Visayas

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Visayas
Kabisay-an
Kabisayaan
Visayas Red.png
Map of the Philippines
The Visayas is shown in color red
Geography
LocationSouth East Asia
ArchipelagoPhilippines
Major islandsBohol, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate, Negros, Panay, and Samar, Camotes Island, Mactan
Area61,077 km2 (23,582 sq mi)
Highest elevation2,435 m (7,989 ft)
Highest pointKanlaon
Country
Philippines
RegionsCentral Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas.
Largest cityCebu City
Demographics
Population16,994,564 (as of 2010 Philippines census[1])
Density278 /km2 (720 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups

Visayans (Aklanon, Boholano/Bol-anon, Caluyanon, Capiznon, Cebuano, Eskaya, Hiligaynon, Karay-a, Masbateño, Porohanon, Romblomanon, Waray), Ati

and other ethnic groups.
 
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Visayas
Kabisay-an
Kabisayaan
Visayas Red.png
Map of the Philippines
The Visayas is shown in color red
Geography
LocationSouth East Asia
ArchipelagoPhilippines
Major islandsBohol, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate, Negros, Panay, and Samar, Camotes Island, Mactan
Area61,077 km2 (23,582 sq mi)
Highest elevation2,435 m (7,989 ft)
Highest pointKanlaon
Country
Philippines
RegionsCentral Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas.
Largest cityCebu City
Demographics
Population16,994,564 (as of 2010 Philippines census[1])
Density278 /km2 (720 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups

Visayans (Aklanon, Boholano/Bol-anon, Caluyanon, Capiznon, Cebuano, Eskaya, Hiligaynon, Karay-a, Masbateño, Porohanon, Romblomanon, Waray), Ati

and other ethnic groups.

The Visayas /vɨˈsəz/ və-SY-əz or Visayan Islands[2] (Visayan languages: Kabisay-an, Tagalog: Kabisayaan), is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, along with Mindanao and Luzon. It consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea, although the Visayas are considered the northeast extremity of the entire Sulu Sea.[3] Residents are known as the Visayans.

The major islands of the Visayas are Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, and Samar.[6] The region may also include the islands of Romblon and Masbate, whose population identify as Visayan.

There are three administrative regions in the Visayas: Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas.

Etymology[edit]

A theory proposed by some scholars[7] states that the term Visayas was derived from the name of a 7th-century thalassocratic Malay Srivijaya Empire. In Sanskrit, sri (श्री) means "fortunate," "prosperous," or "happy" and vijaya (विजय) means "victorious" or "excellence". In the 12th century, parts of the Sulu Archipelago and the Visayas Islands were either subject or tributaries of the empire. [8]

History[edit]

The early people in the Visayas region were Austronesians and Negritos who migrated to the islands about 6,000 to 30,000 years ago.[citation needed] These early settlers were animist tribal groups. In the 12th century, settlers from the collapsing empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit and Brunei, led by the chieftain Datu Puti and his tribes, settled in the island of Panay and its surrounding islands.[citation needed] By the 14th century, Arab traders and their followers, venturing into Maritime Southeast Asia, converted some of these tribal groups to Islam. These tribes practiced a mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Animism beliefs. There is evidence of trade among other Asian people. The Visayans were thought to have kept close diplomatic relations with Malaysia and Indonesian kingdoms since the tribal groups of Cebu were able to converse with Enrique of Malacca using the Malay language when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in 1521.

After the Magellan expedition, King Philip II of Spain sent Ruy López de Villalobos and Miguel López de Legazpi in 1543 and 1565 and claimed the islands for Spain. The Visayas region and many tribes began converting to Christianity and adopting western culture. By the 18th and 19th centuries, the effects of colonization on various ethnic groups soon turned sour and revolutions such as those of Francisco Dagohoy began to emerge.

Various personalities who fought against Spanish Colonial Government arose from the islands. Among the notable ones are Graciano Lopez Jaena from Iloilo,[9] León Kilat, from Negros Oriental, Venancio Jakosalem Fernandez, from Cebu,[10] and two personalities from Bohol by the name of Tamblot, who led the Tamblot Uprising in 1621 to 1622 and Francisco Dagohoy, the leader of the Bohol Rebellion that lasted from 1744 to 1829.[11]

In 2005, Palawan Island was transferred to Region VI (Western Visayas) by Executive Order 429.[12] However this planned reorganization was held in abeyance.[5] Hence, Palawan currently remains (as of June 2013) part of Region IV-B.

