Silay City is dubbed as the Paris of Negros because of its European-inspired houses which have been declared historical landmarks, and it is the second museum city in the Philippines next to Vigan. Silay is a center for arts, culture and ecotourism and might be as close as the province can get to the dazzling streets of Europe because of its well-preserved European colonial houses.
A local legend tells of how Silay City got its name. There once lived a princess named Kansilay. An attack on the settlement by pirates was thwarted when the princess bravely led the people in the village's defense. The fight was furious and the princess fought like a seasoned warrior. Murals that used to grace some of the city's public buildings depict her as a fierce fighter wielding a huge talibong, a short native single-edged sword. The pirates were routed, but at the cost of the princess' life. Her paramour arrived in time to see her die. In grief, the people lovingly buried her. To their surprise, a tree grew right over her grave, the first Kansilay tree, a final gift from the brave princess.
The name Silay
The city's name derived from the Kansilay tree. It is also known as the official tree of the city.
The city has many annual and monthly events that were established many years ago which Silaynons and the people from different cities enjoys such as their festival called as Kansilay Festival. Silay's also known for their heritage houses, old antique landmarks and other historical places. The transportation system is good, and a variety of tasty restaurants and good architecture are available for visitors to enjoy.
Silay City has two kind of seasons, the wet season, and the dry season. Silaynon's adapted to this kind of climate. For wet season, they usually bring umbrellas, raincoats, or any water-resistant accessories just to prevent the rain. While for the dry season, they usually put SPF lotions and moisturizers over their body and also bring umbrellas to prevent the sun rays and heat from the sun. It is also one of Filipino's fun traditional activity; kids love to play in the rain and splash and squish on the wate. It's also fun to sunbathe on a beach with the sun. The dry season usually starts in February and ends in April while the wet season usually starts May onward.
Silaynons official dialect is Hiligaynon or Ilonggo while some can talk Tagalog (national language), Cebuano, and Ilokano. Some of the Silaynons can speak fluently in English. Communicating at them aren't difficult so no worries. Filipino people can understand English for it's the second known language in the Philippines.
- Cebu Pacific. Manila, Cebu, Davao.
- Philippine Airlines. Manila, Cebu.
Take a taxi or minivan from Silay airport to Silay city proper on arrival. There are also vans to the provincial capital, Bacolod.
Silay is about 30-45 minutes away from Bacolod. The Ceres bus is 3 times faster than an ordinary bus. There are also buses to/from many destinations including Sipalay, Talisay, Victorias and Kabankalan.
Fares from Bacolod to/from Silay, the bus depends by kilometers. The fare will change without any notice. Students/senior citizen/people with disabilities: ₱13-15 (regular buses); ₱13-20 (aircon buses); ₱20-100 (special buses). Regular fares: ₱15-20 (regular buses); ₱20-30 (aircon buses); ₱30-200 (special buses).
Taxis are the best option for getting around Silay. However, some of them might offer you a fixed price because of distance or because you're a tourist. If they do offer you a fixed price don't accept it, get out of the taxi as soon as possible and look for another one or try threatening the driver that you will call the police as fixed prices are illegal. Always pay according to the meter and keep a close watch at the meter as some of the drivers might cheat you. If you plan to give a tip, round off the fare. For example if it is ₱90, give him ₱100 and also tell him to keep the change. Flag down rate for taxis is ₱40.
Tricycles are small and often cramped for two people; however, they're the cheapest mode of transportation for getting around alone.
From the age of 12-19, the starting point is ₱6-10. From the age of 20 and above, the starting point is ₱8-15. Adults such as parents or working individuals, the starting point is ₱8-20. These fares are from/to all destinations within Silay City only. For further destinations, try buses, jeepneys or taxis. Tricycle fares can change without any notice.
The cheapest mode of transportation if you choose not to travel alone, it is the local version of buses. Don't forget to ask for a discount if you're a senior citizen or a student. Flag down rates for jeepneys nationwide is ₱7, jeepneys have fixed routes. One can easily go anywhere in Silay by riding a tricycle which cost ₱8 per passenger within the city limits only. Riding a jeepney to Bacolod will cost ₱15 per passenger and ₱18 on air conditioned shuttles.
If you have problems to any transportation vehicles when it comes to fares and services, you can call the LTFRB hotline number: +63 34 (426-2515).
The main attractions in Silay are the well-preserved European houses. Every house has its own stories to tell. Silay has 29 ancestral houses officially declared by the National Heritage Commission of the Philippines.
- 1 Bernardino-Ysabel Jalandoni Ancestral House, Rizal St. Besides from European architecture, what special about the house is that it has been turned into a museum and displays an expensive doll collection, and century-old objects like telephones, chandeliers, etc.
- Manuel Severino Hofilena Ancestral House, Cinco de Noviembre St (Near Balay Negrense). The ancestral house is home to the world's smallest doll. It also displays ancient artifacts from the 15th century and a collection of Ramon Hofilena. Adults ₱40, senior citizens and youth ₱20.
