Balay Negrense

Balay Negrense

Infobox Museum
name = Balay Negrense



imagesize = 200
map_type =
map_caption =
latitude =
longitude =
established = October 6, 1990cite web | last = | first = | title =Negros Cultural Foundation:History | url=http://www.balaynegrense.com/NCFHistory.html | accessdate = 2008-06-26]
dissolved =
location = Cinco de Noviembre Street, Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
type = lifestyle museum
visitors =
director = Maida Jison
curator =
publictransit = pedicab from any point in the city
website = [http://www.balaynegrense.com www.balaynegrense.com]

The Balay Negrense (Hiligaynon, "Negrense House") is a museum in Silay City, Negros Occidental in the Philippines, showcasing the lifestyle of a late 19th-century Negrense sugar baron. It is notable for being the first museum to be established in the province of Negros Occidental.

History

The Balay Negrense was originally the ancestral house of Victor F. Gaston, a son of Yves Leopold Germain Gaston and Prudencia Fernandez. The elder Gaston is credited as one of the pioneers of sugarcane cultivation in this portion of the Philippine archipelago. A native of Normandy in France, he married a Filipina from Batangas where he initially began experimenting with sugar production before relocating to Negros.

Built in 1897,cite web | last = | first = | title =Balay Negrense | url=http://www.ateneo.edu/offices/mirlab/panublion/r6_silbalay.html | accessdate = 2008-06-26] the structure housed Victor Gaston and his twelve children from 1901 until his death in 1927. Left unused by the family, the structure was abandoned in the mid-1970s and fell into disrepair until a group of concerned Negrenses formed what would later become the Negros Cultural Foundation and managed to acquire 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.

Architecture

The house is of the type called "bahay na bato", literally "house of stone", however, reflecting American colonial influences, the lower storey is not constructed of stone but of concrete. The foundation posts are made out of trunks of the "balayong" tree, a local hardwood; the floorboards are of the same material. The house's upper storey is constructed of wood topped with a roof of galvanized iron instead of tile.

The house has a four-meter high ceiling and large windows with "ventanillas", smaller windows beneath the large windows with sliding panels that can be opened to admit the wind. The lower storey itself is elevated from ground level by a meter-high crawlspace, allowing the wooden foundations to be aired, preventing dampness from rotting the wood.

ee also

*Yves Leopold Germain Gaston
*Mariano Ramos Ancestral House

References


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