Villanueva Ancestral House: Photography contest!

Did you know that Bacolod and Silay used to be the Paris of the Philippines?  In the past exports of Sugar to the world made people insanely rich.  People built mansions, partied hard like there was no tomorrow.  Those were the good old days. The Villanueva ancestral house is one of the mansions on Burgos Street.  Its hard to believe it but in the past Burgos street was known to be the “street of millionaires”.   The Villanueva house was built in the 1930’s “art-deco” style and was the most modern and beautiful houses in Bacolod. Now the Villanueva house or “Daku balay” will be open to photographers in a photography contest and tours during the Masskara season.  This beautiful house survived World War II, being occupied by the Japanese and is in remarkably good condition.   It has been converted into several offices but the beautiful design and whimsical art still remains.  Head on down to #50 Burgos street where the house is!

The Facade of The Villanueva Ancestral House. It is beautiful and still “ahead” of the times even today.
The verranda looks like part of a ship with the round windows and the roof!

I was shown around by the grand daughter of Don Genoroso Villanueva Sr.  Did you know, Don Genoroso also made the Sta. Fe park in Bacolod.  Yes THE Santa Fe where generations of kids learned to swim and had fun oggling the monkeys and the crocodile.

The Iconic and well beloved Sta. Fe Elephant in the kiddie pool.

I was shown around Daku Balay by the charming and lovely executive directress Mrs Lila V. Villanueva.  The house still has a lot of its original fixtures and metal work.

A door with its art deco metal work and monogram.
This Balcony looking down upon the first floor reminds one of ship! It provides ventilation and is a stunning piece of work in its elegance and simplicity.

Madam Lilia told me that her grandfather had built the house hiring craftsmen from all over the Philippines.  Built in the 1930’s Don Genoroso wanted a state-of the art house with all the modern conveniences.  He hired stonemasons from Romblon and installed beautiful marble floors, walls and ceilings.  If you look at the top photo, that’s STONE, not paint.   The house was built with stone selected for its beautiful color.

Madam Lilia Villanueva stands beside the balcony.

The house was huge and wild parties were thrown there in its hey day.  It also boasted of one modern convenience that NO ONE had at the time.  It had Bacolod’s First ELEVATOR!

The Elevator! Slightly bigger than a broom closet it must have been novel and exciting at that time! The original glass is still there with a beautiful art deco piece of a Filipina woman.

The staircase itself is stunning!  Wow!

The beautiful symmetrical staircase.

The house is filled with lots of beautiful glass pieces like this.  Don Genoroso paid special attention to the family rooms and the billard room which is the most beautiful room in the entire house.  He loved animals and the billard room has especially a lot of whimsical art figures!

Inside the Billard Room facing the entrance. The wall is covered with a whimsical relief of monkeys playing and drinking beer!

Madam Lilia Villanueva proudly shows us around the beautiful room!  She pointed out to us each relief and each animal.

Madam Lilia Villanueva

The floor has marble art deco animals!  There are  monitor lizards, frogs and even unicorns!

An original Art Deco chair from the house. Underneath is the beautiful art deco lizard.
A snake swirls around at the entrance.
The Ceiling of the Billard room is even fantastic! There is a spider with a fly caught in its web. Yes, those are the original pieces from the 1930s!

There’s so much to see and marvel at in the Villanueva ancestral house.  They are opening the house up for a Photography contest on september 28 2013 and tours during Masskara so please do Join!  Details are below! Click to enlarge!   Contact details are below!

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Page 1 of the Official Rules
Page 2 and CONTACT information for those interested to join!
Page 2 and CONTACT information for those interested to join!

If anyone want to listen to the 1 hour long tour.. here it is! https://www.dropbox.com/s/pt1v5z6vmk20tbn/Voice%20001.3ga  Warning! Audio is very faint so you might have to turn up the volume to more than maximum.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Eli says:

    The house, which is actually a mansion, is a grandiose piece of architecture that only Don Generoso Villanueva could conceive and implement, being a visionary and a man ahead of his time. His descendants, like his present grandsons and granddaughters, are very fortunate to have been heirs to this one-of-a kind house, a fitting testament to Don Generoso’s vision and wealth.

  2. Found this blog just browsing for stuff in Bacolod to go eat at. Being both a Gustilo/Villanueva it’s nice to see a lot of the places I visited whenever I was in Bacolod. I can’t wait to go back.

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