Bacolod Bliss: Yesterday of Silay (Part1)

12:42 AM

Time stops when I'm with you. I did not know it was possible that I could travel back in time with you. We walked into this white cathedral that morning. We were not tying the knot but starting the day right with a prayer. You held my hand while the rays of the sun made the colored glass designs glitter. I think my eyes glittered too. We were inside the San Diego Pro-Cathedral and everything was peaceful.

We left the cathedral. The cupola shone amidst the green leaves of the trees around it. It was a good, sunny Friday at the nostalgic town of Silay. We walked while holding each other's hands. There are more than 20 ancestral houses in Silay but only a few are open to the public. Although it would be captivating to see all houses, two was enough for the day.

We started with a two-storey, ancestral house of Bernardino Jalandino. Two girls in baro't saya greeted us. I had my camera ready to capture the memories and old stories. We entered the lobby where horses and carriages once stood. A caroza of the Virgin Mary welcomed us in the next room. Even today the tradition of parading of carozas during the Holy Week is dominant in provinces. We greeted the Virgin Mary with a smile.

Endless frames of old photographs received us in another room. We can imagine ourselves back in the glorious days of sugar cane plantations. Leandro Locsin's photo hangs in the wall together with famous Silay personalities.

We saw their doll collection. Dolls were dressed up with various national costumes. One was in full yellow ensemble resembling Cory Aquino. I imagine we will have our own collection in our house someday. It will probably be books - engineering and business books for him and classic and contemporary literature for me. We walked back in front to go upstairs. The stairs creaked a little as we stepped.

My old soul was awaken by the sight of their second floor. Old canes, rusty mirrors, a Steinberg Piano, a harp, and that rare Stradivarius Violin I could only imagine playing. I haven't touched my eight-year old violin for more than a year now but seeing that rare violin made me want to be a fiddler again. We walked around the room, the kitchen and even the azotea. We admired the ceilings and the wooden louvers. It was a strategic design for light, ventilation and security. You joked on how the steel grills allowed a kid like me to enjoy the view of the streets without falling.

We were introduced to carnival cups. Those fancy punch bowl cups won by families during fiestas. It was a collection and a prize in one. More cups, more winning records for the family. I bet we would have collected a lot if we played back then. Our friendly guide bid goodbye and we were left to explore more the second floor. It seems they lived glamorous yet simple lives. Each day definitely slower than our days today. We imagined ourselves living such lives. We will enjoy quiet afternoons together.

Continue reading: Yesterday of Silay (Part 2)

We followed this DIY walking tour  although we did it a bit backwards. We got off in front of San Diego Pro-Cathedral
Museums and ancestral houses are usually closed on Mondays.

How to go to Silay from Bacolod:
Ride a jeep with a Bata sign. Ask driver to drop you off the North terminal. (Php7.50/person)
Ride a jeep going to Silay. You can ask the driver to drop you in front of the Cathedral. (Php12/person) You can also take a bus to Silay.

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