Showing posts with label ancestral house. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ancestral house. Show all posts

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Silay Heritage Mini-tour for Bloggers

Last October 21, 2012,  sixteen food and travel bloggers from all over the country who were here for the Masskara Festival, came on a mini-tour of Silay, organized by the Negrense Blogging Society, Inc.  This side trip was made possible with the free use of the new Merci bus courtesy of it's CEO, Mr. Jonathan Lo.  We were only going to do a half-day tour because the bloggers were scheduled to watch the Masskara street dancing in the afternoon.  The short itinerary included visiting the two lifestyle museums of the city, the Bernardino Jalandoni House (Pink House) and the Yves Gaston House (Balay Negrense).  We stopped for a while for some photo-ops at the Maria Ledesma Golez House, now a bank, the RCBC and the Lope Severino Building, half of which is now a hotel and the other half, commercial stores.

Next stop was the Jose Gamboa Ancestral House which was used in part for the iconic movie, Oro, Plata, Mata.  This house is not open to the public but it's current owner, Mr. Buddy Jison was very kind to allow access to his ancestral home.  In fact, he personally welcomed and showed us around, giving us some history about the house.

photo of Jose Gamboa House courtesy of Maricar Dabao of Viaje Negrense
The next ancestral house we visited was that of Dr. Jose C. Locsin, Silay's most notable son. This house is also a private home but it's occupants, Neil Solomon "Solo" Locsin and Tita Charet Locsin willingly opened it's doors to us. Solo is Dr. Locsin's grandson and also a consultant of the city, responsible for many of it's current historical and cultural projects. The house is beautifully preserved and is one of the biggest in the city.  It is also a house which has witnessed history happen within it's walls.

photo of Dr. Jose C. Locsin Ancestral House courtesy of Neil Solomon Locsin

We were served with homemade tsokolate and biscocho, a traditional Silay merienda, at the Locsin house and from there, we finished our short tour passing by the Lacson house for some food tasting of original Silay recipes and then on to the San Diego Cathedral for a quick view of the church and the ruins of the original church behind it.  

To our blogger friends...hasta la vista! See you next year and we promise to give you a more comprehensive tour of my beloved Silay...where life is indeed sweeter and the past is forever!



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Adaptive Reuse of Silay's Ancestral Houses

Silay City is full of heritage houses but most of them are still residential homes, lived in by the descendants of the original owners or bought by others who continue to live in them. There are few however that have been converted to museums or offices.  This action is called adaptive reuse, referring to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for.

Among the first of those ancestral houses for adaptive reuse was that of Maria Ledesma Golez which was bought by Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation or RCBC in 1992. I remember attending birthday parties in this house, going up the stairs at the left anterior part of the building.  In fact, I have some memory of the living quarters upstairs and I still have a picture of myself at the age of 5 or 6 years at their balcony.  The first floor used to be a soda fountain where they sold really good siopao.  RCBC remodeled the interiors of the first floor into their Silay branch while the second floor is used as a storage area.  The exteriors have been preserved well.

The next two ancestral houses were bought by the Silay City government and converted into offices. These are the Angel Araneta Ledesma Ancestral House which is used as the Arts and Culture Office of the city and the Armin Jalandoni Ancestral House which is now the Sangguniang Panglungsod building. These are both found in Plaridel Street, where I and my cousins would stroll on weekend afternoons.  This street has been  renamed to Generoso Gamboa Street.  

Another heritage structure that has been converted is the Lope Severino Building which is now owned by two separate individuals. The left wing of the building was bought by an Indian businessman while the right wing was bought by the Baldevia family. Both owners converted their properties for commercial use.  The second floor of the Baldevia side is a pension house with function rooms available for rent while the other side is rented by a religious group.

A few old buildings that were dilapidated or structurally unsafe were completely rebuilt like the Cine Silay now known as the Jison Building and the North Elementary School Gabaldon building.  In the past Silay's main street was lined with beautiful buildings.  They were used as commercial areas in the first level and residential areas in the second.  Many of these buildings are still there, having withstood the test of time with new owners and a new life.  But there were a few which were burned to the ground in the late 60's or early 70's and nobody will remember them...like the other Severino house fronting that of the Lope Severino building, the Hofileña building besides it (now with a new building rented by Mang Inasal), the house of the Lecaros family where Rising Drugstore used to be and one that I vaguely remember, the building besides The Bernardino Jalandoni house which their family also owned.  

I hope that when architects are hired to plan for new buildings in Silay, they will always consider the aesthetics of a heritage city in mind. They can create modern day structures without sacrificing the old world charm of Silay.

About merl_md

My photo

I am a member of the working class, first and foremost: a daughter, a mom, an auntie, a sister, a physician, a caregiver, the family driver and troubleshooter, house princess, devoted nurturer, concerned meddler, accidental blogger etc. I am not religious but I am a true Roman Catholic. I have great faith and trust in God's love and mercy.

If you like a post, please feel free to comment!  I would love to hear from you. And don't forget to introduce yourself. Madamo nga Salamat! Muchas Gracias!