- Balay Negrense. Home of the French descent family; the Gaston family, who helped in experimenting Sugar cane production in the province. After the death of their father; Victor Gaston, the family abandoned the house and fell into ruins but during the 1970s concerned people showed their support and repaired the house. The architecture is a typical example of "Bahay na bato" or House of stone, with American-European colonial influences. Today it is a museum containing antiques.
- 2 San Diego Pro-Cathedral. The only pro-Cathedral church outside Metro Manila, its birth was in the 1700s, the church was still made of nipa-palm, bamboo and grass, in the 1800s the church was then made into a wood and stone structure, finally in the 1900s the structure was made into what it is now, the architecture; Lucio Bernasconi (an Italian architect) took churches in his native Italy as an influence and model of the church. It was finished on 1927 also inaugurated in the same year.
- Cinco de Noviembre St. (located at the back of the Silay Public Plaza, near a supermarket named Lopues.).
- Silay Public Plaza. The center of the city. If you are a family, this place is the best place to walk and enjoy with ease.
- 3 St. Theresita's Academy (can be found nearby the Rizal Street.). A private school.
- Mt. Patag. A hiking/mountain climbing adventure you can experience with some resorts you can stay.
- The Mansion. A well-preserved heritage house wherein antique materials can be found.
- Balaring Restaurants and Landmarks
- Doña Montserrat Lopez Memorial High School famous for their old name "Silay City National High School".
- Prince Supermarket, Rizal Street. 8AM-8PM.
- Savemore Silay , Rizal Street. 8am-8pm
- Foodman near Silay Public Market
- Lopues near Manuel Severino Hofileña Ancestral House
- Convenience Store such as 7/11, Munsterific, and Imart
There are some few money changer branches or banks around the city.
- BDO or Banko/Banco De Oro at the front of Savemore Silay, Rizal Street.
- China Bank at Hofileña Subdivision near RUSI or Golden Food Park.
- Eastwest Bank at the side of Savemore Silay, Rizal Street nearby the BDO.
- Savemore Silay at the front of BDO and side of Eastwest Bank, Rizal Street.
There are many kinds of restaurant you can choose from to eat with love and savory coming from the people of Silay. We ensure that all restaurants and food stores are qualified by the government as safe and healthy to eat. You can adjust your budget but with your ₱1000, you can enjoy some good quality food to share with your family or by yourself.
- 1 El Ideal Bakeshop, 118 Rizal St, ☏ . Inside an old Silay building, serves Filipino/international cuisine (try the lumpiang ubod) 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.
- Mang Inasal, Corner Rizal-Burgos St., ☏ . Also serves its grilled chicken here, and customers who dine on the second floor get an excellent view of some of Silay's heritage architecture.
- Silay Public Plaza - if you are craving streetfoods with many different kinds of drinks.
- 7/11, Munsterific, Imart, a convenience store which is open 24 hours.
- Hestia's Restaurant, near the El Ideal Bakeshop, serves various kinds of food.
- Ann Co's Cake, a delicacies store wherein cakes and breads are the products of this cafe.
- Golden Food Park, a fast-food restaurant that serves yummy grilled chicken.
- Greenoz Pizzeria, a pizzeria that serves various kinds of pizza. Near Golden Food Park at Rizal Street.
- Pamilya Grill, a fast-food, family restaurant that serves many kinds of food. Located at Carmella Valley, Rizal Street
- Balaring Restaurants - if you are craving a seafood restaurant, there are restaurants that can be found at Balaring, at Barangay Lantad.
- Convenience stores such as 7/11, Munsterific and Imart. They are selling liquors and beverages throughout the day.
- The Mansion is a heritage-preserved house that is also a cafe. You can buy some coffee drinks and other beverages. They also serves food.
- Kapehan sa Kilid Dalan is a cafe wherein you can avail coffee, liquors, beverages, shakes, and other drinks. They also serve food such as burgers and fries.
- Sunburst Bay Resort, Barangay Mambulac, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Silay Pension, Sitio Dacutan Dacu.
- Christina Pension House, #1 Bonifacio-Locsin Sts., Brgy. V, Silay, ☏ .
- Pegasus Pension House, a pension house at Mckinley Street going to the airport.
- Richmond Inn - you can see it when you arrived here at Silay. Located at nearby Bacolod-Silay International Airport.
SIM cards are sold at all supermarkets and convenience stores.
The are many departments to help you when you are in need of help and there is a youth curfew every night. All around, kagawads or barangay tanods (village watchers) are roaming each barangay where they are tasked to. The night-time ordinance of switching off the lights is applied starting around 10PM.
- Police Station, ☏ , . The police station is 24 hours on-the-line. There is only one police station in town.
- Fire Station (The fire department is next to the Police Station.), ☏ . The fire station is 24 hours on-the-line.
- Hospitals, ☏ . The hospital is 24 hours on-the-line. There are two hospitals in Silay: the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital and the obsolete hospital called Silay Old Hospital. The Silay City Health Office gives you free medical checkup and monitors your daily health.