The Kansilay Festival held every January showcases the city’s history, arts, and culture through street dancing, parades, and other activities. During this time, locals dress up in vibrant costumes while performing traditional dances that depict their unique traditions. Nestled in the heart of Negros Occidental, Philippines, lies a city rich in history and culture – Silay City. Known as the “”Paris of Negros”” due to its well-preserved ancestral houses and Spanish colonial architecture, this charming city has countless untold stories waiting to be discovered. Silay City was once a bustling sugar capital during the late 19th century. The wealth generated from sugarcane plantations allowed affluent families to build grand mansions that still stand today. These ancestral houses serve as silent witnesses to the city’s glorious past.
One such mansion is Balay Negrense, which was built by Victor Gaston in 1897. This two-story wooden house showcases how wealthy families lived during that era. As you step inside, you can almost hear whispers of conversations from long ago echoing through its halls. Another notable mansion is Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, also known as Hofileña Ancestral House. Built in 1934 by Don Generoso Hofileña and his wife Doña Enrica Alunan-Hofileña, this house boasts an impressive collection of antique furniture and artworks. Each piece tells a story about the family’s love for art and their contributions to society. Aside from these magnificent mansions, Silay City is also home to several churches with fascinating histories.
One such church is San Diego Pro-Cathedral Church or commonly known as Silay Cathedral. Built-in 1925 using coral stones quarried from nearby Guimaras Island, this church stands tall amidst modern developments while preserving its historical significance. The El Ideal Bakery is another iconic landmark that holds many untold stories within its walls. Established in 1920 by Antonio Lizares and silay city his wife Carmen Montelibano-Lizares, it has become a beloved institution not only for locals but also for tourists who flock to taste its famous piaya and other delicacies. The bakery’s old-world charm transports visitors back in time, allowing them to experience the city’s rich culinary heritage. Silay City is also known for its vibrant festivals that celebrate its history and culture.