Topics: Provinces of the Philippines, Visayas, Regions of the Philippines Pages: 26 (7571 words) Published: March 4, 2013

Map of the Philippines; the center shows the location of the Visayas| Geography|
Location| South East Asia|
Archipelago| Philippines|
Major islands| Bohol, Cebu, Leyte,Masbate, Negros, Panay, and Samar| Area| 61,077 km2 (23,582 sq mi)|
Highest elevation| 2,435 m (7,989 ft)|
Highest point| Kanlaon|
Regions| Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas.| Largest city| Cebu City|
Population| 11,203,760 (as of 2010 Philippines census[1])| Density| 294.28 /km2 (762.18 /sq mi)|
Ethnic groups| Visayans (Aklanon,Boholano/Bol-anon,Caluyanon, Capiznon,Cebuano, Eskaya,Hiligaynon, Karay-a,Masbateño, Porohanon,Romblomanon, Waray), Atiand other ethnic groups.|

The Visayas /vɨˈsaɪəz/ və-sy-əz or Visayan Islands (Visayan languages: Kabisay-an, Tagalog: Kabisayaan), is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, along with Mindanao and Luzon. It consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea, although the Visayas are considered the northeast extremity of the entire Sulu Sea.[2] Residents are known as the Visayans. The major islands of the Visayas are Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, and Samar.[5] The region may also include the islands of Romblon andMasbate, whose population identify as Visayan. There are three administrative regions in the Visayas: Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas. -------------------------------------------------

A theory accepted by some scholars  states that the term Visayas was derived from the name of a 7th century thalassocratic Malay Srivijaya Empire. In Sanskrit, sri (श्री) means "fortunate," "prosperous," or "happy" and vijaya (विजय) means "victorious" or "excellence". In the 12th century, parts of the Sulu Archipelago and the Visayas Islands were either subject or tributaries of the empire. -------------------------------------------------

The early people in the Visayas region were Austronesians and Negritos who migrated to the islands about 6,000 to 30,000 years ago.These early settlers were animist tribal groups. In the 12th century, settlers from the collapsing empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit and Brunei, led by the chieftain Datu Puti and his tribes, settled in the island of Panay and its surrounding islands.] By the 14th century, Arab traders and their followers, venturing into Maritime Southeast Asia, converted some of these tribal groups to Islam. These tribes practiced a mixture of Islam and Animism beliefs. There is evidence of trade among other Asian people. The Visayans were thought to have kept close diplomatic relations withMalaysia and Indonesian kingdoms since the tribal groups of Cebu were able to converse with Enrique of Malacca using the Malay language when thePortuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in 1521. After the Magellan expedition, King Philip II of Spain sent Ruy López de Villalobos and Miguel López de Legazpi in 1543 and 1565 and claimed the islands for Spain. The Visayas region and many tribes began converting to Christianity and adopting western culture. By the 18th and 19th centuries, the effects of colonization on various ethnic groups soon turned sour and revolutions such as those of Francisco Dagohoy began to emerge. During the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine–American War between 1896 to 1913, the island of Negros and other neighboring islands initiated their revolution.[citation needed] After gaining Philippine independence from colonial rule following World War II in 1946, the Visayas region established its community and re-formed its government, producing several notable presidents coming from the Visayas region. In 2005, Palawan Island was transferred to Region VI (Western Visayas) by Executive Order 429.[8] However this planned reorganization was held in abeyance.[4] Hence,...
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