Silay: The Paris of Negros ~ Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Jun 13, 2013

Silay: The Paris of Negros

Silay is a quaint town in Negros Occidental where heritage houses and historical landmarks are well-preserved. It is also famous for its homegrown artists and cultural shows. Thus, people call Silay "The Paris of Negros", while I call it my home. As years go by, Silay gradually transforms from a laid-back town to a busy city. Though a lot of major developments including an  International Airport have been made, Silay has its heart and soul perfectly intact.

When I went home for vacation, I explored the city like I have never been before!  It felt so good to see the sugarcane plantations again, to feel the vintage vibe and to be greeted with warm Silaynon smiles. Let me take you on a journey to a town close to my heart.

Things to do in Silay City:

Visit the city's heritage houses. There are over 30 ancestral homes declared as historical landmarks in Silay, only 3 are open to the public.
  • Balay Negrense - a museum that showcases the lifestyle of a sugar baron during the late 19th century. It was built in 1897 as a home to Victor F. Gaston , one of the pioneers of sugarcane cultivation in the province.
Balay Negrense

  • Hofilena Heritage House - the first ancestral house in Silay to open its doors to the public. According to Silay City's official website, "It is the first house in the area, still inhabited, to be installed by the NHCP with a historical marker as 'national treasure for the present and future generations'. It’s also the first house in Silay, still inhabited to be declared by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as a museum."
Hofilena Heritage House

Ramon Hofilena of the Hofilena Clan
Mr. Ramon Hofilena gave us a tour to his lovely home
and even showed us his collections of precious paintings and memorabilia
  • Bernardino Ysabel Jalandoni Museum - also known as the Pink House. It was built in 1908 with durable wood from Mindoro. Now, the museum features a large collection of dolls and books, antique furniture and glassware.
Pink House in Silay City

Bernardino Ysabel Jalandoni Museum

  • other historical buildings in Silay located along the highway:
Historical Buildings across Silay Public Plaza

historical building in Silay City

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* Have a seafood feast in Balaring, a small village along the coastline of Silay. There are restaurants by the sea where you can have a seafood meal at a very low cost. My family's favorite is The Edgewater, a native restaurant made of bamboo. Be there before dusk to catch Silay's beautiful sunset while having a sumptuous seafood dinner!

Edgewater Restaurant in Balaring

Edgewater's Sizzling squid
sizzling squid topped with crispy fried garlic: Php 230/serving (good for 2-3 persons)
Oysters
talaba or oysters: Php 50/bucket (good for 2-3 persons)

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* Dine at Cafe 1925, a cute little cafe in the middle of the city. It is where you can have an afternoon coffee break or a delicious dinner after the Heritage Tour. The cafe is located near the ancestral houses. My faves at Cafe 1925 are pesto spaghetti, grilled cheese panini and osso bucco! 

Cafe 1925 in Silay

Cafe 1925 Pesto Spaghetti
pasta with pesto sauce and mushroom, served with garlic breadsticks: Php 160
Cafe 1925 Grilled Cheese Panini
grilled cheese panini with vegetables on the side: Php 90
Osso Bucco
Osso Bucco: beef shanks in tomato sauce, served with rice and vegetable salad: Php 210

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* Grab some baked goodies at El Ideal, Silay's oldest bakeshop. A must try is El Ideal's Guapple Pie, Silay's answer to the American Apple Pie. Don't forget to purchase El Ideal's classic Ilonggo cookies and biscuits; the perfect pasalubongs to your loved ones. The historical bakeshop is located at Locsin y Lacson ancestral house.

El Ideal in Silay

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* Buy the world's most fabulous gem! Tektite, popularly known as Meteorite, can bring you wealth and good health. Famous personalities who use tektites as good luck charms are Queen Elizabeth, Imelda Marcos and Winston Churchill. You can purchase a piece of Tektite or Meteorite at Hofilena Heritage House.

Tektites or Meteorites

World's most fabulous gem


Before I end this post, I would like to share a very helpful DIY walking tour map I got in the internet.  
Silay City Walking Tour Map
Silay walking tour map from project7107

So, when you're in Negros Occidental or planning to visit the province, do remember my lovely hometown. I hope you all get to  experience Silay's sweet and simple life.

How to get there:
Book a flight to Bacolod and you'll arrive at Bacolod-Silay Airport, located exactly in Silay City!
Ride a van or tricycle from the airport to the city center.
Start your walking tour.
Ride a public tricycle to Balaring for your seafood feast.





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