Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Jan: Philippines: Negros Occ: Silay

*Apologies, I have mistakenly added wrong signature on the photos with Batangas instead of Negros Occidental.

Silay - Home of some of the restored traditional houses near Bacolod City (after Talisay).

How to get there
  • In Bacolod, from Lacson St., take a jeepney (Bata-Libertad, Magdalaga-Libertad) from opposite side of Robinsons.  
  • Drop-off at Ceres Bus Terminal.
  • Take bright yellow ordinary Ceres bus (Victoria signboard), pay 15php going to Silay. 

In Rizal Street (National Highway), after an old church (San Diego Pro-Cathedral), drop off at Pink House.  This is our option on how to start the  Silay City Heritage walking tour.

Don Bernardino Jalandoni Museum (known as the Pink House)
Location: Rizal Street, Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Entrace Fee: Adult: 60php (2015), Student: 30php
Open: Tuesday – Saturday (9am – 5pm), Sunday (9am – 4pm)
Tip: Stay away during break if you want a welcoming athmosphere.  We had a short and quick trip on this private museum since it is near the guide's lunch break.

Few exhibit from Dona Montserrat Lopez Memorial High School, Special Program for the Arts.  Captured my attention is the Seascape (Oil on Canvas, Jan Ivan Magin)

Walk to southern direction to reach San Diego Pro-Cathedral.

Turn right to Zamora Street (along Public Plaza).

At Cinco De Noviembre St , turn right, if you chose to see: Manuel Severino Hofileña   Ancestral House.

The home was built by Hofileña for his wife Gilda Ledesma Hojilla, a former Miss Silay, and their nine children.  At present, Ramon Hofileña, one of the children and heirs, resides in this ancestral house and personally tours guests who visit his abode. [Reference]

Still along Cinco De Noviembre St, you'll be able to reach Balay Negrense.

Balay Negrense
Location: Cinco de Noviembre Street, Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Entrance Fee: Adult 65, Senior Citizen 45 (2015)
Tip: Recommended Museum

Things I learned:

  • Sacada (workers in the sugar farm) stays outside the house and use the lower part of the bench to keep their chicken.
  • Old houses, specially those made in wooden floors are elevated from the ground. Thus there is "silong" for air ventilation. And to refain the wood from getting close to the gound as it will cause moisture and will not last long.
  • Since there are no banks in the old times, they say that Don Gaston would sundry ("bilad") his money at the rooftop
  • He is married and had 2 sons and 1 daughter.  Their family tree is updated every 3 years and to recognize the decendant, they would come in reunions following the assigned color to their family (blue, red, white)
  • Grand staircase have seats and cane handlers as a resting place for adults.  It is then divided into two directions, right for men and left for women.  Also, since women wear long "saya", they would walk sideways to not to trip themselves.
  • Personally made bed for the family has meaning - the grapes design is the owners favorite.  The squash that is facing up is a female owner, facing down is a male owner and the whole squash design is for a couple owner.
  • Children are not allowed to go outside their rooms when there are adult visitors in the house.
  • The bedrooms in the upper floor, have connecting doors inside so they can move around and can still go to the kitchen during eating time.
  • Dining room has separate tables for adults and children.  
  • As what is stated in Noli Me Tangere, there are 2 types of tsokolate, "-eh" (thicker hot chocolate which means you a welcomed visitor) and "-ah" (watered-down version which means you should leave the house)
  • The house of course showcase the old items like chinaware, those used in laundry wash, manual pots with charcoal used to press clothes, basins, old telephone, sewing machine, instruments, etc.
  • Some of the antiques were donated to the museum and not personally used by the Gaston Family.

Further read on:

-Go back to the National Highway via Sen. Jose Zulueta St.

-Turn on right direction, closer to El Ideal since this is Loading Zone for buses (back to Ceres Terminal in Bacolod).

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