The second of the six major islands that make up the Visayas, Negros is dominated by the volcano of Mount Kanlaon, its orchid rich forested national park a popular trekking area.

The volcano stands at 2,435 metres (7,989 feet), and is the most active in the central Philippines, and for this reason the climb, which can be accomplished in a day, requires all visitors to sign a waiver form.

SILAY CITY

North of the volcano, Silay City, once a major sugar-growing centre, has some interesting heritage Haciendas, reflecting the former wealthy lifestyles of the colonial sugar magnates.



Thirty-one ancestral buildings remain, dating from the town’s golden age in the 1800’s, the most significant of which include the Hofilenda Ancestral Home, with its fine art collection, the Bernardino Jalanoni House, and the Victor Gason House, now a museum. Another well-visited historic building is the still operational El Ideal Bakery.

Nearby, the Northern Negros Natural Park, despite being the site of a major Second World War battle, is an important forested refuge for wildlife, particularly birds, of which there are an incredible thirty seven endemic species to be found here.

TWIN LAKES NATIONAL PARK

In the south of the island Twin Lakes National Park is another virgin forest area good for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.



In nearby Valencia, the Cataal War Memorabilia Museum hosts a fine collection of Second World War items, from weapons to uniforms and personal effects from the era, including the samurai swords of Japanese officers.

APO ISLAND

Off the southern coast of Negros, Apo Island is a popular dive and snorkelling location, with excellent marine visibility and fine sandy beaches.

SIQUIJOR



Further offshore, the larger island of Siquijor has a few beach resorts with some good dive spots, but it’s the captivating historic association with Kulam witchcraft practised by the shamans of the Mangkukulam people of the mountains that overwhelmingly provide the island’s alluring mystique.