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  Negros Occidental, Himamaylan City  
 
Himamaylan was once a capital of Negros Occidental. This was during the time when Spaniards first settled in Negros and made the town their center of island government. They started to build a fortress in the place, but this was never completed. However, it served as an ideal lookout point against frequent Moslem raiders.

The town’s story began with the Negritoes , a listless band of small, black people with short and kinky hair. They led a fine, simple life, roaming the wide hunting grounds and generally let alone other inhabitants in the area. That was until the Malays came and drove them into the mountains.

The newcomers were likewise nomadic, but they were not used to the swamps and pretty soon they acquired a malady called "hima" which was not like the disease known as athlete’s foot. Hima was symptomized by crippling itchy sores between toes.

The Malays were also a highly supertitious people. They believed in evil spirits for which they employed witch doctors called " babaylan". These were the kind of people the Spaniards came upon. With their swollen feet and witch doctors, the Malays soon came to be known as Himamaylans (from hima and babaylan) by the conquistadores. The name became that of the place as well.

Himamaylan could have been truly the hub of activities of the entire province if not for its inaccessibility which made communication difficult. Subsequently, the Spaniards transferred their capital site to what is now Bacolod. Spanish rule of the place was ended by the Americans in April 4, 1899.

The town got its place in history when the Japanese came during World War II. While its residents all fled to the mountains, the town became a battleground for Negros Occidental’s liberation from the invaders. The first shot that started guerilla activity in the province was fired in barrio Buenavista where a shrine today has been put up by the veterans of war.

 

 

   
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