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Western Visayas – such a diverse region

Once upon a time, I was very fortunate to have a job in the mining and exploration industry. This took me to some very remote places in the Philippines. One of these places was in the Western Visayas, most notably, Negros Occidental.

The travels in this job took me all around Negros. From Silay (Bacolod airport), through Bacolod City, and all the way down the western coast of Negros. On my journeys, I passed through the main towns of Kabankalan, Sipalay, Hinoba-an, Basay, Bayawan, and down to where Dumaguete is located. Depending on flights and my schedule, sometimes I would even fly into Dumaguete. From there, I would head back up to towards Bacolod.

The Hiligaynon “Ilonggo” language

The people of Western Visayas speak the dialect of Hiligaynon,  more commonly known as Ilonggo. It is actually spoken by about 11 million people. I remember when I first moved to the Philippines a friend of mine had a wife from the region. She obviously spoke Ilonggo. He described it to me as sounding like a verbal machine gun. After spending so much time in Negros, I think I can say that is one of the most accurate descriptions I have heard of the language.

The Southwestern coast of Negros Island has some of the most beautiful scenery. The areas surrounding the municipality of Sipalay is easily my favourite. I spent a considerable amount of time in Sipalay. It never ceased to amaze me how diverse the landscape is in this area. You can read my blog about the best 9 places to visit in Negros by clicking here.

With a land area of over 20,000 square kilometres, the Western Visayas Region has many places to explore by land or sea. There are large bodies of water surrounding the region, with the Sulu Sea to the west and the Visayan Sea to the east. There are also many islands in the region – several hundred in fact. Therefore, island tourism is rapidly on the rise.

Island tourism increasing

Further to the northeast of Western Visayas region, you have the island of Panay. Panay Island is home to the world-famous Boracay Island. Boracay Island has what is considered to be the best white sand beach not only in the Philippines but arguably the world. Panay is the sixth largest island in the Philippines, and it is also the fourth most populous. It has a total population of around 4.5 million people.

Western Visayas has so much to offer on so many levels. Come with me on this journey as I take you through some of the places I have experienced in Western Visayas.