Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Historic Buildings of Negros Occidental, Philippines...

The Ruins, Talisay
In an area that is known as "the Sugarbowl of the Philippines", (producing more than half of the country's output), there are many structural reminders of this region's past, when sugar-barons led an affluent lifestyle from the industry.

Twenty-nine of these historic buildings can be found in Silay City. Indeed, Silay has been declared a "Museum City", sharing this description with only one other Philippines City - Vigan, in Ilocos Sur, north Luzon.

Silay City's best known historic buildings include the following:

The Balay Negrense, (also known as Victor Gaston Ancestral House)

The Balay Negrense is a museum featuring a splendid collection of furniture and artefacts which show how a late 19th-century Negrense sugar baron would live. This house was the first to be opened as a museum in the province.

Hofileña Heritage House

Still occupied, Hofileña Heritage House has all the features of a Spanish dwelling. With many fascinating artefacts on show, there are also a number of rooms full of paintings and drawings created by famous Filipino artists.

The Pink House, Silay City

Bernardino Jalandoni Ancestral House is known colloquially simply as the “The Pink House”, and is one of the largest ancestral houses in Silay. It was the first heritage house to be opened in Silay.

San Diego Pro-Cathedral

Also in Silay City, the San Diego Pro-Cathedral is the only pro-cathedral outside Manila. It was designed by Italian architect, Antonio Bernasconi, and built in 1920. Its dome resembles that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Ruins, Talisay (pictured top)

Outside of Silay, in Talisay, can be found "The Ruins". The stark image of these Ruins is a breathtaking sight. Formerly a ten bedroom Italianate mansion, it was built by sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, in the early 20th century, as a memorial to his wife, who had died during pregnancy.

The building was intentionally set on fire during World War II by Filipino guerrillas to prevent Japanese forces using it as an HQ.

The walls and foundations remain solid, and the structure is now listed as being amongst the World's 12 most fascinating ruins, and is a magnet for tourists.

This region of the Philippines makes for a fascinating tour, especially if combined with Iloilo, and Panay, just across the strait of water that divides them. See more HERE >>

Images © Nigel Sutherland