Historical legends and hypotheses[edit]

Historical documents written in 1907 by Visayan historian Pedro Alcántara Monteclaro in his book Maragtas tell the story of the ten leaders (Datus) who escaped from the tyranny of Rajah Makatunaw from Borneo and came to the islands of Panay. The chiefs and followers were said to be the ancestors (from the collapsing empires of Srivijaya and Majapahit) of the Visayan people. The documents were accepted by Filipino historians and found their way into the history of the Philippines. As a result, the arrival of Bornean tribal groups in the Visayas is celebrated in the festivals of the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan and Binirayan in San José, Antique. Foreign historians such as William Scott maintains that the book contains a Visayan folk tradition.[13] Panay boasts of the Hinilawod as its oldest and longest epic.

A contemporary theory based on a study of genetic markers in present-day populations is that Austronesian people from Taiwan populated the region of Luzon and headed south to the Visayas, Borneo, Indonesia, then to Pacific islands and to the east of the Indian Ocean.[14] The study, though, may not explain inter-island migrations, which are also possible, such as Filipinos migrating to any other Philippine provinces.

According to Visayan folk traditions, the Visayas were populated by Malays from the collapsing empires of Srivijaya and Majapahit migrating from Borneo to Mindanao and to the Visayas, while other Malays crossed to Palawan through Sabah. Other Malays were suggested to have crossed from Samar island to the Bicol region in Luzon. The theory suggests that those ancient tribal groups who passed through Palawan may have migrated to what is now the island of Luzon.

A supplementary theory was that at that period, the Malay people were moving north from Mindanao to the Visayas and to Luzon. Various groups of Europeans and Chinese also integrated with the native population during that period.

Administrative divisions[edit]

A map of the Visayas colour-coded according to the constituent regions.
  Central Visayas
  Eastern Visayas
  Western Visayas
The major islands, from west to east, are Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, and Samar.

Administratively, the Visayas is divided into 3 regions, namely Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas. Each region is headed by a Regional Director who is elected from a pool of governors from the different provinces in each region.

The Visayas is composed of 16 provinces, each headed by a Governor. A governor is elected by popular vote and can serve a maximum of three terms consisting of three years each.

As for representation in the Philippine Congress, the Visayas is represented by 44 Congressmen elected in the same manner as the governors.

Western Visayas (Region VI)[edit]

Western Visayas consists of the islands of Panay and the western half of Negros. The regional center is Iloilo City. Its provinces are:

Central Visayas (Region VII)[edit]

Central Visayas includes the islands of Cebu and Bohol and the eastern half of Negros. The regional center is Cebu City. Its provinces are:

Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)[edit]

Eastern Visayas consists of the islands of Leyte and Samar. The regional center is Tacloban City. Its provinces are:

Cities and Municipalities[edit]

Below is a list of cities and major towns in the Visayas by population.

MunicipalityProvince aRegionPopulation
(2010) b
Area
(km²) c
Population
density
(per km²)
Legal Class dIncome
Class d
Notes
Cebu CityCebuRegion 7866,171315.002749.75Highly urbanized citySpecial classCapital of Cebu; regional center of Region 7
BacolodNegros OccidentalRegion 6511,820162.673146.37Highly urbanized city1st classCapital of Negros Occidental
Iloilo CityIloiloRegion 6424,61978.346213.33Highly urbanized city1st classCapital of Iloilo; regional center of Region 6
Lapu-LapuCebuRegion 7350,46758.106032.13Highly urbanized city1st class
MandaueCebuRegion 7331,32025.1813158.06Highly urbanized city1st class
TaclobanLeyteRegion 8221,174201.721096.44Highly urbanized1st classCapital of Leyte; regional center of Region 8
TalisayCebuRegion 7200,77239.875035.67Component city3rd class
OrmocLeyteRegion 8191,200613.60311.6Independent component city1st class
KabankalanNegros OccidentalRegion 6167,666697.35240.43Component city1st class
BagoNegros OccidentalRegion 6163,045401.20406.39Component city2nd class
ToledoCebuRegion 7157,078216.28726.27Component city3rd class
RoxasCapizRegion 6156,19795.071642.97Component city2nd classCapital of Capiz
CadizNegros OccidentalRegion 6151,500542.57279.23Component city2nd class
SagayNegros OccidentalRegion 6140,740330.34426.05Component3rd class
San CarlosNegros OccidentalRegion 6129,981451.50287.89Component city2nd class
SilayNegros OccidentalRegion 6120,999214.80563.31Component city3rd class
DumagueteNegros OrientalRegion 7120,88333.623595.57Component city3rd classCapital of Negros Oriental
DanaoCebuRegion 7119,252107.301111.39Component city3rd class
BayawanNegros OrientalRegion 7114,074699.08163.18Component city2nd class
CarcarCebuRegion 7107,323116.78919.02Component4th class
HimamaylanNegros OccidentalRegion 6103,006367.04280.64Component city3rd class
BaybayLeyteRegion 8102,841459.30223.91Highly urbanized cityn/a
NagaCebuRegion 7101,571101.97996.09Component cityn/a
TalisayNegros OccidentalRegion 697,571223.73436.11Component city4th class
TagbilaranBoholRegion 796,792331.80291.72Component city3rd classCapital of Bohol
CatbaloganSamarRegion 894,317274.22343.95Component cityn/a
GuihulnganNegros OrientalRegion 793,675388.56241.08Component cityn/a
EscalanteNegros OccidentalRegion 693,005192.76482.49Component cityn/a
VictoriasNegros OccidentalRegion 688,299133.92659.34Component city4th class
CatarmanNorthern SamarRegion 884,833464.43182.66Municipality1st classCapital of Northern Samar
MaasinSouthern LeyteRegion 881,250211.71383.78Component city4th classCapital of Southern Leyte
PassiIloiloRegion 679,633251.39316.77Component city3rd class
TanjayNegros OrientalRegion 779,098267.05296.19Component city4th class
KaliboAklanRegion 674,61945.751631.02Municipality1st classCapital of Aklan
BaisNegros OrientalRegion 774,722319.64227.51Component city3rd class
BogoCebuRegion 769,911103.52675.34Component city4th class
SipalayNegros OccidentalRegion 667,403379.78177.48Component city4th class
BoronganEastern SamarRegion 864,457475.00135.7Component cityn/aCapital of Eastern Samar
La CarlotaNegros OccidentalRegion 663,852137.29465.09Component city4th class
San Jose de BuenavistaAntiqueRegion 663,852137.29465.09Municipality1st classCapital of Antique
NavalBiliranRegion 848,799108.24450.84Municipality2nd classCapital of Biliran
JordanGuimarasRegion 634,791126.11275.88Municipality3rd classCapital of Guimaras
SiquijorSiquijorRegion 725,23182.06307.47Municipality3rd classCapital of Siquijor

