Himamaylan , officially the City of Himamaylan, (Hiligaynon: Dakbanwa/Syudad sang Himamaylan; Filipino: Lungsod ng Himamaylan) and often referred to as Himamaylan City, is a 3rd class city in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 106,880 people.
This component city located is 83 kilometres (52 mi) south of Bacolod City, the provincial capital. Due to its coastal location, it is a rich source of different types of seafood, mainly fish, oysters, mussels and shrimps.
Himamaylan became a city on March 5, 2001, through a proclamation by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo under Republic Act No. 9028. It is the only city in the 5th District of Negros Occidental.
The term "Himamaylan" is a portmanteau of the two Hiligaynon words hima and babaylan. It is alleged that the settlement's early Malay inhabitants suffered from a foot malady called hima, and their employment of witch doctors called babaylan caused the Spanish occupiers to call them Himamaylan.
Himamaylan is located at the center-most cove on the coastline of Negros Island. Himamaylan has a natural harbor characterized by deep waters favorable to access by marine vessels.
Located in the center of the island, the city is conducive to operations reaching all parts of the country and the rest of Southeast Asia from a strategic point. Most portions of the city are plains and generally have fertile soil, conducive for agriculture. The city's rivers are 12 feet (3.7 m) or deeper, providing drainage for farmland.
Himamaylan City is politically subdivided into 19 barangays.
In 1795, Himamaylan became the capital of Negros. At that time, the city served as a garrison for occupying Spanish forces. Today, the old Spanish-built fort constructed as a lookout point for frequent Muslim raids is one of the historical attractions found in the city. In the middle part of 1565, the Spaniards came and subjugated Himamaylan. They introduced Encomienda System by which a piece of land including its products and other resources, and its inhabitants were granted to members of the conquering force as their puppets. The first Spanish priest, constructed a makeshift church and gathered the native which they later called “Himaya”, a thanksgiving for driving the “Hima” away. Himaya was also a place for spiritual paradise to the Babaylan. They later called “Himaya” as Himamaya-an or Himamaylan, but because of the tongue twisting sound of its syllables which the priest find difficulty in pronouncing, they changed the word to Himamaylan to suit their diction. The name Himamaylan was adopted officially when the place was founded into a township or pueblo. Thus, the town got its name both from historical and dialectical origin.
Himamaylan was founded in the 18th century. Although there was no definite record found, it became the second capital of Negros Island from 1795-1849; first being Municipality of Ilog. The town’s historical landmark, the Spanish Kota (Fortress) was the seat of the Old Spanish Government. It was also the place where many natives were cured of their sickness and consequently converted to Christianity.
Himamaylan’s historical records showed that in 1565 when the Spaniards came, there spur a quantum jump in the people’s religious life. From a pagan life, fresh arterial blood pumped into the multiplying discipline. In a span of only a few years after Spanish Colonization, embracing the Catholic Faith, the dame dramatic transformation continued to happen that even intellectuals of today is mystified in their own findings and misbelief that they were naturally drawn to the faith.
On November 4, 1898, the revolutionary forces in Himamaylan received orders from Gen. Juan Araneta to dislodge the Spanish Soldiers stationed in the town on November 5, and the rest of the towns in Negros. Due to lack of weapons they were not able to carry out the order and it was only on 8 November 1898 when the Deputy Commander for Southern Negros in the person of Gen. Rafael Ramos showed the Spanish Corporal a copy of the Act of Capitulation, that the Spanish Soldiers surrendered, thus, making Himamaylan as the last town to have been liberated from the Spanish Government.
When the Americans came on December 28, 1898, they easily capitulated the island of Negros from the Spanish Colonizers, thereby establishing the American Rule in the whole island.
In the year 1942, after the fall of Bataan and Corregidor to the Japanese forces, three days after Negros Occidental also fall, thus, the Japanese Military Government was established in the whole province. The guerrilla resistance fighters and local soldiers of the Philippine Commonwealth Army military units was encounter siege around the municipality of Himamaylan was attacking Japanese soldiers from 1942 to 1945 until the retreating guerrillas by the Japanese. On 1945, Filipino and American soldiers aiding recognized guerrillas liberated the municipality of Himamaylan and defeating Japanese forces and ended in World War II.
In year 1998 brought good luck and hope to all Himamaylanon as he successfully steer the Municipality into becoming a first City in the 5th district with the approval (98%)of the people in a plebiscite held 31 March 2001. On the 5 March 2001 at 10:00 A.M., the Republic Act No. 9028, “An Act Converting the Municipality of Himamaylan, Province of Negros Occidental into a component City of Himamaylan”, was signed in a ceremony at the Heroes Hall of Malacañang Palace.
The city's main sources of livelihood include fishery, sugarcane farming and sugar production, rice farming, mango cultivation and ethanol exports.