Western Visayas, one of the regions of the Philippines, is designated as Region VI.

It consists of six provinces; Aklan, Antique, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo and 16 cities making it the region with the highest number of cities. Iloilo City is the regional center.[1] The presence of almost all the government agencies' regional offices in the city and it's geographical proximity to the other Region VI provinces affirm Iloilo City as the regional center. Western Visayas is composed of six provinces and the highly urbanized cities of Bacolod and Iloilo with Kalibo as the sole international gateway ( Kalibo International Airport serves direct flights to Incheon-Korea, and Taipei, with Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore next) . The province of Aklan occupies the northwestern coastal plain of the island of Panay. Its 1,853 km² supports a population of 441,000 in seventeen municipalities, of which Kalibo is the capital. After strenuous and sustained political efforts, Aklan was separated from Capiz by act of the national legislature in April 1956. Agriculture is a prominent part of the economy, principal products being rice, maize, coconuts, and cut flowers. Ocean- fishing is also important, as is tourism, Boracay, an internationally known, world-class white-sand island-resort just offshore. Kalibo is known also for the mother of Philippine Festivals Ati-Atihan held every third week of January, the Bakhawan Eco-park (Philippines' most successful mangrove reforestation project), and Piñacloth weaving. Inland fishing and aquaculture yield several export products. This actually seems to explain every element in the shield. Meat-processing and paper-related cottage industries are widespread, and rattan furniture is manufactured for export. The province of Antique, on the western side of Panay Island, is separated from the other provinces by a long range of mountains. One of these, Mt. Madia-as, is the highest mountain on the island, a dormant volcano adorned with several lakes and more than a dozen waterfalls. The population is largely Austronesian; according to legend, they were immigrants from Borneo centuries before the Spanish arrived. The main language in Antique is Kinaray-a, but several Visayan languages are also spoken. The area was made a separate province by the Spanish government in 1790. Its name seems to be a Spanish adaptation of a local word. The province's area is 2,522 km², its population 456,000, no cities, eighteen towns, of which San José de Buenavista is the capital. Agriculture is important; sugar and coconuts lead, with coconut oil and coconut wine both being significant. Ocean fishing is also important; one website speaks of "the tuna highway along the coast." Seaweed is harvested. Marble and gemstones are mined. Other valuable mineral deposits are known but undisturbed. Like Capiz, it seems to have enormous potential for tourism, its many miles of sandy beaches being sparsely settled. There are also hot springs in the mountains. Iloilo occupies the southern and northeastern portion of Panay Island; to the north of Iloilo lies the Province of Capiz and JIntotolo Channel, Guimaras Strait washes its southern shores, to the eastern side, the calm waters of Panay Gulf and Iloilo Strait, and the Province of Antique is in the west. Composed of 42 municipalities and a component city, Iloilo is readily accessible to the different

regions of the country. Its unique location has made Iloilo the commercial, cultural and intellectual center of Western Visayas from the dawn of history. Strategically, it is considered as one of the main tourist¶s entrance here in the region. Iloilo City, the vibrant provincial capital, is a booming financial center.Considered as the birthplace of Malayan civilization in the Philippines, present-day Ilonggos are a complex lot, most come from Malay stock, with varying infusions of Chinese and Spanish ancestries. Ilonggos are gregarious, fun-loving people whose hospitality is legendary. Their amiable faces, always ready with a warm smile and a cheery welcome, embodies a beautiful culture with pleasing voices that echo a proud past. Ilonggos are proud of their legacy as people normally entertaining their guests with tales of their cultural affluence. Moreover, Iloilo is steep in historical significance. Its contribution to history is valuable. It is home to freedom fighters, outstanding legislators, legal geniuses, noted business pioneers and famed musicians. Ilonggo¶s zest for life has made us a world-class professional human resource.[2] Capiz is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is Roxas City and is located at the northeastern portion of Panay Island, bordering Aklan and Antique to the west, and Iloilo to the south. Capiz faces the Sibuyan Sea to the north. Capiz is known for its mother-of-pearl shells that have the same name and are used for decoration, making lampshades, trays, window doors, etc. The people of Negros Occidental speak mostly Ilonggo, a Visayan language of the Central Philippine group; Cebuano, another Central Philippine language, is a distant second. Most also speak English. In the second half of the nineteenth century sugar cane cultivation grew enormously, drawing many settlers from other islands. Negros Occidental was made a separate province in 1890. In spite of three periods of warfare, sugar remained dominant long into the twentieth century, as the province came to produce most of the country's total sugar production. In the late 1970s the world price of sugar fell sharply, and continued into the early 1980s, and in 1983 the province suffered a serious drought, and, in 1984, two typhoons. An attempt in 1986 to separate the northern part as the province of Negros del Norte was defeated. Meanwhile, starting in 1985, the province received considerable help from the national government and foreign donors to recover economically, which included economic diversification. Today the province has substantial production of coffee, cacao, black pepper, fruits, and grains. It also has a large copper mine. Gold, silver, molybdenum, iron, gypsum, coal, and other minerals are mined. Light industry is growing. Should one wish to visit and disburse, there are excellent opportunities for aquatic recreations, including underwater photography. Mount Kanlaon, the highest peak on the island, is a bird sanctuary, home to a hundred species known nowhere else in the world. The sugar industry led to the building of steam railroads, now nicknamed "iron dinosaurs." Some are still roar and race and breathe fire; others, abandoned, moulder away. The population of Negros Occidental is 2,556,000 in thirteen cities and nineteen towns. In addition to the capital city of Bacolod, Negros Occidental has twelve component cities, making it the province with the most number of cities.

