Flag of the República Cantonal de Negros raised on Nov. 5, 1898, notice the sun with round tipped rays.
What is the República Negrénse?
On a fateful day of November 5, 1898, a group of Negrense patriots led by General (later Presidenté) Aniceto Lacson of Northern Negros and General Juan Araneta captured the Spanish garrison from Spanish Gov. Isidro de Castro. An article from an online encyclopedia details a bit on the event now known as Al Cinco de Noviembre.
The Republic of Negros (Spanish: República de Negros) was a short-lived revolutionary republic, and later, administrative division, which existed while the Philippines was under Spanish and American sovereignty. It took its name from Negros Island.
From November 3 to November 6, 1898, the Negrenses rose in revolt against the Spanish authorities headed by politico-military governor Colonel Isidro de Castro. The Spaniards decided to surrender upon seeing armed troops marching in a pincer movement towards Bacolod. The revolutionaries, led by General Juan Araneta from Bago and General Aniceto Lacson from Talisay, were actually carrying fake arms consisting of rifles carved out of palm fronds and cannons of rolled bamboo mats painted black. By the afternoon of November 6, Colonel de Castro signed the Act of Capitulation, thus ending Spanish rule in Negros Occidental. This event is commemorated in Negros Occidental every November 5 as the day the Negrenses bluffed the Spaniards to attain their freedom.
On November 27, 1898, the Cantonal Republic of Negros (Spanish: República Cantonal de Negros) was established. It came under U.S. protection on April 30, 1899. On July 22, 1899, it was renamed the Republic of Negros, but on April 30, 1901, this was dissolved by the United States.
At present, we all know that the República Cantonal de Negros or República Negrénse does not exist anymore so what is this for us Negrénses for the Filipino people at large? Before the EDSA People Power, the Negros Revolution peacefully ousted the Spanish colonizers from the island without the use of force. It is the symbol of Negrénse ingenuity, courage and craftiness when faced with troubling challenges. This República’s memory lives on in the minds and hearts of the current Negrénse but sadly, the awareness of this once glorious history of Negros is beginning to ebb away. As a Negrénse living beyond the Island’s seas, I am doing my part on giving awareness of Negros’ rich culture and biodiversity among my fellow sojourning Negrénse, sons of Negrénse immigrants and others who are interested with the Negrénse treasure throve. Indeed, even though República Negrénse ceased to be an independent nation, the “Negrénse Nation” strives to be alive in the hearts and minds of every Negrénse.
There are some concerns and matters about Negros Island that has popped up from time to time. These issues are not of national concern with regards to the Philippines but they are the “Negrénse Nation”‘s concern especially as it affects the situation in the island itself. We support a…
- Negros Island Region – In our current political system, this was once had voice and bearing. Indeed, the Negros Island is the only island in the country that belongs to two different administrative regions and both regions benefit Negros’ rich resources than just the Negrénses themselves. Having a one island region can benefit the Negrénses from both sides and keep it within the island for its development. But as the clamor for a federal system is gaining ground, there is a better option to this which is…
- Negros Island Federal State – This federal will also include Siquijor which was an integral part of the Negros Island especially when the late Don Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. headed the islands in the Japanese occupation as the legitimate Governor of Negros and Siquijor Islands. Not only will this benefit the Negrénse politically but also economically. Negrénses will have a say on the use of resources without the burdensome strings from Manila.
- Organic One Negros Island – Showcasing the island as the country’s premiere organic products region gives the province more steer power on tourism especially on food tourism. Organic products are export quality and therefore would benefit the Negrénse at large since they would earn more from export tourism market in organic products.
- Division of Bacolod City to two Legislative Districts – The population of Bacolod City, the largest and most economically developed of all the cities in Negros Island, has exceeded a permanent population of 500,000 and is approaching past 700,000 adding to that thousands more who rush to the city in daytime which accumulates to close to a million. Dividing Bacolod City to two districts will give us two congressmen with more congressional projects and more councilors which will bring a bigger budget for development. In no time, this will be a catalyst for faster economic development not only in Bacolod City but the surrounding areas.