The island of Siquijor before it became a province was the oldest sub-province in the Philippines with Canoan as the “Cabezza” or the capital town.

Canoan was established as a distinct political unit pursuant to the decree by the Spanish Governor during the last decade of the sixteenth century. It took several years for the governor of Bohol to implement the decree creating the municipality of Canoan due to the slow means of transportation and communication at that time. In 1837, Canoan became a municipality.

As to how Canoan got its name, old people say that since Canoan bay offers a good shelter for traders during stormy weather and has a steady water supply coming from Cawasan creek, traders from different neighboring islands used to drop anchor at the peaceful bay either to seek shelter, relax and eat their meals. Hence, Canoan was interpreted in the Visayan word “Kan-anan” meaning an eating place.

Canoan was changed to Larena in 1906 in honor of the late Governor Demeterio Larena who was the civil governor of Negros Oriental.