Hofileña Ancestral House
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By the 1930’s, the age of dazzling plantation houses began to come to an end. Houses became more compact and practical, built in more central locations. The house that Manuel Hofileña (one of the original Sialy sugar baron) built in 1934 on Cinco de Noviembre Street is the first inhabited heritage house to be declared a National Historical landmark in Silay, as declared proudly by his son Ramon.
The Hofileña house has a big art collection, mostly paintings from Filipino masters. Precious family heirlooms such as the 200-year old Rachall piano that belonged to his great grandmother sits comfortably in the cozy living room.
Ramon Hofileña who now owns the house is one man who knows a lot about Silay, in fact, the city owes a lot to this man. In 1977, there was a plan to widen Rizal St. as part of the many road projects under a World Bank program. The highway would have encroached on treasured properties. Hofileña submitted a petition to the National government to have the decision reversed. With the help of the city tourism, he organized the homeowners to rally behind the cause, which caught the attention of the Governor who then mediated over the matter. Suffice to say that Silay has become one city with a great deal of well-maintained ancestral houses opened to the public either as a museum or a gallery of sorts.
Today, the Hofileña house is still functional and inhabited (by Ramon) and was the first house to be opened to the public. By appointment, Ramon conduct tours of the house complete with tales of Silay, his lineage and the artist he so cares about. All told with so much passion and gusto. His enthusiasm so infectious, you leave the house with a sense of pride for the Filipino people, especially the artists that had found a place in his wall. These are collections by Juan Luna, sketches by Dr. Jose Rizal to name a few.
To schedule a visit to the Manuel Hofileña Ancestral House, call Mon at (034) 495-4561.
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