Sunday, June 24, 2018

Heritage Tour in Silay City, the "Paris of Negros"

El Ideal --- Silay's Original Bakery since 1920

A few days prior to the much awaited trip back to my hometown in May 2017 to attend the 8th General Alumni Homecoming of Binalbagan Catholic High School (BCCHS) where Batch of '77 celebrated its 40th year, my family and I were seriously looking into the details of our itinerary. Hubby, a very organized person, kept asking me about our activities upon arrival at the Bacolod-Silay Airport. 

"Where do we have breakfast?" Uh-oh! In my mind, I repeated the same question. Then silently, I posted a message to our BCCHS '77 FB group asking for the best affordable place to have a typical Negrense breakfast near Silay Airport. Bless batchmates who are always on-line! Through them I was able to get several options, but El Ideal's proximity to the airport made it our best and final choice. 

El Ideal Bakery in Silay City
Looks like an old building. It is, indeed, having been established in the 1920s by the late Cesar Lacson-Locsin, El Ideal, is the oldest historical restaurant-bakery located at 118 Rizal Street, known to be the Heritage Zone of Silay City. 

El Ideal, the food heritage of Silay, is popularly known for its Guapple (guava-apple) Pie. Sad to say, we were not able to have a taste of it as we didn't learn about it then. I also regretted not having ordered a bowl of hot batchoy for breakfast (now I'm craving for it!). All of us opted for rice meals because hunger pangs already set in and we anticipated a side trip to a resort before checking in our hotel in Bacolod City. 

True to the information I received, price was reasonable. See the price list displayed on the board. I loved what was written below, "Ma-order ka sang yuhum? - Free! 😊"

One also gets a real good choice of the best pastries and delicacies as pasalubong from Negros.

Here's one corner of the restaurant, a nice area for photo ops. We liked the Spanish ancestral ambiance of the house with a certified heritage structure.

Hubby likes heritage houses so on our way to El Ideal, we requested our driver to stop over some heritage houses we saw along the way. Of course, we took photos and a closer look of these two famous ancestral tourist attractions in Silay, the  Bernardino-Jalandoni Museum and Balay Negrense Museum. 

The Bernardino-Jalandoni Museum

Balay Negrense Museum

Unfortunately, we passed by these houses very early while they were still closed. We couldn't wait any longer, hence, we planned to drop by again to see what's inside before proceeding to the airport the day we fly back to Manila.

Me and mi esposo

Before leaving the place, I saw this truck loaded with sugar cane. I couldn't help calling the attention of my daughters to show them raw sugar canes being transported to the azucarera (sugar factory) for processing. 

I was also intrigued at this Spanish writing on the fence--- Acta Rendicion. 

I also liked the sight of this man riding his tricycle.

After breakfast at El Ideal, on our way out of the city, we passed by another unique-looking old house. While hubby went out of the car to take a good view of the house, I was contented taking this shot from inside. 

Just before going back to the airport on our last day, we had enough time to visit another heritage house, the Hofileña Ancestral House, located in Cinco de Noviembre Street in Silay City

The Hofileña Ancestral house was built in 1934 by Manuel Severino Hofileña and his wife Gilda Ledesma Hojilla. The house features furniture that are considered family heirlooms. Ramon, one of the nine sons of Manuel and Gilda, resides in the house.

The house may look like an ordinary old house from the outside but contains the finest and rarest art collections in the country, among such are paintings of Juan Luna, Jose Rizal and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. The house also displays antiques belonging to the Hofileña family, a prominent family in Silay.
The Hofileña Ancestral House Marker
The Hofileña Ancestral House was proclaimed a heritage house by the National Historical Institute of the Philippines in 1993. 

Inside the ancestral house is a wooden grand staircase made of ironwood or balayong, 
a very hard kind of wood resistant to termites. 

Pensive mood, you may think. Not really. 

The truth is, I was not feeling well. This was just another attempt of mine to put up a front. Hubby was determined to take a photo of me sitting on an antique chair at the Hofileña Ancestral house, so I obliged. Would you believe that I almost collapsed a few minutes after? I remember seeing stars before darkness that I closed my eyes and devoured as much air as I could. I had severe stomach upset but I couldn't miss the flight back home. It was a real struggle keeping my composure despite my crumbling tummy. I exhausted all efforts not to ruin my family's excitement to savor more of the cultural and historical pride of Silay City, the Paris of Negros. Too bad, I wasn't able to take more photos of interesting furniture pieces in the house.

Let me conclude this post by sharing with you what I was able to capture in one area of the living room at the ancestral house. I just love the view of the foliage visible through the window. 

Watch out for more of our family travels in my next post. 

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