear meters, 189.91 linear meters of which are temporary or made of timber; 25.14 linear meters are concrete girder bridges; and 219.63 linear meters are reinforced concrete deck girder.

Economy

Annual per capita income in the diocesan territory is (in Philippines Pesos) 16,553 or USD375 as of November 2010. 

Negros Occidental is the Philippines' major sugar producer. Its principal sugar-growing region is located in the north and west of the island, stretching from northwest along the coasts of the Visayan Sea and Guimaras Strait, which is one of the country's principal lowland areas. Sugar refining has many by-products such as acetylene, fertilizers and rum.

Fishing is the major industry based in Cadiz City. There are also a number of fishponds and prawn farming has become a major industry.

Bacolod City is the center of commerce and finance in Negros Occidental. It is where you find oil companies, factories, bottling plants, allied industrial businesses, steel fabrication, power generation, agri-businesses, prawn culture and other aqua-culture ventures.

The province is rich in mineral deposits. Minerals that abound in the province are primary copper and gold ore. Silver andmolybdenum deposits are also abundant, as well as non-metallic minerals suitable for agricultural and industrial uses. Notwithstanding its great potential, the mining industry in Negros Occidental has remained virtually dormant since the biggest copper mine.

Total land area in Negros Oriental which is devoted to agriculture consists of 302,729 hectares, 167,515 hectares of which are planted to major crops, the rest are utilized for the cultivation of indusrial and minor crops.

Irrigated fields contributed the bulk of the palay (rice) production with a 2.5 cropping per year which reached 48,622 metric tons or 82.43 per cent of the total production while the remaining 17.57 per cent or 10,362 metric tons were derived from lowland and upland rain fed areas. In 2001, an estimated basic area of 16,255 hectares

Telecommunication

International direct dialing, fiber optic data lines and internet services are accessible in most areas of Negros Occidental. Also, GSM, digital and analog cellular networks provide good coverage in Bacolod City and other areas, including international roaming.

Modern communication facilities, as well as radio, television and newspapers, are available in the province. Most are provided by dominant national players in the industry like PLDT, Globe Telecom and their subsidiaries.

Telecommunications facilities operating in Negros Oriental include telephone systems, cable television stations, and telegraph stations, and telex station exchange. Each local government unit (municipality and city) has a postal station that caters to the populace, usually located at the town or city center. Private telephone companies maintain modern telephone equipment, giving access to all major cities in 116 countries in the world on a 24-hour basis through long distance International Direct Dial (IDD) and National Direct Dial (NDD).

Although some cities and municipalities have direct contact through telephones, cellular phones and single side band radio sets, a majority of these cities and municipalities still require additional communication lines.

There are 47 internet cafes that operate in Negros Oriental.

For television and radio, the major providers are the giant networks ABS-CBN, GMA and RPN. Cable TV provides access to CNN, BBC, ESPN and other international programs.

There are 15 TV broadcasting stations, 13 AM radio stations and 22 FM radio stations in Negros Occidental.

There are six TV stations, four AM radio stations and nine FM radio stations in Negros Oriental

Education

Literacy rate (simple literacy) is 91.21 percent in the diocesan territory.

Culture

  • Feast of St. Charles Borromeo (Nov. 4)
  • Panaad Festival
    The biggest festival of them all in Negros Occidental, the Panaad Festival (the mother of all festivals), started in 1993 as a thanksgiving celebration and a fulfillment of a promise and vow to the Divine Providence in exchange of good life.

    It features 32 festivals that bring together 13 cities and 19 towns of Negros Occidental. In theme booths that showcase their history, culture, trade, agriculture, tourism and other industries.

    The annual Panaad sa Negros Festival held at the Panaad Park and Stadium, Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City.

  • Pintaflores
    Pintaflores is a yearly cultural festival that culminates on November 5 in a fascinating street dancing competition among floral-painted dancer in colorful and floral-inspired. Pintaflores is coined from the words pintados ("painted ones"), andflores, the Spanish word for "flowers" that dominated the theme of the Dances of Flowers.

  • Dinagsa Festival
    Dinagsa Festival is the highlight of a weeklong celebration in honor of its Patron saint, the Señor Sto. Niño. Held every last week of January, this spectacular revelry features "Ati" tribes garbed in their colorful costumes dancing to the fast and defeaning beat of drums while carrying the image of the holy child Jesus.

  • Sinigayan Festival
    Sinigayan Festival held every 3rd week of March is an annual celebration and thanksgiving in honor of their patron St. Joseph. Sinigay sa Sagay is an expression of art and culture of the hardworking and God - fearing Sagaynons displayed and exhibited during the Annual Sinigayan Festival as eloquent assertion of thanksgiving on the past year.

  • Man

Estimated 4-6 million turnout at Luneta papal mass

Estimated 4-6 million turnout at Luneta papal mass The Holy Mass to be presided over by Pope Francis at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta will formally conclude the Pope’s apostolic visit to the country before he returns to the Vatican the next day.