Negros Occidental - Heritage Houses in Silay City

Known as the “Paris of Negros”, Silay city is famous for its ancestral houses built on a wide range of architectural designs. The city boasts to have the most ancestral houses declared by the National Historical Institute as National Treasures, a total of 29 well-preserved houses. It is the second Philippine city to have been declared a museum city, next to Vigan in Ilocos Sur. This makes the city one of the top 25 tourist destinations in the country.

The houses are very easy to locate as they are standing proud very near the town hall, the plaza and the church. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to enter one house - the Manuel Severino Hofilena Ancestral House. I was welcomed by one of the descendants of the owner of the house and then assisted for a tour by their tour guide Gilbert Nemecio. Please note that you can only enter this house "strictly by appointment", I was just lucky enough that I was allowed for a tour even without any appointment.

This is the first ancestral house in Silay to be opened to tourists. It houses Ramon HofileΓ±a's art collections and historical memorabilia. Some interesting finds here include a sketch by Dr. Jose Rizal, several artworks of Filipino masters like Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo and Vicente Manansala and sculptures by Napoleon Abueva. Also included in his collection are toys from different parts of the world and some religious items.

Here are the other ancestral houses that I saw while walking around the city.

Victor Fernandez Gaston Ancestral House (Balay Negrense)

Soledad and Maria Montelibano Lacson Ancestral House

Locsin Ancestral House (House of Judge Reynaldo Alan)

Lino Lopez Severino and Maria Golez Ancestral House

Leandro Dela Rama Locsin Ancestral House

Jose Ledesma Ancestral House

House of Rene and Jessica Velez Dimacali

Generoso Gamboa Ancestral Twin House

Dr.Jose Corteza Locsin Ancestral House

Bernardino Ysabel Jalandoni Ancestral House

Antonia Dela Rama Locsin Ancestral House

...and the other houses that I didn't get the name but equally beautiful.

The houses are located close to each other making it a great venue for walking tours.

This tour started my fascination on heritage houses. In the coming days, I'll be featuring another must-see heritage town that I visited recently - Taal Batangas.

This Negros Occidental solo trip happened last December 11-12, 2010. Here is a series of posts on my 2-day experience in one of the most progressive provinces in the country. Discover the places I've been to, the people I met, the food I tasted and the experience I gained in this memorable adventure.

Bacolod, Murcia, Talisay and Silay | Mambukal Resort in Murcia | The Town of Murcia | The Ruins in Talisay City | Silay City, "The Paris of Negros" | The Capitol Park and Lagoon Complex | The San Sebastian Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace | Pope John Paul II Tower in Bacolod City | Heritage Houses in Silay City


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  1. Of course, unlike most tiny houses on wheels, mine also has a transmission, so maybe that disqualifies it?

  2. This is nice! I love how many of them are so well preserved. It's sad that a lot of these houses are being torn down or neglected. Dito lang sa Manila, ang dami sanang ganyan.

  3. While I was reading your post, it reminded me right away of Taal Heritage Town, ancestral houses are near each other and in close proximity to the town's plaza. There are very few of them left that are concentrated in one area now, a country's treasure indeed.

  4. kuya mervz? grabe ang ganda ng adventure mo na yan ah.. ang gaganda ng bahay ^_^ hehe halos mag kakamuka.. anyway, kuya mervz opasensya na kung hindi ako nakakadalaw dito sa blog mo nitong mga nakaraan pano ba naman kasi midterm po namin...

    P.s. kuya mervz? pa edit namn din ng link ko sa Url mo po,, gawin mo na pong haojin.com yung link po.. salamt

  5. i really love silay with its heritage houses. was there last year but entered the hofilena house only

  6. I wish I had stayed in Bacolod longer so I could have checked these houses. Next time. :)

  7. hi i like your trip in my hometown..

  8. thanks for sharing! Are these houses still being used? how do we make an appointment to view the houses? We are scheduled to go to Bacolod this Sept.

  9. @maribel - i think most of it are still being used...u need an appointment to visit the hofilena house... i really don't know how to set an appointment, i was just lucky to be accommodated even without an appointment... natuwa yata sa akin yung anak ng may ari ng bahay eh... hehehe!!! enjoy Silay!

  10. @maribel

    I think balay ni grense and the pink house is open to the public no need for appointments. I think they are open tue and thur or MWF... not sure tho... both mansions offer guided tours too... they have a lot of old and original stuff... you could also visit negros museum in bacolod city near lagoon they have interesting collections as well.... :)

  11. sir, please pa-share ng ibang pics. thanks in advance

  12. ang sipag maglakad, dame mong nakita..haha!

    kami ilan lang naikot namin, sayang yung Balay Verde, di ko nakita, Angel Araneta Ledesma Heritage House yan.


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