Saturday, August 11, 2012

Negros Occidental: Balay Negrense & Hofileña Heritage House, Silay City

Finally, the last post for our Iloilo-Guimaras-Bacolod(Negros) tour last June(tagal na :|). Kaloka. Dami ko kasing chika kaya ang tagal matapos. Haha. Sure na sure na to! Last na talaga to! Pagbigyan niyo na ako, di ko pa alam kung kelan ulit ako makaka-major lakwatsa :)

From the Angry Christ Church in Victorias City we traveled for 30 minutes (according to my camera's time) to reach Silay City. Medyo naligaw pa kami kasi di masyado kabisado ni kuya ang daan. 

Bgry. III Cinco De Noviembre Street, Silay City

We reached Balay Negrense a few minutes before 4pm. Medyo tight na kami sa oras since our flight back to Manila is 7pm but the airport is just around Silay City anyway.

Another very popular tourist attraction near Bacolod City is the restored nineteenth century Victor Fernandez Gaston Ancestral House built in 1897. It was left unused by the family and was abandoned in the mid 1970's but the government renovated the house.

It was referred to as "Bahay na Bato" or "House of Stone" but with the American influence, the lower portion of the house was made concrete. The posts are made out of trunks of a local hardwood.
There was no one outside to assist us when we got there so I rang the door bell.
Then there came a lady in Filipiniana!

Entrance fee: Adults: Php40; Students(up to HS only): Php20
We tried haggling for the student fare. Haha. Kaaliw, pati si kuya nakitawad din! At least effective at pumayag si lola na nakabantay :)

Receiving area
on the opposite side of the receiving area are these rooms.
Not on a tree Family Tree
Generation per generation. Galing lang!
a souvenir shop sa likod-bahay
Motor-operated bicycle
 Stairs with a capacity of 30 persons
Medyo scary kasi mukang weak na yung ibang wood. Well, not just on the stairs but in the entire house.
the 2nd floor
there were rooms on each side

There are 12 large bedrooms on each floor with connecting doors.


It was the first ancestral house in Silay City to open in public, 30 years before the next house did. Built in 1934 and owned by Manuel Severino Hofileña and his wife Gilda Ledesma Hojila and now inhabited by their son Ramon Hofileña.

As soon as we entered the house, we met the tour guide and he immediately asked us on how long are we available for the entire tour. He said it would be 45mins (shortest) or 1hr+ (longest), since we couldn't stay that long, we opted for the shorter one. Sayang!! There were so many stories not just behind the house but also about Mr. Ramon Hofileña's contributions. If only we had a lot of time...
 Old flat irons as decorations

The library houses newspapers reporting important events in the Philippines. The oldest was La Vanguardia. There were also Spanish books, first pocket books for the American soldiers during World War II and some folk toys.
Dated "Martes 23 de Enero de 1912"
Declaration of Martial Law - Sunday, September 24, 1972
pocket books
Tektite stones. Swerte daw to!
This is the smallest doll in the world. Mr. Ramon Hofileña bought this in Japan. Mas maliit pa ito sa butil ng palay. The guide even let us use a magnifying glass to see the doll up close.
a hand-powered printing machine.
1st print made by the hand-powered print machine at 1971. Art by Mr. Ramon Hofileña.
There are only 18 copies released and this is the 1/18. It was sold for some Php...millions. (13M yata?)

Photos are not allowed in the second floor since it was filled by his painting collections which is about 1,000 pieces made by Filipino artists, some were Fernando Amorsolo, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and Jose Rizal, the camera flash can destroy the art work.
And that is Mr. Ramon Hofileña!
He also goes nude.
He modeled for this when he was 50 years old! Ang hot ah!!
Actually, meron pang ibang drawings but I choose to get the not censored one. :)

He had been in New York and became a CEO of two companies, became in the cover of Reader's Digest, savior of historical artifacts, loves to travel, a model, theater actor and a swimmer. Oha! Ang dami lang!! And to mention, her sister is the mother of PJ Abellana, a veteran actor and father of actress Carla Abellana. We asked the guide if PJ or Carla visits the house, he said PJ does but Carla haven't been in the house.

While the house was open to public, I was actually shocked that Mr. Ramon still lives in the house and the tour includes entering his room for us to see other painting collections and tourists come and go to see the house.

We didn't have the chance to meet him, I think we was having some afternoon snacks back then. Sayang!!
Our tour guide.
Argh. Forgot his name! But he is one of the many scholars of Mr. Ramon

I don't have all the information about the tour. Was too lazy to take down notes. Hihi. Next time na lang! Kapag naalala ko din. :)


We just dropped by the church and go to the airport to catch our flight.

And of course, I would like you to meet our tour guide/driver, Kuya Romeo, I saw his taxi in the internet and tried communicating about the tour. The tour costs Php3000, ang mura na din nun kasi we reached Victorias City kung saan sa lahat ng tinanungan ko, may additional payment pa pero sakanya wala. Tapos super bongga ni kuya kasi minsan siya pa mismo yung nagtatanong sa mga bantay ng mga pinuntahan namin like in Bacolod. Super helpful at mabait!
He also fetched us in Bacolod-Silay airport on our first day and bring us to the port for Iloilo.

Looking forward for my next travel. Was also very happy to meet new people from other parts of the country. :)

Credits to Majo Regilme for other photos.

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  1. ang sulit ng tour nato :) Detailed post! Congrats for the success of the series dear!


  2. Replies
    1. Hehe. We had those before the motorcycles came. :D