Heritage Sites

4 Must-Sees in Historic Silay: Travel Back in Time!

Negros Occidental

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Ida Damo | Jul 28, 2014

1. Silay City Ancestral Houses

A rolling tour or walking tour of Silay City’s Ancestral Houses is a must! Houses aged 80-years old and above line its streets. Each house has a story to tell.

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The lives of those who lived in these houses are a must-hear—from love lost to family disputes. The homes of the sugar barons or hacienderos also give us a glimpse of the glory days made sweeter by the sugar that the land produced.

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It's interesting to note that these houses are maintained and lived-in by remaining relatives of the family. Which brings us to the next must-see and stop.

2. Manuel Severino Hofileña Heritage House

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The house may be lovingly preserved, but what makes this a must-stop is the stories of the curator-owner, Ramon Hofileña.

His stories eclipse the authentic period furniture, the art collection of the country’s top artists like Amorsolo, Luna, Manansala, and Hidalgo, books, tektite, bric-a-brac, newspapers, the world’s smallest dolls…

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Sir Mon has digs on everything from history, culture, and the arts to intrigues that will really make you interested, plus the “secrets” that hang on the house’s walls.

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His annual cultural tour of Negros Occidental during Saturdays of December is said to be the longest-running cultural tour in the world. Catch it this December as Sir Mon says it might be his last, for he's already 80 years old.

3. San Diego Pro-Cathedral

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From substantial funds by Don Jose R. Ledesma and from contributions, including a fund-raising by children, work began on the construction of the the San Diego Pro-Catholic Cathedral in 1925 and finished in 1927.

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It was designed by the Italian architect Lucio Bernasconi and is the only church in the province that has a cupola or dome.

The remains of the prominent families of Silay are buried in this church.

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Their grave marks line the sides of the church near the altar.

Light a candle and say a prayer.

4. Silay City Museum

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The museum houses memorabilia of the times gone by--- photos of the ancestral homes of the sugar barons, clothes of the prominent families, a diorama of how the city looked like.

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It also opens our eyes to how people should value one’s heritage and preserving them for future generations.

Madamo guid nga salamat Department of Tourism (DOT) Asec Art Boncato, Alkid, Vanezza and Joyce; Cebu Pacific Air; Michelle Eve de Guzman; DOT Region VI RD Atty. Helen Catalbas, Raymund, Ray and Pam; Ms. Cristine Mansinares, Mayor Monico and Mrs. Puentevella of Bacolod City; Mr. Ramon Hofileña; Silay City Museum

How to Get There:

From Bacolod City, it's just a 10-minute land trip to Silay City, Negros Occidental. Buses ply the route all throughout the day.
PAL and other major airlines fly daily to Bacolod City from Manila (50 minutes) and from Cebu (30 minutes).

Cebu Pacific, which sponsored the Davao Media Familiarization Tour, has direct flights to and from Davao City to Bacolod every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

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