Balay Negrense

Okay, I’ve been wanting to visit the famed ancestral houses that line up the streets of Silay City in the province of Negros Occidental. I find ancestral houses really fascinating if properly maintained. They speak so much of lives well lived, and people like me who are able to go through them are given glimpses of their families’ rich history. It is like reading my favorite novel, only it has come to life.

During my last trip to the province, I only got to visit the Ruins in Talisay City. And on this trip, although I wanted to do the rounds for most of the houses in Silay, I was fortunate to go only to one – the Balay Negrense, or the home of Don Victor Fernandez Gaston.

My photos here are not of top quality as I was only using an iPhone. I had not done justice to the ethereal beauty of the house. It was overcast on the day of our visit, and if anything, the weather made it all…spooky, if you will, and kind of romantic. The Gaston family is one of the pioneers of the sugar industry in Negros, and I think, the Philippines. Their home speaks of their affluence, and one could almost feel the vibrant activity going on when it was full of children, adults, helpers and probably those who are in the business with the patriarch. I could imagine it on full throttle during its heydays.

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Next time, I vow to visit the other houses, even if I have to extend my stay.

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