Island (pop., 2000: 1,062,068), west-central Philippines. It is separated from Luzon on the north by the Verde Island Passage. It is 80 mi (130 km) long and 50 mi (80 km) wide, with an area of 3,759 sq mi (9,735 sq km). First visited by the Spanish in 1570, it came under U.S. rule in 1901. It was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. The tamaraw, a small water buffalo, is unique to the island.