Balay Negrense (Victor Fernandez Gaston Ancestral House)

 

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The Gaston family is one of the prominent families in Negros Occidental. The French patriarch and sugar baron Yves Leopold Germain Gaston and his Batanguena wife Prudencia Fernandez are the pioneers in the sugarcane industry in Negros Occidental. Their eldest son, Victor Fernandez Gaston had a house built in 1897 which is now popularly called “Balay Negrense”. He lived here with his family only in 1901 until 1927 however his family stayed until around the 1960’s.  Balay Negrense is not where the classic film of Peque Gallaga “Oro Plata Mata” was shot, only a few scenes were shot here according to the caretaker (the Oro Plata Mata house was also owned by the Gastons, in Hacienda Rosalia, Manapla).

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Hofileña Ancestral House

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The Hofileña residence is truly a house filled with rare Silay artifacts. Built in 1934 however it was only opened to the public in 1993. One of the living direct descendants of Manuel Severino Hofileña, Ramon Hofileña, is an art enthusiast and the one who also conducts the tour of the house. Actually, their family is composed of artists in different genres. If you are familiar with the Abellanas such as Ray “PJ” Abellana and Jojo Abellana (from a youth-oriented pop culture show “That’s Entertainment”, they’re blood related. Anyway, Ramon Hofileña, is also the expert in Negrense History. He conducts the Silay Cultural-Heritage Tour every Saturdays of December for free, as his contribution to Philippine art and history. If you are a Philippine art enthusiast, you will definitely enjoy this house. I suddenly remembered the things that were taught to me during my Art Studies classes in UP 😀 There are paintings and sketches of Juan Luna, Jose Rizal and Fernando Amorsolo. Aside from art during the Spanish invasion, there are also paintings and sculptures by Silay artists. Truly, this is a place where you will appreciate Philippine art.

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Bernardino -Jalandoni Ancestral House and Museum

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The Jalandoni Ancestral House is owned by Don Bernardino Jalandoni and his wife Ysabel Ledesma-Jalandoni. The house was completed in 1908. It’s very easy to see the Jalandoni Ancestral House because it’s just located in Rizal Street, the main street that you will pass by going to and from Bacolod City. It was only in 1993 when public viewing was allowed and was the first heritage house to be opened in Silay City.

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