Hinoba-an, officially the Municipality of Hinoba-an (formerly Asia[5]), is a 1st class municipality in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 56,819 people.[3]


Municipality of Hinoba-an
"Welcome" sign board along the highway

Paspas Hinobaan
Map of Negros Occidental with Hinoba-an highlighted
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 9°36′06″N 122°28′01″E
Country Philippines
RegionWestern Visayas (Region VI)
ProvinceNegros Occidental
District6th district of Negros Occidental
FoundedNovember 20, 1948
Barangays13 (see Barangays)
  TypeSangguniang Bayan
  MayorErnesto A. Estrao
  Vice MayorJefre L. Encoy
  CongressmanGenaro M. Alvarez Jr.
  Electorate33,875 voters (2019)
  Total414.50 km2 (160.04 sq mi)
 (2015 census)[3]
  Density140/km2 (360/sq mi)
  Income class1st municipal income class
  Poverty incidence26.31% (2015)[4]
  Revenue (₱)154,519,771.07 (2016)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63(0)34
Climate typetropical climate
Native languagesHiligaynon

It is the southernmost town of the province. It is bounded on the north by Sipalay City and Candoni; on the south by Basay, Negros Oriental; on the east by the town of Ilog; and on the west by the Sulu Sea. The total land area of Hinoba-an is 421.50 square kilometers.

The town is home to the Minagahat language, the indigenous language of Southern Negros as listed by the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino. The language is vital to the culture and arts of the people.


Hinoba-an is politically subdivided into 13 barangays, two of which comprise the town proper (or poblacion):[6]

  • Alim
  • Asia
  • Bacuyangan
  • Barangay I (Poblacion)
  • Barangay II (Poblacion)
  • Bulwangan
  • Culipapa
  • Damutan
  • Daug
  • Po-ok
  • San Rafael
  • Sangke
  • Talacagay


Formerly a part of Cauayan, Hinoba-an was inhabited by natives called "Magabat". When immigrants from Panay came and settled in the coastal areas, the settlers began to group in the area where the town is now located. Traders visited to barter products like clothing made in Miag-ao, Tigbauan and Guimbal in Iloilo.

Spanish authorities did not occupy Hinoba-an during their time in the province since the area was still a jungle. It was visited only by people from Cauayan and the neighboring towns for hunting purposes, hence no important events were recorded about the coming of the Spaniards in the town until the early 20th century.

In the early 1900s, Don Estanislao Bilbao, a Basque émigré and patriarch of the Bilbao clan---one of the area's prominent families, begun a decades-long process of settling an area south of where Hinoba-an would come to be. In a few years, a significant plot of land had been rehabilitated to which thousands of germinating coconut husks were planted in precise rows. Maturing and bearing crop in under a decade, once coastal wilderness was transformed into copra producing land. Paddy fields were likewise developed further inland close to irrigation sources.

The subsequent grant of landownership, along with the total absence of government due to the area's remoteness, it became the basis for Don Estanislao's provisional administration of the people and the place. He became the area's primary, if not for a time, sole employer. As a matter of moral imperative and practical necessity, he also became the de facto Judge and Sheriff, adjudicating upon and enforcing common law.

Through his marriage to Felicidad Rivas—a patrician heiress to a similarly homesteaded parcel of land nearby, Don Estanislao doubled the size of the holding. Hand-in-hand with Dona Felicidad, they lorded over a highly productive agricultural expanse that, from points north to south, ostensibly stretched for miles on end. The couple's lifelong beneficence and philanthropy endeared them to the local populace making the Bilbao name well-respected and well-loved. Generations of offspring have since reaped the fruits of their enduring legacy. A few have gone on to build legacies of their own. Sons Joaquin and Francisco, and daughter-in-law Teresa, have each been elected town's mayor. Today, the Bilbao's have governed the municipality for a collective span of over thirty years.

When the Americans landed in Negros during World War II, Hinoba-an became a historical point of entry by the combined U.S. and Philippine Commonwealth military forces. Col. Salvador Abcede, district commander of the 7th military district, established his island headquarters in this town during the Japanese occupation.

Col. Jesús A. Villamor, aboard submarine USS Gudgeon (SS-211), landed at Ubong Point and occupied Ubong Cave as command post supply food and arms to guerillas.

After Liberation, Hinoba-an was rehabilitated by some of its pioneering residents. More settlements were established, schools were built, trails developed for the people's convenience in going to places and in transporting their local produce to nearby towns and villages. There was also a huge influx of Cebuano-speaking people during this time.

Hinoban-ons predominantly speaks Cebuano and Ilonggo, and are used interchangeably everyday, making Hinoba-an one of the few bilingual municipalities in Negros Occidental (the other bilingual areas in Negros Occidental are Sipalay City, Kabankalan City, San Carlos City and Calatrava). Tagalog and English are also understood to some extent.


Population census of Hinoba-an
YearPop.±% p.a.
1960 8,630    
1970 17,475+7.30%
1975 32,357+13.15%
1980 45,819+7.20%
1990 40,813−1.15%
1995 40,819+0.00%
2000 50,809+4.81%
2007 53,894+0.82%
2010 54,624+0.49%
2015 56,819+0.75%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][7][8][9]


Salvacion Cave along the vicinity of pebbled beaches of Barangay Talacagay has a natural covered pools ideal for bathing.

Ubong Cave is where the late Col. Jesús A. Villamor, hero of World War II landed bringing firearms for the Philippine guerillas aboard the US Navy Submarine USS Gudgeon (SS-211) in 1942, establishing the first radio contact with General Douglas MacArthur based in Australia at that time.[10]

See also


  1. "Municipality". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. "Province:". PSGC Interactive. Quezon City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. Census of Population (2015). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. PSA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. "PSA releases the 2015 Municipal and City Level Poverty Estimates". Quezon City, Philippines. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  5. Republic Act No. 2154, Chan Robles, retrieved 2012
  6. "Municipality of HINOBA-AN (ASIA) - Code:064512000". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  7. Census of Population and Housing (2010). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay. NSO. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  8. Censuses of Population (1903–2007). "Region VI (Western Visayas)". Table 1. Population Enumerated in Various Censuses by Province/Highly Urbanized City: 1903 to 2007. NSO.
  9. "Province of". Municipality Population Data. Local Water Utilities Administration Research Division. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  10. "Caves of The Philippines: Ubong Caves". www.showcaves.com. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
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