Silay Ancestral house, Philippines

Silay: a stroll through Negros’ colonial past

Last Updated on November 5, 2022

Negros, the sugar capital of the Philippines, is famous for its numerous sugar cane plantations. The island was home to many rich Europeans farmers during the 19th and 20th centuries. Silay used to be one of the main cities, where colons lived and mingled with locals. Many local families got rich thanks to the blooming sugar cane trade. The town was once called the Paris of Negros because of its really important cultural scene.

Now the grandeur of this prosperous time is gone, Negros is suffering an agricultural crisis, with all the lands owned by a couple of rich and powerful Filipino families, and the farmers struggling to make a living.

Some people understood the value of the colonial houses in Silay and decided to renovate them, opening museums, restaurants, and hotels. Some of the houses are still in bad shape though. More than thirty of these houses have been declared a Silay National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Some of the houses are really nice, especially the ones furnished with the original furniture. It’s a good way to form an idea on how people used to live back then. All the ancestral house are in the same neighborhood so you can do everything on foot.

Places to visit in silay:

Café 1925

Café 1925, Silay, Philippines

This house is really well restored, you only have access to the living-dining room, they also organize private tour upon request. The food there is great, it’s the first good pasta I eat in the Philippines, not sweet at all!

The Balay Negrense Museum

Balay Negrense Museum, Silay, Philippines
Balay Negrense Museum

This house was the first to be restored and gave the impulse to the other owners to restore theirs. The entrance fee is 50 pesos with a guide who will give you a quick tour and some explanation of the family’s history. The inside is just magnificent, I really loved the colors, and with the furniture, you just feel transported to another time.

Balay Negrense Museum, Silay, Philippines
Balay Negrense Museum, Silay, Philippines

More info on the house on their website.


Some random houses seen strolling around the streets:

Jose Ledesma Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines
Jose Ledesma Ancestral House
Jose Benedicto Gamboa Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines
Jose Benedicto Gamboa Ancestral House
Arsenio Lopez Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines
Arsenio Lopez Ancestral House
Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines
Ancestral House
Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines
Ancestral House



Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines
Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines


German Locsin ancestral house and B&B

German Locsin B&B, Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines

This house has been turned into a guesthouse, it offers 4 rooms fully furnished with antiques. The bathrooms are amazing, super spacious and they even found old bathtubs. The woman working there is really nice and will let you visit if they have no guests at the moment.

Don Bernardino Jalandoni Museum

Don Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines

Also known as the pink house, this is Silay second best-restored house. The entrance fee is 50 pesos with a tour included. Downstairs was used as a garage for the carriage and a stable, upstairs was where the family lived. The furniture is really nice, some can be bought, the kitchen is full of old utensils, really interesting. Ask your guide to show how they did to iron the clothes, it’s fun.

Don Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, Ancestral House, Silay, Philippines


Hofilena House

Hofilena House, Silay, Negros, Philippines
Hofilena House

This house is the third and last museum in Silay, it was closed when I got there so I don’t know what the inside look like.

Silay is a cute little town, the visit takes about half a day. There’s not much more to do there so you can just organize a day-trip from Bacolod or somewhere around.

In Negros? Check out the best places to visit around Bacolod.

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  • That’s pretty cool. I’ve never been to that part of the world but the colonial buildings remind me of others I have seen in other countries. I love when they preserve old buildings and set them up like they used to be. ?

  • great shots and nice info again thanks Julie … have met Mich here on wordpress and now you are giving me motivation to visit her 🙂


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