San Carlos City, Negros Occidental

San Carlos City, Negros Occidental

Infobox Philippine city
infoboxtitle = San Carlos City
sealfile =Ph seal negros occidental san carlos.png locatormapfile = Ph_locator_negros occidental_san carlos.png caption = Map of Negros Occidental showing the location of San Carlos City.
region = Western Visayas (Region VI)
province = Negros Occidental
districts = 1st district of Negros Occidental
barangays = 18
founded = 1898
cityhood = July 1, 1960
mayor = Eugenio Jose V. Lacson
class = 1st class; urban
pop2000 = 129,809
website = []

:"For another city in the Philippines, see San Carlos City, Pangasinan".

San Carlos City is a 1st class component city in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. The settlement was elevated to city status on July 1, 1960 per Republic Act 2643. According to the August 1, 2007 census, it has a population of 129,809 people.


Pre-Spanish and Spanish colonization

San Carlos City was formerly named Nabingkalan, deriving its name from Nabingka, a beautiful daughter of a chieftain of the Negrito settlement in the area, who ruled the barrio during the early part in the 17th century. She was famous for her loveliness and mental and physical prowess. After her death, the people mourned for two years, and to perpetuate her memory, named the barrio Nabingkalan. The settlement was later bought by Carlos Apurado from Badian, Cebu, who, with the help of fellow pioneers, developed the settlement into a thriving Christian village. Fragments of written history show that in 1856, the Island of Buglas (Negros), as a politico-military province under Spain, was divided into two provinces, West Negros under Iloilo and East Negros under Cebu. The barrio of Nabingkalan under Calatrava, was under the jurisdiction of Iloilo. Señor Don Emilio Saravia, the first political-military governor in the island during the Spanish era, renamed the place and established it as a "pueblo".

San Carlos prospered through the years, however, the village lost its "pueblo" category, and in 1890, when Negros Island was divided into Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, San Carlos was recorded as an "arrabal" or barrio of Calatrava (Hilub-ang). On October 16, 1898, a parish priest of Calatrava, then the township under which jurisdiction Nabingkalan, was a barrio, visited the place. He found it more prosperous than the town proper. So he assembled the "cabezas de barangay" and after a short conference, decided to name the new town San Carlos, in honor of the Patron Saint of the barrio, Saint Carlos Borromeo, whose feast day was November 4, and on that same day, the seat of the town was transferred to San Carlos.

American colonization

During the first years of the American occupation of the Philippines, the economic and social pace of the activities of the people were gauged on the movements of the big landholders and Spaniards in the lowlands. In 1903, the political arena was a hot place, it being the first taste of the Filipinos to elect their own leaders. In 1912, when a sugar central was constructed, the economic life of the people was greatly enhanced. The political activities, however, was closely woven with that of Calatrava, until 1925, when Calatrava was organized into a municipality.

From 1899 to the last days of the administration of the municipality of San Carlos, the following persons have served as "presidentes" and mayors, and have contributed in one way or another to the progress of the town:


*Agustin Ylagan (4 terms)
*Bernardino Lazanas
*Domingo Medina (2 terms)
*Eugenio Antonio, Jr.
*Fausto Caballero
*Jose Cervantes
*Juan P. Broce (2 terms)
*Pelagio Carbajosa
*Vicente Atienza
*Vicente Flores


*Antonio Azcona (in the occupied area)
*Anacleto Factoran (in the free area)
*Juan P. Broce

After 1945

*Constancio Rabacal (2 Terms)
*Constancio Rabacal (Appointed)
*Dominador Zaragoza (Appointed)
*Eugenio Antonio, Jr. (Appointed)
*Gregorio R. Reonisto (OIC-1987)
*Sofronio C. Carmona

The First World War encouraged the people of San Carlos to produce more sugar-producing crops. After the armistice in 1917, the planters who produced more sugar had their wealth greatly increased because of the new price of sugar never before enjoyed by the planters. During World War I, many sons of San Carlos volunteered to fight for the United States, but a few months later, were sent back home because of the armistice.Fact|date=June 2008

World War II

San Carlos was actively involved on the war efforts againts Imperial Japan during The Second World War (World War II). Presumably, a month after the surrender of Negros to the Japanese Imperial Forces, the Guerrilla Movement began in San Carlos and Calatrava. As early as June 15, 1942, Guerilla Units under the leadership of Capt. Eugenio Antonio,Jr., Lt. Leonardo Marane and Lt. Alfredo Valdivia assisted by the Philippine Commonwealth Military Troops began operations against the enemy. Pitch battles were fought within the environs of the "poblacion". In spite of the presence of Maj. Edward McClenahan, a US Army officer, separate Guerrilla Units were scattered in the area under different Commanders. The American Major was not able to establish a formal chain-of-command among the different Guerilla Factions effectively. There were even skirmish fightings among each other, not by words but by gun fires.