Notes: y On 23 May 2005, Executive Order 429 ordered Palawan and Puerto Princesa City transferred from Region IV-B to Region VI.[3] But on 19 August 2005, Administrative Order 129 ordered the transfer held in abeyance.[4] c Bacolod City and Iloilo City are highly urbanized cities; figures are excluded from Negros Occidental and Iloilo respectively.

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y The Western Visayas region was created from Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo (including its then-subprovince of Guimaras) and Negros Occidental by Presidential Decree No. 1 as part of the Integrated Reorganisation Plan of President Ferdinand Marcos. The Province of Palawan was transferred to Region VI (Western Visayas) on May 23, 2005 by Executive Order 429.[4] The Department of the Interior and Local Government announced in June 2005 that the transfer had been completed.[5] However, Palaweños criticized the move, citing a lack of consultation, with most residents in Puerto Princesa City and all municipalities but one preferring to stay with Region IV-B. Consequently, Administrative Order No. 129 was issued on August 19, 2005 to address this backlash. This Order directed the abeyance of Executive Order 429 pending the approval of an implementation plan for the orderly transfer of Palawan from Region IV-B to Region VI.[3] Hence, Palawan is currently (as of May, 2007) still part of Region IV-B. Languages The languages native to the inhabitants of Western Visayas are: y y y y y y Hiligaynon, spoken in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, and Capiz (where it is known as Capiznon). It is the lingua franca of the region. Kinaray-a, spoken in Antique and parts of Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan. Akeanon, spoken in Aklan. Malaynon, spoken in Aklan. Cebuano, spoken in the northern parts of Negros Occidental.

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Western Visayas is rich in mineral and non-mineral resources. Metallic ore reserves found in the region include primary copper, iron (lump ore) and pyrite. The region is a good place for investment. Its foremost resource is its rich, fertile soil which can grow a wide variety and abundant supply of agricultural crops throughout the year. Natural attractions like Boracay and Guimaras Islands make the region a major tourist destination. Its rich cultural heritage provides a microcosm of Philippine culture and heritage. The region¶s ports and airports are well-kept to facilitate and accommodate the inflow and outflow of commodities in the region. The deep natural harbor in the city of Iloilo has the potential of becoming a major gateway for the region¶s produce. The region¶s skilled manpower resource is also due of its greatest potential. With proper training and capability building, the people of the region can pave the way for the industrial growth and expansion of Western Visayas. AKLAN Home of Piña Fiber and also the Rambutan Center for Asia ANTIQUE ³Gemstone Country´ CAPIZ ³Seafood Capital of the Philippines´ GUIMARAS ³Mango Country´ ILOILO ³Food Basket & Rice Granary of Western Visayas´ NEGROS OCCIDENTAL ³Sugarlandia´

