BACOLOD

Hofileña: More notable historical events in Negros

The Historian

BY THE 1800s, more notable historical events had transpired in Negros especially with the efforts of the Christian missionaries and cooperation of natives in bringing about social and technological changes. Other welcome events included the transfer of Negros Capital to Bacolod from Himamaylan in southern Negros and the faster development of more fertile farm lands in Negros.

Other related events included the opening of the World Trade with the appointment of the first British Vice Consul, Nicholas Loney in Iloilo which especially benefited the sugar industry and other agricultural activities in Negros.

The Spanish historian, Francisco Varona, notably pointed out the improvements in the use of sugar implements in Negros led by the Luzuriaga and Gaston families. However, a document in the national archives showed that it was Ives Germaine Gaston who installed the first “horno economico” in his Negros sugar hacienda in 1846. In 1872, more economical sugar production was produced with the water well which Fr. Fernando Cuenca first built in a dam benefiting sugar farms in haciendas located in various areas in Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, Bago and Bais. At this time also, the historic first shipment of Negros sugar was shipped to Melbourne in Australia 1859.

Similarly, more migrations to Negros were noted especially from Cebu, Bohol, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo. It was also the Ilongos who took the lead in opening up more sugar lands in the west coast of Negros. Notable families among others pioneered more developments in Negros including among others families such as the Locsins, Montelibanos, De la Ramas, Conlus, Aranetas, Lacsons, Tiongcos, Tinsays, Lopezes, Ledesmas, Jisons, Gamboas, Severinos, Hojillas, Hofileñas, Hernaez, Montinolas, Jalandonis, Hilados, Golezes, Javellanas, Yulos, Torreses, Regalados, Maravillas, Magalonas, Sajos, Cuaycongs, Asconas, Yusays and others. The Spanish families which migrated directly from Spain included among others, the Luzuriagas, Coscullueas, Colmenares, Tejidos, Perezes, Amonatigues and Friases. Another group of migrants included the families of the Pastors, Bonos, Saavedras, Arrietas, Gonzaleses, Diazes, Escobars, De la Viñas, and Kochs. Many of these migrants to Negros were originally active in the retail trade and other businesses in Iloilo. Other adventurous natives had also transferred to Negros from other areas where originally active as workers in various sugar farms. And some groups that migrated to Negros directly from Spain, were also avoiding the Carlist War in Spain in 1833. Another group with parents born in the Philippines also migrated to Negros during the mid-19th century searching for a better economic life.

Other foreign migrants who transferred to Negros in 1850s also contributed to the planting of new breeds of sugarcane as well as other improvements in the industry. The entry of more enterprising migrants from other areas stimulated the growth of many farm areas from barrios into towns and the appearance of more agricultural fields in southern and northern Negros areas. In 1734, Negros was made a military district by itself with a Corregidor assigned to collect tribute in addition to taking charge of other aspects of local government. Considering the lack of missionaries in the whole country, the few friars available only moved from place to place and faced the hazards of difficulties in various places. Some notable Provincial Government leaders included the more notable Governor Sarabia and Governor Beumont who particularly cooperated with representatives of foreign firms to improve the antiquated system of sugar production which introduced credit facilities, shipping lines, and marketing outlets. Gov. Sarabia, the first politico -- military governor in 1856, concentrated in road building, public structures and transport facilities for agricultural marketing.


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