The return of some local USAFFE officers to San Carlos, the guerrilla movement was formally organized into fighting units under USAFFE Capts. Catalino D. Rivera, Eugenio Antonio, Jr. and Loreto Y. Apuhin, together with Lts. Florencio C. Yap and Andres L. Arrogante, the bands of roving guerrillas in San Carlos were consolidated under one command. Young College Students in their early teens (just barely enought to carry rifles) joined the ranks and fought bravely face-to-face against the Japanese. Notable among them were: Mansueto D. Quijote, Sr., Odon Requieron, Sr., Vidal Bordaje and Rodick Diaz, all of them "College Boys".

Professionals on their own rights, later join the cause,namely; Eufemio A. Parana and Paul G. Gores, Lawyers: Dominador Cejalvo, Engineer; Carlos M. Madrazo, Chemist; Eugenio Antonio, Jr., Labor Leader and Chemist; Pedro T. Algarme, College Professor; and later, Oscar A. Quisumbing, Arturo A. Cruz, Physicians and Lt. Fernando D. Estampador.

In the war fronts of Bataan and Mindanao, several sons of San Carlos made their supreme sacrifices. One of the most ill-fated son of San Carlos who saw action in Bataan fighting side by side with the Americans; wounded by gun fire; suffered "rifle-but-strikes" on his chest by Japanese Soldiers, and was among the thousands of Filipinos and American Troops in the infamous "DEATH MARCH OF BATAAN", was a least known Philippine Scout Ranger "Dadoy Garcia". He was never recognized by the Philippine Government nor the US Government for his gallantry during the Second World War, although numerous attempts were made by the local Philippine-American Legion for his recognition. His War Service Records and Military Documents were lost in transition. In the early part of 1980, our Hero died of Tuberculosis - penniless, suffered humiliation, and with so much pain in his heart; but never regretfull of his bravery, particularly his service to the Philippine Scouts which was under the Command of the United States Army fighting against the atrocities of the Japanese Imperial Army in the his own native soil.

In March of 1945, San Carlos saw action, when the Philippine Commonwealth forces and local guerrilla units under the over-all command of Col. Ernesto S. Mata, attacked the Japanese garrison in the compound of San Carlos Milling Company and succeeded in driving away the Japanese Army, at the cost of the life of Lt. Alfredo Valdivia.

Among those who survived to tell the story were: Capt. Epifanio D. Liberal, Capt. Dominador Justiniani, Capt. Porferio A. Villaflor, Lts. Teodulfo Limas, Crescencio C. Portuguez, Florencio C. Yap, Andres L. Arrogante, Nestorio L. Layumas, Federico Legaspina, Sgt. Simplicio Algarme, Capt. Eugenio Antonio, Jr., 2nd Lt. Mansueto D. Quijote, Sr. and some other enlisted men.

The first post war election found the town a Liberal. In 1953, the Nacionalista wrested the power from the Liberals. The consensus of opinions has it that for the present, it is yet difficult to dethrone the local party in power. By Virtue of R.A. No. 2643, the Municipality of San Carlos was converted into the City of San Carlos on July 1, 1960. The City inherited from the Municipality numerous improvements hitherto unprecedented in the history of the town. The improvements were introduced by the last municipal administration under Mayor Sofronio Carmona. The usual experience of a new city during the transition period was fraught with crisis. The new City of San Carlos excepted from this rule. The effort exerted by Mayor Carmona in meeting the obligations of the city in the form of salaries of newly created offices and the implementation of WAPCO increases of the intermediate school teachers were overcome.


Located along the coast of Tañon Strait, the city is located at the crossroads of four major cities in the Visayas: Cebu City, Bacolod City, Iloilo City and Dumaguete City. It has a long coastline that runs to 40 kilometers which is protected by the city's mangrove reforestation program while its seas are closely guarded from abuse by this active Bantay Dagat force. Nature has also endowed with a deep natural harbor that can take in large shipping vessels. This harbor is also protected from inclement weather by Refugio Island (a.k.a.Sipaway Island). Due to these special attributes, the Philippine Ports Authority has chosen the San Carlos City port from among other ports in the province for its expansion program in 1998 which include the reclamation of four hectares of sea to accommodate various port buildings, facilities and container vans, an extension on the east side for two RO-RO vessels and the extension of the length of the port to 242.5 meters.

San Carlos City has two pronounced seasons, wet and dry. The rainy season is from May to January with heavy rains occurring during the months of August and September. Dry season lasts from February to April. December and January are the coldest months while April is the hottest.


The Pintaflores Festival was born out of the city's search for a cultural identity and tradition. With Cebu City having its Sinulog, Bacolod City its MassKara Festival, and Aklan its Ati-atihan, San Carlos City also dreamed of having its own unique festival.

