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!
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.
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.
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.
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 staircase itself is stunning! Wow!
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!
Madam Lilia Villanueva proudly shows us around the beautiful room! She pointed out to us each relief and each animal.
The floor has marble art deco animals! There are monitor lizards, frogs and even unicorns!
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!
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.