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Balay ni Tana Dicang, an ancestral home that has become a tourist destination in Negros Occidental, is said to represent the lifestyle of the sugar barons during the late 19th century.
This stone house located on a 6,000 square meter lot along Rizal Street, Talisay City, Negros Occidental was constructed in 1883. It is a 10 to 15 minute trip from Bacolod City.
Before it serves as a lifestyle and heritage museum, Balay ni Tana Dacang is the ancestral home of spouses Don Efigenio Lizares and Doña Enrica Alunan.
It was named after the family matriarch Doña Enrica who is fondly called “Tana Dacana.” She served as barangay captain locally translated as “Kapitana,” hence the name “Balay ni Tana Dicang”or “”House of Tana Dicang.” Doña Enrica raised the family and managed the hacienda after her husband passed away. The family lived at the ancestral home for 117 years making it a testament to Tana Dicang’s legacy. It was given to six of her eight daughters as inheritance and were asked to maintain the ancestral home.
Balay ni Tana Dicang has not been renovated since it was built but it was modified in the 1950s when the balcony outside the dining room was removed ad was replaced with a larger room now with modern glass jalousie windows.
Since the ancestral home has been maintained by Tana Dicang, there are beliefs that if she does not like the visitors, the guests would smell something unpleasant upon their entrance. Hence, tourists of the house are requested to treat it with respect.
At present, Balay ni Tana Dicang turned museum serves a landmark in Talisay City. It has an art gallery that provides tourists public access to its historic relevance and grandeur.
The structure follows a “quintessential style of Spanish-Filipino domestic architecture.” While it is a traditional stone house, it stands on large wooden posts sunk into the ground. It also has wooden walls but it has stone walls with brick and coquina exteriors. Coquina are tiles made of crushed shells and corals to decorate the area. Upon entrance, tourists will be welcomed by a karitela or horse-carriage lane. There is a carosa parked under the ground wooden staircase. It also has 18 rooms showcasing the old furniture of Tana Dicang’s family.
The rooms include formal living room, dining rooms bed rooms, kitchen as well as secret passages and the office of Tana Dicang. It also used traditional construction materials such as narra, balayong and molave as well as capiz shell panes, adding to the grandeur of the century old house. Balay ni Tana Dicang is open to tourists daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours are available from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.