Before heading back to Manila, on my last day in Negros Occidental, Shale took me to visit a couple more tourist sites.
First stop: Balay Negrense at Silay, Negros Occidental. It used to be the home of a late 19th century sugar cane baron, Victor F. Gaston.
This is one of the ancestral homes in Negros Occidental. There lots of them back in the Spanish colonial era.
These are some of the things I saw inside the ancestral house:
A grand piano. You know I used to play the piano when I was younger like in elementary school. I studied at Ryan Cayabyab’s and then I had a private piano lesson near our place. I even remember going to Alabang for a piano recital. My parents thought maybe I’d be musically talented. They thought wrong though because after awhile, I just gave up on it. I have a fondness for reading and writing words more than musical notes.
|An old phone. Wonder how people back in the days used this to contact neighbors and relatives?|
A sungka. I used to play this with Ate Elsie, our household helper. She taught me how to play this when I found a sungka at our bodega. I was pretty good in this game! I probably would’ve won sungkaan competitions in school during our Palarong Pinoy Festivals if I wasn’t too shy to join then.
This is the family tree of the Gaston family and it’s a huge family tree at that! That’s because back in the old days, having a big family was normal like five to eight kids plus one of the Gaston ancestors married at the young age of 15 because her father’s – who passed away suddenly – condition was that his daughter either get married or become a nun in order to get her inheritance. Marriage at 15! I can’t image what that must be like.
More things to see inside Balay Negrense:
And of course, I couldn’t leave Negros Occidental without visiting a very famous tourist spot that I’ve wanted to visit since reading about it on Cebu Pacific’s Smile Magazine – The Ruins!
The Ruins was built by another sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. He built this mansion for his first wife, Maria Braga Lacson, a Portuguese woman from Macau. His son personally oversaw the construction of this mansion.
The Ruins is such a beautiful place to see! There’s a romantic vibe to this place actually. When Shale and I visited, Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable was playing in the background. I fell in love with this place seriously!
I feel the love in this place. I know someone I would love to take here when I go back. This place is perfect for a garden wedding or a prenup shoot! I’d love to do the latter here. But first, I’d have to find the guy I’d love to walk down the aisle with. He he!
I’d love to come back here. But maybe next time, I’d be with someone special. Maybe…
Anyhow, that wraps up my wonderful Bacolod Adventure. Special thanks of course to Shale and Jaton for making this trip all the more fun! (“,)
P.S. Read about Part 1 of my Bacolod Adventure here.
Read about Part 2 of my Bacolod Adventure here.
Read about Part 3 of my Bacolod Adventure here.
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