Balay Negrense

Silay City boasts of magnificent ancestral houses which still stands up to this date. We decided to do a quick Ancestral House run while we were here. The area was rather easy to navigate and I frequently stop and awe with amazement of how they managed to keep these age old mansions in almost perfect condition. First on the list: The Balay Negrense and is only a short walk from El Ideal.

The Balay Negrense or otherwise known as the Victor Fernandez Gaston Ancestral House is a heritage house since March 8, 1994. One of the commonly visited ancestral houses built in 1989 to the taste and specification of Don Victor Leopold Gaston Y Fernandez. 
Built of wood and stone, approached through a pair of stairs like open arms that welcome one into a tiled balcony with a wide railing on which to lean and dream, or beside which to sit and watch the town go by. Did you know why most Spanish houses have 2 separate stairs? Back when gender roles were strong; men and women go up and down the stairs separately. 

Almost 1000+ ancestors across the globe share the Gaston's bloodline. They hold reunions every now and then to acquaint the young and the old.

This is how houses were made back in the Spanish era. Designed to keep circulation of wind and air, the basement keeps the house internal temperature. This was way back when centralized air conditioning was invented. End-to-end air vents prevents deterioration of the house. When I was young my cousins told me that most ancestral houses have a pet crocodile underneath their house and this puts everything into perspective.

True to its Spanish design and interiors, one can feel rather nostalgic. It speaks of days gone by and of a time new post when multi-generational families lived under one roof and were served by flocks and families of household help; when art and music were elements as well as ornaments of day-to-day living when lifestyles were carved out of sugar, and life was graciously sweet.

The Balay Negrense remembers not only one family, but a whole time, a lifestyle, a historic moment, a culture.

The Balay Negrense Admission Fees:

Adults - Php50
Senior Citizen - Php40
Students (Elementary to High School) - Php25
Children - Php25

Braving Bacolod Series
Braving Bacolod - Getting There
Braving Bacolod: En Route
Silay City
El Ideal
Balay Negrense
Hofileña Museum
The Ruins
Calea Pastries & Coffee

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