The city is known for its piaya, a sweet flatbread filled with muscovado sugar or ube (purple yam). Another must-try is inasal, a local version of grilled chicken marinated in a special blend of spices and served with garlic rice and sinamak (spiced vinegar). Silay City also celebrates its rich cultural heritage through various festivals. One notable event is the Kansilay Festival held every January, which showcases traditional dances, music performances, and street parades. Nestled in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines, lies a city that is often referred to as the “”Paris of Negros”” – Silay City. This charming city is not only known for its beautiful ancestral houses and stunning architecture but also for its rich cultural heritage that captivates visitors from all over the world.
Silay City boasts an impressive collection of well-preserved ancestral houses that date back to the Spanish colonial era. These grand mansions were built by wealthy sugar barons who made their fortunes during the sugarcane boom in the 19th century. Walking through these streets feels like stepping back in time, with each house telling a unique story of wealth and opulence. One such mansion is Balay Negrense, which was built by Victor Gaston in 1897. This two-story wooden structure showcases traditional Filipino-Spanish architecture and offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of affluent families during that period. Today, it serves as a museum where visitors can explore various rooms filled with antique furniture, photographs, and memorabilia. Another notable attraction is Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, formerly known as Hofileña Ancestral House.
Built-in 1934 by Don Generoso Hofileña and his wife Doña Enrica Alunan-Hofileña, this mansion exhibits silay city an eclectic mix of architectural styles including Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The museum displays an extensive collection of art pieces ranging from paintings to sculptures created by local artists. Aside from its architectural wonders, Silay City also takes pride in preserving its vibrant cultural traditions. Every year on May 5th-6th, locals celebrate Kansilayan Festival – a colorful event showcasing various aspects of Silaynon culture through street dancing competitions and parades featuring traditional costumes inspired by different eras. The festival pays homage to Silay’s history while promoting unity and pride among its residents. It is a time when the city comes alive with music, dance, and laughter as locals and tourists alike join in the festivities.