The culturally outrageous museums in the Philippines is an evolving picturesque of a rich and moving history across the nation, which have perfectly reflected and envisioned the metamorphosing cultural prestige of the Philippines from the very day that it was discovered in 1521. In the Visayas Region, the Balay Negrense Museum is located in Silay, Negros Occidental which is proudly showing to the world about the popular 19th century Negrense sugar legends. Likewise, this splendid tourist attraction has been constantly alluded to as the first-ever archive which was humbly created in the vast and abounding province of Negros Occidental. Balay Negrense is actually an ancient house that was built through Yves Gaston’s sweat and blood in 1897.

Balay Negrense Museum.

Balay Negrense Museum.

From then on, he had fruitfully spent the most glorious milestones of his life there along with his twelve lovable children, until his untimely demise in 1927. Though he and his family used to live there, it had remained the way as it was because for some reason it was left unused by the Gaston family. As a result, the ancestral mansion was declared as an abandoned property in the mid- years of 1970’s. Since it was slowly debilitating in terms of structure, a group of dedicated and concerned citizens of Negros had duly formed an organization which would later be called as the Negros Cultural Foundation. Conversely, the latter was able to purchase the house from its legitimate heirs through a donation scheme. From the generous and heartfelt donations of wealthy citizens and the Department of Tourism, the house had undergone a much needed repair and renovation.

Thus, it was well-furnished with antiquated and lavish furniture and fixtures. Finally, it was historically inaugurated on the 6th day of October, 1990 and was declared as a National Historical Site by the National Historical Institute on the 8th day of March, 1994. In the beginning, Negrense de Balay Museum had all started with the fondest dreams of a passionate and noble man whose name was Yves Leopold Gaston. From then on, he never stopped dreaming about the Philippines until he decided to settle down and had successfully established a sugar plantation in Negros Occidental. Along this line, the rest is history for Balay Negrense Museum.

Architecture

The humble but famous Balay Negrense Museum is a house that was literally made of stone or in the Filipino vernacular it is commonly termed as “bahay na bato”. But, the entirety of this tourist attraction is intricately filled with the colonial influences of the Americans. To date, the lower deck of Balay de Negrense Museum is not made of stone but of high-quality concrete materials. Moreover, its foundation posts are artistically and exclusively made from the sturdy balayong tree trunks.

Likewise, the same kind of tree was used for its floorboards. Meanwhile, the upper portion of this ancestral house which was later converted into a stylish repository has a ceiling with a height of four meters; as well as big windows with beautifully crafted ventillas. For a more refreshing and relaxing ambiance, there are much smaller windows with sliding panels which can be easily opened for ventilation purposes. Apart from these impressive architectural qualities, the Balay de Negrense Museum in Negros Occidental has some portions that are extremely elevated from ground level by means of crawlspace which is approximately a meter high. As such, the elegant foundations of this museum have adequate amounts of fresh air to avoid those woods from rotting due to extreme mugginess. In a more meaningful perspective, the bahay na bato used to connote the socio-economic persona of belonging to the upper-class members of a society.

Features

Among its finest features are its sophisticated conglomerations of the indigenous house of a lowly Filipino and a home that is creatively built from bamboo. In addition, the Balay de Negrense Museum has 12 huge bedrooms with antique furniture and a living room which has the same size of a basketball court that is located on the second floor of this serene tourist attraction in Negros Occidental. Over the years, it has been dubbed as the largest colonial abode in the whole province of Negros. The spectacular Balay de Negrense Museum lovingly takes care of old books and other memorabilia which seemed to be century’s old.

The interior features of Balay Negrense Museum.

The interior features of Balay Negrense Museum.

If you are going towards the second floor you and your peers will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a personal glimpse of those ostentatious displays of prosperousness that can be dramatically described as truly prophetic in the strictest sense of the word. Furthermore, those attractive and delicately cut wooden panels of Balay Negrense Negros Occidental are especially meant to provide the right amount of air circulation between each room of this former ancestral mansion of Negros’ sugarcane monarchs of the Philippines. In every corner of the Balay Negrense,there is a long stretch of rope that serves as a dividing line between those precious treasures and those persons who cannot seem to resist in touching the priceless beauty and ardor of those rare heirlooms. Uniquely, there is another dining table that features the inspiring genealogy of the Gaston family, starting from its main patriarch down to its surviving descendants. Also, has a pleasant aura that transforms and revitalizes your life and being.

Entrance Fees

Balay Negrense Museum has a minimal entrance charge of Php 50.00, for adults, 25.00 for those students in elementary and high school and last but not the least they have a huge discount for senior citizens who will pay an amount of Php 40.00. Commonly, these donations are wisely used for the maintenance and preservation of all these precious and ancestral treasures inside the most colossal museum in Silay, Negros Occidental.

Location

It is located in Barangay III, Cinco de Noviembre Street, Dakbanwa Sang, Negros Occidental.

How to Get There

Tourists who already have hotel reservations near Silay, Negros, Occidental, all they need to do is to ride a jeep that will go straight ahead to Silay. Then, ask the driver of that particular mode of transportation to drop you off in a place which is just a few steps away from El Ideal. Furthermore, they should walk straight ahead from a cathedral and head towards the left direction. However, If they really want to be more convenient they can ride an affordable tricycle within the vicinity.

Balay Negrense Museum has beautifully epitomized how the East meets West without those impediments of political differences.

Category: Travel

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