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5 Heritage sites to check out in SILAY CITY, Negros Occidental

The City of Silay’s love for history and appeal can be traced back to the roots of a tree, the Kansilay, from which it owes its name. legend has it that the first Kansilay tree grew over the severe of a stunning maiden who lived during the days of the rajahs and datus, way before the Spaniards arrived.

A folktale vividly narrates the events of that fateful day. While the gentlemen of the village were away, hunting, bandits attacked the settlement, burned the houses, and raped the women. Kansilay, the daughter of the village chief, sought the help of a diwata (fairy), who gave her a talibong (sword). She led the people to fight the bandits and avenge the death of some of them. The bandits were defeated, but the princess paid the price with her life. Her body was buried, and on her severe grew the first Kansilay tree.

An ancestral house in Silay houses a bank
In June, the people of Silay celebrate her bravery during the Hugyaw Kansilay Festival, a day filled with street dancing and competitions. On common days, however, Silay is very quiet, relaxed, and laid-back. Its streets, sandwiched by sophisticated ancestral houses, make for a good sightseeing trail. Thirty one of these houses have been named as historical landmarks, making Silay is the second “museum city” in the Philippines, after Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

If you’re bound for Bacolod, there’s a big, big chance that you’ll find yourself in Silay. (The airport is here!) and if you do, here are the five a lot of significant heritage houses and landmarks in Silay City that are worth a bit of your time and attention.

Another ancestral house

Hva er dekket i denne guiden?

1. Balay Negrense
2. El optimal Bakery
3. Bernardino Jalandoni Museum
4. San Diego Pro-Cathedral
5. Cinco de Noviembre
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1. Balay Negrense

Also called the “Victor F. Gaston House,” Balay Negrense was built during the height of Silay as the region’s cultural and economic center. Victor Gaston, kid of Frenchman Yves Leopoldo Germain Gaston (considered the first to popularize sugarcane cultivation on a commercial scale in the region), began the construction of the house in 1898.

Balay Negrense
The house has 12 bedrooms and two floors, making it one of the greatest colonial houses in the city. inside the house is a living room the size of a basketball court. but a lot more than the size, what makes this house special are the exquisite details like the intricately etched windows, delicately carved wooden ventilation panels and spacious gardens.

Balay Negrense is open from Tuesdays to Sundays and closed on Mondays and holidays. Gjett hva? It was Monday when we were in Silay and it was also a holiday. poor us, we didn’t get to see the interior of the house.

2. El optimal Bakery

The oldest bakeshop in the city, El optimal is not just a historical place but a completely functional one at that. El optimal continues to offer delicious pastries and other local delicacies. The place closes at around 6:00pm so make sure you get there on time!

El optimal Bakery, oldest in the region
3. Bernardino Jalandoni Museum

First owned by Don Bernardino and Dona Ysabel Jalandoni, the house was completed in 1908. What’s exceptional about this house is that it is a terrific mixture of native and foreign inspirations. While it follows the normal nipa hut design, French influence is also very evident. It is built of hardwood shipped from Mindoro while the tin ceiling tray was shipped from Hamburg, Germany. Capiz shells and wooden louvers were also used. note that like the Balay Negrense, the museum is closed on Mondays and holidays.

Bernardino Jalandoni Museum
4. San Diego Pro-Cathedral

The center of Catholic faith in Silay City is also the only church with a dome in Negros Occidental and the only pro-cathedral in the Philippines outside Metro Manila. Sugar baron Don Jose Ledesma donated the funds to build the church in 1925 and commissioned Italian architect Lucio Bernasconi for its Romanesque design. a lot more info about San Diego Pro-Cathedral here.

San Diego Pro-Cathedral
5. Cinco de Noviembre

The Negros Revolution, also known as Cinco de Noviembre, created a new government that was run by Negrense Natives. The revolution ended the control of the Spaniards of the island, albeit for a brief period of time.

Just a block away from Balay Negrense stands a structure that marks where the natives planned the revolution. The Farmacia Locsin, the venue, became an crucial part of history because of it.

Cinco de Noviembre Marker
No map is needed. downtown Silay is small and very walkable. Bacolod is the capital and the commercial and political center of Negros Occidental, but Silay is not to be overlooked. Every turn unveils captivating architecture and every stop allows an artful history lesson.

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