NEGROS OCCIDENTAL | Silay Ancestral Houses

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

National Artist Leandro Locsin's Ancestral Home in Silay City

One thing that makes Silay City unique from any other city in the country is the number of heritage houses located in its vicinity. The city has 31 National Historical Commission-verified houses as of last count, outgunning its more famous heritage town counterpart in the northern part of the country, Vigan.

We did an impromptu walking tour of the city right after checking the San Diego Cathedral in search of the Balay Negrense Museum. Every tricycle Ancestral Houses in Silay Cityand pedicabs that passed offered us a ride but we declined with a smile. It would have wasted the morning that greeted us that day for it was such a grand one.

The streets were deserted and the sun still low on the horizon, only peeking now and then through the gaps between houses. With trees still abundant in the area, the air felt fresh and cool. It was a perfect morning for a stroll down Silay’s quiet streets.

With no maps to guide us, we went where our feet led us.  Along the way, we passed old houses from bygone days; some looked as good as the day it was made but not a few were already in a state of disrepair or worst, already torn down; towering architectural columns and tiled floors the sole indication that a magnificent mansion once stood in the area.

The houses vary in style and materials but each one exudes an air of an era our grandmas might have lived on as children. 
Ancestral Houses in Silay CityMost of these mansions are still being used today as residence by their original owners so we were a bit iffy in photographing their interiors and in some cases even their facades.

After half an hour of walking, we finally found the Balay Negrense Museum. It was still closed however and would not open 'til nine, so we walked some more.

Unlike the stone houses found in Vigan’s Calle Crisologo where most were concentrated in just one area, those found in Silay were scattered about. We really have no idea where these houses were located and was just playing it by feel. After some minutes of passing mostly modern homes, it looked like we finally hit the end of our walk. 

I knew we really haven't seen all the heritage houses in Silay and it made me wish that we had a map for all these old-world structures. I heard later that there are maps available at the tourism office (although one of the museum guides told us nothing of the sort existed) but we visited Silay too early and I bet it was still closed then.

Back to the real world, all that walking really made us hungy, and well, we really haven't had any breakfast yet.  So we finally succumbed to the tricycles and boarded the first one that passed our way. Let’s go to the best breakfast house in the city, we told him.

Ancestral Houses in Silay City
Ancestral Houses in Silay City Ancestral Houses in Silay City

You Might Also Like


  1. Vigan, Taal Town, some parts of Laguna, and now Silay, (Thank you for sharing this, I learned another place with high concentration of ancestral houses)

  2. been there last year... really cool site!!!

    i got a map from one of the houses that I was allowed to get in... it was given to me by the tour guide. the map helped me a lot to cover most of the houses...

    by the way, great shots!!! thanks for sharing your experiences with us!!!

  3. Been here last year and gosh, I haven't blogged about it yet. Parang nadya-dyahe nako ipost photos ko coz yours are just so awesome!

  4. i love beautiful old things... :) like these! they really got nice designs... great architecture!

    anyway, good day friend... i have a new address... please re-follow me or unfollow then follow me again... ok, new post is up... click this... thanks! :)


  5. These old houses evoke the halcyon days of sugar barons in Negros. Very interesting no?

  6. ang ganda ng old house! kapag nakakakita ako ng ganyan, tinatanong ko sa sarili ko, baket d nageng mayaman mga ninuno ko sana my ganyan kame ngaun. haha seriously,I agree with nomadic pinoy. really interesting architecture

  7. Claire
    Planning to visit Taal soon =)

    Pinoy Adventurista
    Uy buti ka pa may mapa, next time dadaan na talaga ako sa tourism office =)

    Pinay Travel Junkie
    Haha OA naman, salamat po

    Thanks bro!

    The Nomadic Pinoy
    Very interesting talaga sir!

    Haha oo nga, iba talaga ang bahay na bato. Sayang yung mga ganyan na nabubulok na lang, sana mai restore

  8. i love their version of the old houses in ilocos and taal,sarap maglakad jan sa streets na yan at pumasok sa bawat bahay.

  9. virgo itinerary
    Yes, pero next time magdadala kami ng mapa para mapuntahan namin lahat =P

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. In case you decide to go back to Bacolod/silay ... Do include the house of Ramon Hofilena. He is iconic when it comes to Silay heritage and culture, he is so funny when he personally gives his guests a tour and his collection of art works can put a lot of art museums and galleries to shame. I have always believed that his mini tour (though an hour is not enough) is the better "silay experience". Do let me know incase you return to western visayays, I will give you a list of where the best foods are ...

  12. T3 Trips
    Thank you for the tip, will do that next time :)