22 Interesting Facts About the Visayas
The Visayas is commonly referred to as Central Philippines. Visayas is one of the 3 geographical divisions of the Philippines. The other two are Luzon and Mindanao. Altogether, these 3 divisions are colloquially known as Luzviminda. The residents of the Visayas are called Visayans. It is composed of several islands and islets. Here are some interesting and important facts about the Visayas.
1. The 3 administrative regions in the Visayas are Eastern Visayas Region, Central Visayas Region and Western Visayas Region.
2. The provinces that comprised Western Visayas Region or Region VI are Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.
3. Region VI has 16 cities making it the region with the most cities in the Philippines with Iloilo City as its regional center.
4. The provinces that comprised Central Visayas Region or Region VII are Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
5. There are 3 highly urbanized cities in Region VII – Cebu City, Lapulapu City and Mandaue City.
6. Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar and Southern Leyte are the provinces of Region VIII or Eastern Visayas Region.
7. Region VIII has 6 cities with the highly urbanized Tacloban City as the regional center.
8. Panay, with an area of 12,011 km2, is the world’s 65th largest island in terms of size.
9. Panay Island is called Aninipay by the Aetas, the original settlers of the island.
10. Malay settlers called it Madia-as when they arrived in 12th century CE. It was the Spaniards who named it Pan-ay and was the Spanish second settlement in the country after San Miguel in Cebu.
11. The Spaniards, led by Legazpi, found the people of Panay with tattoos and so it was named “Isla de los Pintados” and its residents “Pintados”.
12. The 6 major islands of the Visayas are Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Panay, Negros and and Samar.
13. Negros is the 3rd largest island in the Philippines. Samar is 4th, Panay is 6th, Leyte is 8th, Cebu is 9th and Bohol is the 10th largest island in the country.
14. Negros Island, with an area of 13,328 km², is the 62nd largest island in the world and the 3rd in the Philippines.
15. Cebu Island is the sight where Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the Battle of Mactan in 1521.
16. Cebu City, the Queen City of the South and a highly urbanized city, is the most progressive city in Cebu Island and is regarded as the oldest city in the Philippines.
17. Among the most popular and most beautiful tourist destinations in the Visayas are Boracay Beach, Magellan’s Cross, Panglao Island, Chocolate Hills, Malapascua, Leyte Landing Memorial in Red Beach, San Juanico Bridge, Blood Compact Shrine and many others.
18. The popular “Tinikling Dance” originated in the island of Leyte.
19. Homonhon Island in Samar is the site of Ferdinand Magellan’s first landing in the archipelago.
20. The Visayan Sea is surrounded by the islands of Region VI, VII and VII.
21. Famous festivals in the Visayas are Ati-atihan in Kalibo, Aklan; Sinulog in Cebu City; Dinagyang and many others.
22. Major Languages in the Visayas include Ilonggo or Hiligaynon, Cebuano and Waray-waray.