I was awakened early in the morning by the heavy downpour outside. How can we go to Silay on a rainy day? I was so happy when we woke up at 6am with no rain shower at all.🙂 After breakfast, which was provided by the pension house: coffee and bread, we went to Lacson Street and took a Liberatad-Bata jeepney in going to Robsinson’s Mall. From there, we took another jeepney with “Silay” signboard and paid P15/pax. Upon seeing the church in Silay, we got off the jeepney and went inside to whisper some prayers.
San Diego Pro-Cathedral has an amazing structure that continually makes every visitor amazed and appreciates the beauty of the church. It’s interior would make you think of churches in Rome. Why? Pulpits can still be seen inside the church, the place where Spanish priests used to give sermon in the past.
Across the church is the Kapehan of Silay. It is a small coffee and bread shop with a television but no aircon. According to some blogs that I read, you can taste Silay’s brewed coffee here for P10/cup only. If you are a coffee lover and ready to mingle with different kinds of people, you can try Silay’s brewed coffee here. When we got hungry, we tried to see if we can have our snacks there but when we got inside, most of the tables were fully occupied by smokers. How can we enjoy sipping our coffee in a place where our health would be at risk? But without those smokers, we would surely taste Silay’s coffee.
From there, we crossed the street and headed to look for Emma Lacson’s shop. We asked around but it seemed that not all of Negrense knew Emma Lacson until we found one trike driver who showed us the way to the place. He even followed us when we go past it just to show us the right place. It’s situated at corner Pitong Ledesma street and across BPI. After knocking at the green gate, an old lady opened it and led us to the second floor where the kitchen was located. Orders were only for take out. Emma Lacson is popular to it’s lumpiang sariwa and empanada. The lumpiang sariwa tasted good even the sauce was already included with the fillings while the empanada was so crunchy and delicious too. No need for vinegar.🙂
Since we need to dine in a place with tables and chairs, we decided to go to El Ideal which was a few minutes away from Emma Lacson’s kitchen. The place was airconditioned and quiet. El Ideal is not only a bakeshop, it is also a souvenir shop and cafeteria at the same time. You can buy different delicacies and pastries from El Ideal. Some of the goodies were baked by the shop itself while some of the goodies came from other pasalubong shops like Bongbong’s, Virgie’s and Sugarlandia. But according to the guide we met at The Ruins, Mars, you can buy non-commercialized goods at an affordable price at the public market of Silay. Too bad for it was too late for us to know.😦
Since we were starving to death that time, we tried the foods listed on El Ideal’s menu. Nice to look at but not that good.😦 My sissy and mom ordered for Wanton Noodle Soup ~ quite good; hubby ordered for Pansit Palabok ~ bland; I ordered for Pansit Guisado ~ bland; and my pamangkins ordered for Spaghetti ~ kinda sour, puede na but not a hit for the kids.
We also bought some pasalubong here. After our El Ideal experience, we continued our walking tour and headed to Pitong Ledesma Street. We had seen a few old houses as well as Cafe 1925. A small and airconditioned coffee shop that sells baked goodies too. The mugs hanging on it’s ceiling were kinda cool where names of the store owners were written. Too bad.. not for sale.🙂
The marker of Cinco de Noviembre Street is the place where Farmacia Locsin was situated during Spanish Era. Negrense revolutionaries made the pharmacy their secret meeting place where they helped in planning for the successful revolution against the Spanish Colonial forces on November 5, 1898. To commemorate the freedom against the Spaniards, Negrense celebrates their Independence every 5th of November.
After our photo-shoot at the marker, we then headed to Balay Negrense Museum. According to the caretaker, the Balay Negrense was the ancestral house of Mr. Victor F. Gaston, who was the son of Yves Leopold Germain Gaston and Prudencia Fernandez. This was the house where Victor Gaston, his wife and his twelve children lived from 1901 until his death in 1927. Since it was left unused by the family, the structure was abandoned in the mid-1970s and fell into disrepair until a group of concerned Negrenses. They finally acquired the house from the heirs of Gaston through a donation. With donations from prominent individuals and later the Department of Tourism, the structure was repaired and furnished with period furniture and fixtures. The museum was officially inaugurated on October 6, 1990.
Entrance is P40 for adults and P20 for kids. You have to use the doorbell (not the electronic one) to inform the people in-charge of your presence. Well, I can say that the Gaston family was really rich and famous in the past. The second floor contains two big living rooms as well as spacious bedrooms where the antiques owned by Gaston’s can be found.