I have been mulling over these photos for months now. I would like to tell you that this is just another ancestral house I visited in Silay City during my vacation in May. But fact is, I purposely went to Silay to see this house. The Jalandoni ancestral house in Silay City was built by my maternal great-grandfather, Bernardino Jalandoni, in 1908. Although we don't have a relationship with this side of my mother's family, I was naturally curious. Bernardino, according to my mother, used to visit them at my grandmother's house in Valladolid in the late 1940's up to the early 50's. He would then take my mother and her siblings to Hda. Parnaso, a hacienda owned by the Jalandonis, to spend the weekend.
Aside from my mother's childhood memories of weekends spent in Hda. Parnaso, there was no kinship between the families. It was probably because the connection between them, my grandfather, [Bernardino's nephew] had passed away.
So I explored the house like the usual tourist. I am glad that the heirs decided to preserve this house for future generations---to see how the elite families lived during the grand old days of Negros' sugar industry. The guided tour gave insights as to how the house was built and how the family lived. It's a huge house made of stone and wood but it's design, according to the guide, follows the typical Philippine nipa hut. The existing wooden structures are the same hardwood that came from Mindoro, an island known for its forests and logging industry. Most of the embossed tin ceiling trays were imported from Hamburg, Germany. It's wooden transoms done in "calado" or cut out style, using elaborate French design are a study of combined visual aesthetics and function.
the living room
The creative use of glass, capiz shells, steel grills, wooden louvers and panels for windows continues to maximize light, ventilation and security today as it has since it was designed a century ago.
the master's bedroom
The carved antique furniture, a retablo with religious icons, the solihia (rattan weave) daybed and chairs---the ambiance of this house illustrates the lifestyle of the Negrense elite at the turn of the century.
The heirs have entrusted the care of this house to the Silay Heritage Foundation, and it has been turned into a museum. A doll collection, framed old photos and other memorabilia are displayed at the ground floor.
the daughter's bedroom
The Jalandoni Museum is at Rizal Street, Silay City. It's 10 minutes from the airport, about 30 minutes to Bacolod City, the provincial capital.
More photos in next week's My World - Tuesday