Notes

^a Highly urbanized cities (HUCs) and independent component cities are legally independent from any province, although they are often grouped with the province they belonged to prior to becoming cities. The province indicated for such cities, as grouped by the National Statistical Coordination Board, is in italics.
^b Population figures are from the 2010 Census Website.
^c Land area figures are taken from the National Statistical Coordination Board
^d Information on income class (as of June 2012) are from the National Statistical Coordination Board.

Language[edit]

Languages spoken at home are primarily Visayan languages despite the usual misconception that these are dialects of a single language. Major languages include Hiligaynon or Ilonggo in much of Western Visayas, Cebuano in Central Visayas, and Waray in Eastern Visayas. Other dominant languages are Aklanon, Kinaray-a and Capiznon. Filipino, the national language based on Tagalog, is widely comprehensible but seldom used. English, an official language, is more widely known and is preferred as the second language most especially among urbanized Visayans. For instance, the latter is frequently used in schools, public signs and mass media.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities". National Statistics Office of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Visayan Islands" Merriam-Webster Dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com/concise/visayan%20islands
  3. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Sulu Sea. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. P.Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. Washington DC
  4. ^ "Executive Order No. 429". President of the Philippines. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Administrative Order No. 129". President of the Philippines. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  6. ^ On May 23, 2005, Palawan and Puerto Princesa City were moved to Western Visayas by Executive Order No. 429.[4] However, on August 19, 2005, President Arroyo issued Administrative Order No. 129 to hold the earlier EO 429 in abeyance pending a review.[5] As of 2010, Palawan and the highly urbanized city of Puerto Princesa still remain a part of the MIMAROPA region.
  7. ^ Jovito S. Abellana, "Bisaya Patronymesis Sri Visjaya" (Ms., Cebuano Studies Center, ca. 1960)
  8. ^ Rasul, Jainal D. (2003). Agonies and Dreams: The Filipino Muslims and Other Minorities. Quezon City: CARE Minorities. pp. 77.
  9. ^ Dr. Robert L. Yoder, FAPC."Graciano López Jaena". Universitat Wien. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  10. ^ "Venancio's Leon Kilat". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  11. ^ "The Dagohoy Rebellion". Watawat.net. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  12. ^ President of the Philippines. "Executive order No. 429". Office of the Press Secretary. Archived from the original on 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  13. ^ Scott 1984, pp. 81–103.
  14. ^ Cristian Capelli et al. (2001). "A Predominantly Indigenous Paternal Heritage for the Austronesian-Speaking Peoples of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania" (PDF). American Journal of Human Genetics 68 (2): 432–443. doi:10.1086/318205. PMC 1235276. PMID 11170891. 

References[edit]

Coordinates: 11°00′N 123°30′E / 11.000°N 123.500°E / 11.000; 123.500