(THE VICTOR F. GASTON HOUSE, 1898) Cinco de Noviembre St., Silay City
6116, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Yves Leopoldo Germain Gaston, a Frenchman from Lisieux,
is credited for being the first to generate widescale interest in cultivating
sugarcane on a commerical scale. His "Horno Econocomico"
is the precursor of the present day sugar mill which produced prime quality
sugar in its time.
His son, Victor, began construction of the house shortly
after he was widowed in 1898. Together with his brood of 12 children, Victor
took residence a 05 de Noviember St., Silay City, from 1901 until his death
The house was constructed during the heydey of Silay,
then the economic and cultural center of Negros. It is probably one of
the biggest of the colonial homes in Silay. It boasts of 12 bedrooms, six
on each floor, and a basketball court sized living room on the second floor.
Delicately cut and carved wooden panels serve as ventilation between rooms.
The windows are exquisitely etched and overlook sprawling gardens which
undoubtedly were the setting of countless festive events.
Before it was abandoned, the house became the venue for
a ballet school run by one of Victor's descendants in the 1970's. For this
purpose, the partitions of the two bedrooms on the first floor were knocked
down. Since then, they have been left as is.
After a decade of neglect, the house has reemerged with
all of its former opulence and this time, it is not the chosen few, but
the whole Negros that can bask and share it its splendor.