Information on Silay City, a travel guide to its rich history and heritage, flourishing arts and culture reflected from the mansions to it music and dances, breath-taking natural wonders, and timeless delicacies, that welcomes everyone seeking either the pleasures of adventure or the mysteries of the past. One of the most unique destinations in the the region, Silay City has earned the titles “the Seat of Arts, Culture, and Eco-tourism in Western Visayas,” “Paris of Negros,” “Paris of the Orient,” and “Museum City.”
Silay City shares land borders with Talisay City to its south, Enrique B. Magalona to the north, and Calatrava to the east while sharing maritime borders with Dumangas, Iloilo to its west via Guimaras Strait/Visayan Sea.
I went here for the first time at around 7:00 a.m. on August 29, 2013 with Chenie and Lindsay via Tigerair Philippines.
The appellation Silay is derived from Kansilay, the city’s official tree which grew abundantly in the area.
Silay City is politically sub-divided into 16 barangays.
- Barangay I (Poblacion)
- Barangay II (Poblacion)
- Barangay III (Poblacion)
- Barangay IV (Poblacion)
- Barangay V (Poblacion)
- Barangay VI (Poblacion)
- Eustaquio Lopez (Urban Division)
- Guimbala-on (Rural Division)
- Guinhalaran (Urban Division)
- Kapitan Ramon (Rural Division)
- Lantad (Urban Division)
- Mambulac (Urban Division)
- Rizal (Urban Division)
- Bagtic (Rural Division)
- Patag (Rural Division)
- Balaring (Urban Division)
Founded in 1760, Silay was at the forefront of sugar production at the turn of the 20th century. This golden age ushered in an era of prosperity, where dances, opera, theatre, and carnivals are a common occurence. In fact, the revolution that ended more than three centuries of Spanish rule in Negros was planned in the guise of Silay’s lavish parties. Silay was also famous for its imports of artists and cultural shows. European performers would share the stage with local talents. Thus Silay was made known by chroniclers as “the Paris of the Orient.”
How to go to Silay City
Silay City is host to Bacolod-Silay International Airport (ICAO: BCD | IATA: RPVB), Negros Occidental‘s first airport of international standards. By plane, Silay is approximately sixty (60) minutes from Manila, about three hundred twenty (320) nautical miles. Local airline companies (Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, Tigerair Philippines, and Zest Airways) fly daily to Bacolod-Silay International Airport from their respective hubs, including Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Silay is also accessible by boat and ro-ro from Manila for approximately 18 hours.
One can easily go anywhere in Silay by riding a jeepney or tricycle which cost Php 8.00 per passenger. Jeepneys have fixed routes so ask the driver first. Don’t forget to ask for a discount if you’re a senior citizen or a student.
Places to visit
Department of Tourism declared Silay City as one of the Philippines top 25 tourist destinations. Attractions include San Diego Pro-Cathedral, Cinco de Noviembre Street, Silay Public Plaza, St. Theresita’s Academy, Mount Patag, and the main attractions in Silay are the well preserved European houses. With more than thirty houses declared as historical landmarks, Silay is the second city to have been declared a museum city, next to Vigan in Ilocos Sur. Don’t forget to see the heritage houses in Silay when in the city.
Drop off by the tourist info desk near the city hall and get a map of the ancestral homes.
Eat & Drink
One of the famous places to eat in Silay City is El Ideal Bakeshop located at 118 Rizal Street. El Ideal Bakeshop serves Filipino and international cuisines as well as offering baked goods like piaya, meringue, and barquillos. You can also find the famous Guapple Pie, made of Guavas, the local version of apple pie.
Sunburst Bay Resort in Barangay Mambulac, Silay Pension in Sitio Dacutan Dacu, and Christina Pension House in Barangay V.