In 1992, after successfully holding two activities, the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival and the Dances of Flowers as highlights of the city fiesta, the idea of blending the two concepts to come up with a presentation that could be considered the city's very own started what today is one of the most popular street dancing festivals in the region, the Pintaflores Festival.

"Pintaflores" is coined from the words "pintados" ("painted ones"), the concept behind the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival, and "flores", the Spanish word for "flowers" that dominated the theme of the Dances of Flowers. The "Pintaflores" street dancing and ritual competition highlights the annual Pintaflores Festival every November 3-5.

It features rhythmic dances and dance dramas of life and death and the triumph of good against evil that depict the people's thanksgiving and merriment, abundant blessings and success. As part of the "Pintados" tradition, the faces, arms, bodies and legs of the dancers are painted with flowers to express gratitude to man and his environment.

The street dancing is culminated by a dance ritual performed at the City auditorium. Different dance steps and musical accompaniment add to the thrill of the competition. The human flower formation is another impressive part of the dance ritual which are products of the ingenuity and skill of the choreographers and dancers.

[ Colegio de Sto. Tomas - Recoletos] high school students, bested seasoned contestants to land third place in the free interpretation category in the heavily-competed Sinulog festival in Cebu City in January 1993. In April of the same year, the group bagged the championship in Panaad Sa Negros '93, to province-wide cultural festival in Negros Occidental.

Represented by Barangays II and Quezon, the Pintaflores street dancing contingent emerged first prize in Panaad Sa Negros in 1996. The same group with the participation of Barangay Ermita bagged again the championship in Panaad Sa Negros 1997 and the fifth prize in Sinulog festival '98.

In Panaad Sa Negros '98, the Pintaflores group composed of dancers from Barangays Punao and Palampas and the City Hospital graced the fiesta presentation as guest performers. In Panaad '99. the Pintaflores represented this time by elementary school children, once again proved its unbeatable streak by emerging champions, consequently reaping the Hall of Fame award for topping the fiesta presentation event in four consecutive years.

Having established a name in street dancing, Pintaflores danced performers in such places as Iloilo City (1996) and the Roxas City (1997) as among the best of the best in the region, and in Canlaon City and Victorias in 1999 as the best in the province.

Pintaflores has evolved as a new breed of dancers emerged with the launching of Pintaflores Bata or Pinta Bata in 1996. A street dancing and ritual competition among elementary school children. Pinta Bata thrills one with the children's pleasing gracefulness and versatility that promises a crop of excellent dancers in the years to come.

After five years and many awards, including the Hall of Fame awards in street dancing in the Panaad Sa Negros, the word Pintaflores, like "Daan Sa Kaunlaran" and Homelot program, now has become another byword of the creativity of San Carloseños.

Languages and transportation

Cebuano is the major language of San Carlos City. English, Hiligaynon, and Tagalog are also widely spoken and understood, especially in the urban areas.

Pedicabs are common mode of transport. Buses and jeepneys provide service for inter-town travel.

Notable people and events

Another historical milestone in the life of the city is the cabinet meeting of President Fidel V. Ramos in the city on August 27, 1996 making San Carlos the first component city to be made the venue of a Presidential cabinet meeting. Famous icons brought San Carlos City renown in Negros. Sexy starlet turn award-winning actress Assunta De Rossi graced the city when she married congressman Jules Ledesma. Gerry Peñalosa, a well known boxer comes from the city. Elizabeth Ramsey, a well known comedienne and the mother of singer Jaya,Dr. Gerry H. Tan, Chairman, Division of Endocrinology, Cebu Doctors’ College of Medicine- Cebu Doctors University Hospital, 1999 to present, also hails from the city.Fact|date=July 2008

City officials

*Mayor: Eugenio Jose V. Lacson
*Vice-Mayor: Gerardo P. Valmayor, Jr.
**ABC President: Jonie Uy
**Dickson Yu
**Eddie Apuhin
**Edgardo Quisumbing
**Fleur de Lis Mascuñana
**Gregorio Santillan
**Hernan Antonio
**Jose Carlos Villarante
**Luis Dizon
**Luis Dizon
**Robert Santiago
**Rommel Debulgado
**SK Federation President: Fay Maria Charisma Dollosa


San Carlos City is politically subdivided into 18 barangays.

*Barangay I (Pob.)
*Barangay II (Pob.)

*Barangay III (Pob.)
*Barangay IV (Pob.)
*Barangay V (Pob.)
*Barangay VI (Pob.)
*San Juan

External links

* [ San Carlos City Official Website]
* [ San Carlos City Interactive Website]
* [ Genesys Foundation, Inc.]
* [ Kasipagan Association of Mothers' Clubs]
* [ San Julio Realty, Inc.]
* [ Philippine Census Information (2000à]
* [ Philippine Standard Geographic Code]
* [ Statistics on San Carlos City]
* [ Whispering Palms Island Resort]

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