- Balay Negrense
name = Balay Negrense
imagesize = 200
October 6, 1990cite web | last = | first = | title =Negros Cultural Foundation:History | url=http://www.balaynegrense.com/NCFHistory.html | accessdate = 2008-06-26]
location = Cinco de Noviembre Street,
Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
director = Maida Jison
pedicabfrom 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 Occidentalin the Philippines, showcasing the lifestyleof a late 19th-century Negrense sugar baron. It is notable for being the first museum to be established in the province of Negros Occidental.
The Balay Negrense was originally the ancestral house of Victor F. Gaston, a son of
Yves Leopold Germain Gastonand Prudencia Fernandez. The elder Gaston is credited as one of the pioneers of sugarcanecultivation in this portion of the Philippine archipelago. A native of Normandyin France, he married a Filipinafrom Batangaswhere he initially began experimenting with sugar production before relocating to Negros.
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 Foundationand 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.
The house is of the type called "bahay na bato", literally "house of stone", however, reflecting American colonial influences, the lower
storeyis 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.
Yves Leopold Germain Gaston
Mariano Ramos Ancestral House
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