Negros Occidental. While it may be overlooked by all the divers coming to the Philippines, it scores highly for historic interest and boasts some excellent places of natural beauty. Travel Authentic Philippines offers a variety of Negros tours.
Bacolod is the provincial capital, a pleasant city with good transport links by air, or ferry to Iloilo on Panay (en-route to Boracay). From here you are well placed to visit the main areas of interest on the island, all within day trips.
Just north are the twin areas of Silay City and Manapla. It is here that the sugar industry is best witnessed for its legacy of wealth on the island. Sugar barons in the Nineteenth century established themselves here and left behind grand old mansions that stand today as a place of cultural colonial interest in Silay.
Surrounding the city is Talisay, and Manapla, where you can see ruins befitting English country estates, and visit revived sugar factories to understand the process. Also local is the lovely Patag National park, which puts on display some of the best natural scenery Negros has to offer.
Inland at Canlaon Mountain park is a fine volcanic landscape to discover if you are fit and keen on hiking, along with waterfalls and hotsprings.
Those who prefer the beach should head to the southern reaches of the province, where there are some fantastic beaches at Sipalay City. While diving is less well stated here, there are some good offshore islands that are marine reserves.
Finally, if you time your visit for October you will get to witness the most colourful and lively of the Philippine festivals, the famous Masskara event that takes place in Bacolod.