(Travel Diary) The Historic City of Silay


I usually try to schedule an out of town trip during summer. In the Philippines, school break falls on the months of April to May so I have come to associate summer = vacation. Now that I am working, I maintain that association by going on vacation trips during summer.

In the summer of 2014, I went to the provinces of Negros Occidental, Guimaras and Iloilo in the Visayas area of the Philippines with my high school friends, Cez, Thomas and Galembs. Our trip lasted for four days. Our entry point was Silay City in Negros Occidental, then our exit point was Iloilo.

The next travel series I will share are what I have to come to call as “BIG trip”. It stands for Bacolod-Iloilo-Guimaras.

Balay Negrense, one of the famous old houses of Silay.

Balay Negrense, one of the famous old houses of Silay.

1st stop: Silay City

Bacolod is the capital of the province of Negros Occidental but its airport is located in the province of Silay, which is about a 30-45 minute ride from Bacolod City. Silay City is one of the two museum cities in the Philippines, the other one being Vigan City in Ilocos Sur. It has been referred to as  such due to the number of preserved Spanish houses in the city. In the airport, we were even given a map which detailed where all the Spanish houses were situated.

From the airport, we decided to proceed first to El Ideal Bakery, of the most must try’s in Silay, to eat breakfast. The restaurant-bakery is is also housed inside an old Spanish residence! Continue reading

What’s the Story Behind the Room?


It’s not unusual to see old Spanish houses in the Philippines after being a colony of Spain for more than 300 years. The best preserved Spanish houses are usually located in heritage cities like Vigan in Ilocos Sur, and Silay in Negros Occidental. I had the chance to visit one of the most famous heritage house in Silay City last May, the Balay Negrense. The museum is also known as the 117-year old ancestral house of Victor Gaston. The room that caught my attention the most from that house is the girl’s room:

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According to the tour guide, the things in the room used to be property of the Gaston daughters. I remember being spooked out particularly by the dolls. They remind me of horror movies involving Chucky. I cant’ help but wonder, what were their stories? And if these dolls can project scenes, what stories would they tell?

Check out the entries for this week’s photo challenge entitled Room.