The modern world seemed to coat everything with technology and contemporary materials that the millennial would not be able to learn and appreciate the stories of the past through remnants.
Looking to the soul of Negros Occidental, one of the things that made it interesting is its rich and popular “sugarlandia”. And being Filipinos, we normally would tend to be inquisitive about other’s lives and this time, of the Negros clans.
A peek of Balay ni Tana Dicang in Talisay, Negros Occidental would definitely make you nostalgic about how powerful, rich, and influential the clan was. It is an inherited home of the Alunan and Lizares clan that now allows everyone to travel back in time by discovering their lifestyle and story back in the 19th century.
It stands grandly at the heart of Talisay in Negros Occidental where it is also known as bahay na bato. It was built in ca. 1883 in a 6,000 square meter property and its original structure, authentic ornaments and accessories as well as antique furniture and other indigenous items are well-preserved to this time. The Balay ni Tana Dicang has 18 rooms which were mostly bedrooms, the biggest ones are the living and dining rooms. Amazingly, two of these remaining rooms were assigned solely for their regular guests, the late presidents Sergio Osmeña and Manuel L. Quezon who made this home their presidential abode in Negros.
Aside from having two rooms especially made for the late presidents, another interesting part of the house is Tana Dicang’s room that is equipped with a lavatory, private bath, an altar or prayer nook, working table and a secret way to the ground floor. This secret passageway is just a simple square manhole below the bed that paves way to a carriage used most probably in times of emergency. And because CCTVs do not yet exist before, the room also has a peep hole that can view everything going on below, either by the servants or the people.
The centerpiece of the house is the formal receiving area where an old piano greets you together with the bust sculpture of the old couple owners and a few tables and chairs.
Balay ni Tana Dicang is one of the few structures that survived after the wars, ravages and revolutions in the past.