SILAY City in Negros Occidental has been tagged by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as the “seat of arts and culture in Western Visayas.”
Silaynons take pride in the 29 heritage houses of the sugar barons that have been considered by the National Historical Commission as architectural landmarks. San Diego Church, the “Little St. Peter Basilica” is the only Pro-Cathedral outside of Metro Manila. It is a living asseveration that Silay is at the helm of Christianity.
Under the administration of Mayor Mark Andrew Arthur J. Golez, the Silay City Government takes a rallying cry for peace, unity, and prosperity… “Asenso sang Silay, Asenso sang Panimalay.”
One of the flagships of the Golez administration is to bring more investors in Silay and the preservation and promotion of its heritage food. The late Prof. Doreen Gamboa-Fernandez (a Silaynon) of Ateneo de Manila University said, “All hometown food in Silay is special. Not only it is born in and rooted to the place, and therefore authentic, but it is all memory come alive. It comes from the culture, from the economy, from the resource and resourcefulness of place and people.”
The Association of Negros Producers (ANP) invited again Silay City to participate in the 32nd Negros Trade Fair on September 27 to October 1 to be held at Glorietta Activity Center, Makati City. Mayor Golez accepted the invitation as an opportunity for Silay to feature its trade, commerce, tourism, and arts.
ANP is showcasing the replica of the Maria Golez Ledesma Heritage Building as backdrop at the main stage of Negros Trade Fair. This has been designed by Achilles Corteza.
This house is an example of a townhouse that had living spaces on the upper floor and commercial spaces on the lower floor. Art deco details are seen in the archways and corner entrance. Classical motifs, like masques and lion heads, also decorate the house.
This house is an example of architectural reuse. It was purchased in 1992 by RCBC to house its Silay branch. The bank restored the house and its interiors in accordance to the general design envisioned by the owner.
Silay City Night will be given prominence on September 27. Mayor Mark will be assisted by the Silay City Tourism Office under Gerle Sulmaca, and by the Asenso Silay Foundation Inc. under Chairman Dolores Lopez, Ma. Liza Calangan (treasurer), Elaine Montelibano (secretary) and the members of the board: Ma. Teresa Golez, Ma. Cecilia Fe Jimenez, Jose Maria Gaston, Nelly Jison Ledesma, Pia Dabao, and Rosario Cuaycong.
Program starts at 6 p.m. with “Lupang Hinirang” and the event host Lia Guerrero of Studio 23’s “Push TV” will open the program. Mayor Mark will welcome the guests, shoppers, and friends.
Piaya Network will play audio-visual presentation about Silay City: Punong-Gary’s Place, Silay’s Plaza Olympia Severino, San Diego Pro-Cathedral, International Airport, Lantawan Eco-Tourism Spots, Heritage Houses identified by NHC, Ruin of Silay Seaport, Silay delicacies, Kabataang Silay Rondalla Ensemble, Kaon Ta Food Festival, Kansilay Festival, Dumos Dei, Hawaiian-Philippine Company Sugar Mill, Magic Land, Villa Rosario Subdivision, “La Alegria” of Santa Lucia Land, and Silay-Ikaw-Ako Mangrove Rehabilitation Area.
Artist performer Clara Benin will entertain the audience with her songs. She writes her own songs and produces her own music, including her EP Riverchild. She was mentored by Ryan Cayabyab, Joey Ayala, and Noel Cabangon, among others.
Kabataang Silay Rondalla will also take center stage under the baton of Rondalla Master Jegger Anjao (arranger and transcriber) with their “Poet and Peasant” overture by Verdi, “Czardas” by Monte, “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Serenata,” “Ang Pipit,” “Ikaw ang Mahal Ko,” “Philippine Medley No. 2,” “Libis ng Nayon,” “Lumalabaylabay nga Daw Aso,” “Dalawidaw,” among others.
Kabataang Silay Rondalla members are the “Silay Young Ambassadors of Culture” under the Mayor’s Heritage and Culture Program supervised by Achilles Corteza, recreation and welfare services officer.
Kabataang Silay Rondalla represented the Republic of the Philippines in the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland; Children’s Folklore Festival in Guangdong, China; Singapore’s 50th Founding Anniversary Celebration; 4th International Rondalla Festival in Taiwan, and many more.
Some Silay Heritage delicacies to be featured are Silay piaya, lumpia ubod de Silay, empanada, dulce gatas, lubid-lubid, pili square, guapple pie, panara, and more surprises will fill up your eyes and fancy your appetite.
Silay’s “First Mom,” Tess Golez, will be there at the Cocktail Party to see to it that guests are well attended. We are thanking our sponsors for the assistance extended to us: Punong Gary’s Place, Sta. Lucia Land, Ceres Liner bus company, Kapihan sa Kilid Dalan, and Silay Solar Energy. See you at Silay Night.