The Department of Tourism conveyed its condolences to the family of Ramon Hofileña, the father of heritage conservation in Silay City, Negros Occidental.
“The DOT acknowledges his great contribution to heritage preservation and cultural tourism, especially in his beloved hometown in Silay, Negros Occidental,” it said in a statement Thursday night.
“A trip to this heritage city would not be complete without a visit to the Hofileña Ancestral House where visitors used to be toured by Sir Mon himself. The Annual Cultural Tour of Negros that he organized for 40 years instilled pride of place for Negrenses,” it added.
Hofileña is the owner and curator of the iconic Hofileña Museum, which houses hundreds of priceless works by Filipino artists like Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, and even the young Jose Rizal, among others.
The Hofileña Museum, built in 1934 by the late Manuel Severino Hofileña and Gilda Ledesma Hojilla, was the first heritage house in Silay City to be opened to tourists.
Hofileña was awarded the “Tourism Lifetime Achievement Plaque” by the Department of Tourism – Region VI for his excellent contribution to the Tourism Industry.
Silay Mayor Mark Golez, meanwhile, hailed him for his “life-long campaign to restore and protect” the Negrense Cultural Heritage.
“We truly lost a legend here in Silay City, but we know that an angel is now guiding us in heaven. The City Government of Silay celebrates and commemorates everything that the Late Ramon Hofileña has done and contributed for the City,” he said.
The Hofileña Museum said its curator passed away on July 29. He was 87.*PNA