The Municipality of Hinigaran which often referred to as the town of “HIJO DE PONGGOL” is located on the southwestern coast of Negros Occidental and just 54 kilometers south of Bacolod City, the capital city of the province.
Hinigaran is noted as pyrotechnics maker in Negros Occidental. It also boasts of its beautiful and clean beach resorts such as Paradiso Beach Resort, Canonoy Beach Resort, Gargato Beach Resort, Bulobito-on Beach Resort, Gicana Beach Resort, Ambakan Beach Resort, Makikiling Beach Resort, Presas Beach Resort and Rodrigazo Beach Resort all fringed with graceful coconut trees, hence it is considered by the provincial government as one of the tourist spots of the province.
The municipality of Hinigaran is also identified as one of the food baskets of the province. The proof is that most often travelers from the north and the south have to stop at Hinigaran to have a taste of its delicious talaba “oyster” and other seafoods which Hinigaran is famous for.
The Hinigaranons is also very proud of its Century Old Catholic Church build in 1858 under the direction of the Augustinian –Recollects. It reflected as an example of the exuberant local translation of semi-baroque design into a simplified style. The church was build through a joint support of the Parish Priest Fr. Jose Ma. Martinez and Fr. Francisco Ayarsa Avarra and the residents of Hinigaran. This is one of the Spanish colonial churches of Negros and considered as a cultural treasure and the prestigious heritage of the 18th century during the Spanish Era. The five (5) big bells dated 1867, 1878, 1871 and 1876 which was taken from the belfry is now on display at the front of the church convent.
GEOGRAPHY AND TOPOGRAPHY
Hinigaran is a coastal town of Negros Occidental, located 54 kilometers south of Bacolod City. It has a land area of 15,492 hectares .surrounded by sugarcane plantations, fish ponds and rich fields. It has a coordinate of 122 degrees 50’12” east longitude and 10 degrees 16’20” north latitude. It is bounded on the north by the town of Pontevedra, La Castellana-Pontevedra on the north-east, Isabela on the east, Binalbagan on the north and Guimaras Strait on the west.
Administratively, Hinigaran is composed of 24 barangays, four of which are coastal barangays, namely: Miranda, Gargato, Brgy. II and Tagda.
Of the total land area 15,492 hectares, 34.24% is classified as rolling hills, 9.93% is low mass of hydrosol area and 55.83% plain. The highest elevation is approximately 174 meters above sea level which can be located in the inland portion of the town’s Barangay Camalobalo, while the lowest elevation ranges from 2 to 10 meters above sea level. There are areas which are characterized as rolling to gently rolling areas. Most of these are located in Brgy. Tuguis, Camalobalo, Himaya, Bato Aranda, Candumarao and Calapi. It is on these areas where contour framing and strip cropping are commonly observed.
Hinigaran can be reach by bus, jeepney or hired taxi from the Bacolod South Terminal.
Based on available records, the town of Hinigaran was first settled by the Mondos and the Ambaks- semi primitive people. When the Malay traders from Panay came, they drove the Mondos to the interior and these Malay settlers occupied the area beside the sea. The Mondos and the Ambaks then called these new settlers taga “Higad”, meaning those living beside the sea. When the Spaniards arrived, the town was called “Ginigaran” derived from the word “higad”.
Among the first families that settled in Hinigaran were families of Mongcal, Dano-og, Curio, Sarrosa, David, Pido, Pabalinas, Luntayao and Grijaldo. They came from Miag-ao and Guimbal. The migration from Panay increased the population, and in 1768 the Spanish officials made Hinigaran a Pueblo. It was only in 1806 in the presence of the Augustinian priest that Basilio Mongcal was elected by the Principalis as the first Gobernadorcillo.
The demand for sugar by foreign firms stirred the interest of the people of Panay to acquire more lands for cultivation of sugar. The elite of Molo chose Hinigaran as the place for their haciendas. Two prominent families, the Siguenza and the Guanco constructed the Magdalena Sugar Factory in 1912, one of the first sugar centrals in Negros Occidental.
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