Four years ago, me and good friend Chie decided to take a break from our hectic lives and planned an unplanned vacation. We were thinking of going abroad, but then due to time constraints, we had to choose a much nearer destination. (Our need to go ‘away’ was quickly eating up our patience!
To make our planning much easier, we both agreed to go to a place already familiar to us. Or at least a place our friends have already been to. Then Chie mentioned an old friend Mark who had just been to Bacolod City. I immediately looked up the place on the Internet and immediately fell in love it. Since I love old houses, I agreed that this the perfect place to start our travel.
Balay Negrense was actually not situated in Bacolod City. Several antique houses are nestled in the nearby town of Silay City. This particular abode is one of the bigger and more visited in the area. It is also called Negrense House and has now been turned into a Museum. It used to belong to a local wealthy sugar baron. The caretakers charge a minimal fee. Though by now I have already forgotten how it was. If my memory serves me right, I think it was about 40 PHP.
|Ate Chie and I on the steps leading to the entrance|
The Balay was spacious inside and out. With high decorated ceilings and large windows. The house was designed to have its own natural ventilation system. The first floor was elevated. Looking underneath, the area was about 3 feet tall and could also serve as a storage area. If you are a certified lover of everything antique, you would definitely love this place. Outside, you will find a century-old Balete tree. Unfortunately, we were unable to ask around of any local ghost stories which seemed fitting for Halloween parties. Good thing it was morning when I had this photo taken because just staring at it gives me the creeps! Yikes! 😀
In the heart of the city of Bacolod, you can have your photos taken at the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol. You can also pay a visit at the Negros Museum. If I remember correctly, students are not charged at the Negros Museum while regular visitors will pay but only at a cheap price.
|Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol|
|Bernardino-Ysabel Jalandoni Ancestral House|
The place which held our interest upon arriving at Silay City other than the Balay Negrense is the Bernardino-Ysabel Jalandoni Ancestral home. Below are some of the photos of interior of this wonderfully preserved abode.
|A portrait of the Bernardino-Ysabel Jalandoni family.|
It has been said that Silay City is our own version of Venice, Italy because of the beautifully-preserved ancestral homes. These are some of the homes along the streets of Silay you can stare at.
Now this one caught our attention. A local told us this house caught fire. It must have been one regal house by just looking at its concrete balcony.
|Silay City Hall|
|Chie at one of the local landmarks|
|Me and my friend at the Panaad Sports Complex|
Without telling our families, Chie and I ventured on an adventure we both will not miss for the rest of our lives. Riding a big white ship for the first time on our way home, Well, that is another story for another time. Bye Bacolod!