ANTIQUE"Gemstone Country" -Antique is one of the six provinces comprising the island of Panay in Western Visayas. It can be reached by land from Aklan, Iloilo or Capiz. From Iloilo, one could take a Seventy-Six Express, Ceres Liner or any of the smaller buses that ply the San Jose Antique route. Both bus companies have direct trips to Libertad and Kalibo. From Iloilo City, San Jose de Buenavista, the capital center of Antique, is almost two and a half hours ride via passenger bus. From Kalibo, Antique could be reached through its northern backdoor in Pandan. -Antique has rich mineral deposits. Its mountains yield coal, silica, copper, marble, and clay. Semi-precious stones such as turquoise, amethyst, opal, jade, agate and jasper are scattered along the Sibalom and Tipuloan Rivers. The municipalities of Libertad and Pandan have reserves of 4.131 billion metric tons of good quality marble. Coal is mined in the island-barangay of Semirara operated and managed by the Semirara Coal Corporation. GUIMARAS "Mango Country" Guimaras is the youngest and smallest of the six component provinces of the Western Visayas Region (Region 6). Known as the "Mango Country", Guimaras Island has 8,000 hectares of mango orchards managed by corporations and individual growers. The province's mango orchards produce the best mango variety certified as pest-free by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Region has a total land area of 20,223.2 sq km, which is approximately 6.74 percent of the total land area of the Philippines. Forty-three percent of the region¶s land resources is devoted to agricultural purposes. Sugar cane covers the majority of area in Negros Occidental and rainfed or irrigated palay in Panay. The region¶s fishing grounds produce a large variety of marine, fishery and aquaculture products. It is one of the country¶s major exporters of prawn, tuna, and other fish products.

Declared as a full-pledged province on May 22,1992, Guimaras has also been proclaimed as the "island to watch" due to unspoiled natural beauty as for its potential. The province is composed of five municipalities, namely: Jordan, the provincial capital; Buenavista; Nueva Valencia; and the newly created Sibunag and San Lorenzo. Guimaras occupies about 3% of the region's total land area. The fastest route to the province is by means of a pump boat which is about 10-15 minutes ride from Iloilo City. Guimaras has fascinating vacation spots such as: y y y y y y y Isla Naburot Isla Nagarao Puerto del Mar Costa Aguada Roca Encantada Free Land (Alubihod) Beach Resort Sunrise Beach Resort ISLA Naburot One of the best known resorts in the island of Guimaras. It sits upon a coral jewel sets amid the water of emeralds. The island has rich colorful marine life, visible and exotic sealife. The fantastic underwater world adds to the unique beauty of Isla Naburot. Absence of electric wires, telephone and television antennae make it a special sweet best for lovers and a tranquil hideaway for soothing tense emotions and settling restless spirits. Isla Naburot can be found in Sinapsapan, Jordan, Guimaras. It has 8 native-styled cottages made of wood, nipa and stones. Ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, island hopping, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

and other popular marine varieties are cultured in fish farms. Marine resources are particularly abundant in the municipality of Estancia which has been called the Alaska of the Philippines. Iloilo hosts the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), a multi-national aquaculture research facility located in Tigbauan. SEAFDEC has been successful in its spawning of prawns and milkfish under controlled environments. Iloilo was once the Queen City of the South and is determined to regain its crown. It was chosen as the site of the Regional Agro-industrial Center (RAIC) of Western Visayas. A special economic zone in the municipality of Pavia which is approximately 9-11 km from the Iloilo airport is being developed by the private sector. The most feasible business to locate in Pavia include agri-based industries; garment manufacturing; houseware production and gift toys; machinery and equipment manufacturing; packaging and canning; and electronics and chemical products manufacture. NEGROS OCCIDENTAL "Sugarlandia" Sugar still remains as the main agricultural produce of the province with about 56% of its land area planted to sugar cane. Sugar farms produce 800,000 metric tons of raw sugar annually. Rice, corn and coconuts are also planted extensively. Other agricultural produce are corn, abaca, bananas, mangoes and pineapples. Boracay is a beautiful small island surrounded by coral reefs and located one km north-west of Panay island in Visayas of the Philippines. It is the most popular beach in the country as the most visited tourist spot in the Philippines. Before the middle of 1980s, it was a famous hidden resort but known to limited numbers of sea lovers. Now many tourists visit there from all over the world, America, Europe, korea, Taiwan and so on. The climate from March to June are the summer months in Boracay, with temperatures ranging from 28 to 38 degrees Celsius. November to February bring enjoyable winds, cooler temperatures, and occasional rain showers. July to October are the rainy months.

The Province takes pride in being the "Food basket and Rice granary of Western Visayas." As a leading rice producer, Iloilo devoted 194.4 thousand hectares to palay in 1995 which yielded a harvest of 553.5 thousand metric tons. About 20,800 hectares are planted to corn and 17,000 hectares planted to sugar cane. Various legumes, root crops, cereals, fruits such as mangoes, pineapple and citrus are harvested in commercial quantities. Iloilo is one of the richest fishing grounds in the country. Its waters teem with grouper (lapulapu), tuna and blue marlin. Prawns, milkfish (bangus), shrimps

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