While browsing around Bacolod for things to do, I came across photos of heritage houses. When I clicked the photo I found out that the place is located in Silay City which apparently is an hour away from Bacolod. I told my friend that this is one place I would like to visit DIY style.
We decided to explore Silay City. I was very excited because the City was able to preserve a lot of these houses which have now become one of the major tourist spots in the area.
How to get to Silay
1. Ride a multi-cab that goes to CERES NORTH TERMINAL at Lacson St. (Minimum Fare)
2. Proceed to the counter for SILAY (Php 21.00) and hop on to the bus. That's it! The driver will normally drop you off right in the middle of town. It's that easy!
It was a hot day but we didn't mind because we knew we were about to do something amazing. Before you arrive make sure to download or get a copy of the Silay City Heritage Map. This will help you to get around town and get to know some of the well preserved heritage houses in Silay City.
The moment we got off the bus, we were already welcomed by these beautiful buildings along Rizal St. which, until now, are being used as banks, stores, or fast food outlets. I was so tempted to get a sundae but knew that I had to start walking immediately.
This may seem normal for the locals but for a tourist like me, it was amazing.
Everywhere you look, you will already find old houses and it felt like I was back in time in the early 1900's.
We started our walk at the Plaza which is located right next to the Church. It was a quiet afternoon and we were lucky again with the good weather. The plaza is also very close and getting lost is nearly impossible. Just stick to the map and you will be fine.
Though some houses looked abandoned, I appreciated the architecture of some of the houses. Make sure you have your camera with you at all times because these houses are quite unique and none of them has the same type of style.
I could just imagine what these houses looked like inside. Though some had been turned into museums, others are still considered private with people are still living in them. So lucky!
When you see this monument, it's an indication that you need to turn right to find more heritage houses - some of them turned into museums.
One house that has become a museum is the BALAY NEGRENSE.
Adult - Php 60.00
Senior Citizen - Php 45.00
Students or Child - Php 30.00
Walking around, you will be amazed to find a lot of IG worthy places in Silay City. One of them is here at Balay Negrense.
You can either make use of a guided tour, or you could just walk around at your own pace and get to know more about the history of the house and the people that lived in it before.
Nice garden area to cool off on very hot day. When we were there, someone was selling freshly squeezed lemonade and that was very refreshing.
Anyway, back inside the house we made our way up to the 2nd level to see more of what life was like in the early days. And by looking at it, it shows that lived a pretty wealthy life.
HOFILENA MUSEUM is another museum you could visit with a fee similar to Balay Negrense. But due to limited time we just gave it a pass and just took a photo of the house.
As we made our way back to the main Rizal St. we decided to visit the City Hall of Silay City. It's not that big but it was charming. I told my friend to try and walk up to the balcony which he did and was allowed to take photos. It was stunning!
I may not be a Catholic but I am big fan of the different type of architectures of the churches. When I saw SAN DIEGO PRO-CATHEDRAL of Silay City, I said I want to see what it's like inside.
And my goodness, I was blown away the moment I entered and looked at the dome. It brought me back to our European tour days. I am not sure if they allow tourists to walk around the dome but it was an amazing one.
While in the multi-cab back to Bacolod, I couldn't help and wonder how lucky Silay City is and this is something that I am sure people are very proud of. There's not many places like this in the Philippines now.
I am very happy that Silay City is making their best effort to preserve these houses and their rich cultural heritage. The town is very clean, the people were very friendly specially in giving directions, transportation was a breeze and generally, whether on a budget or not, it's a great place to explore.