Megaworld’s The Upper East House to pay tribute to historic sugar mill

Megaworld is bringing another iconic addition to its 34-hectare The Upper East township in Bacolod City with the construction of The Upper East House, a three-level township showroom that will be designed to pay tribute to the historic institution that used to occupy the township’s current location, the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC), its officials announced Monday, September 26.

The vintage look of The Upper East House takes inspiration from the design of BMCC guest house known then as the “Balay Puti” or “Balay Daku” inside the former sugar milling complex, ” where members of the Araneta family spent their vacations.

It will be the crown jewel of the township that will be a perfect blend of the old and new, and will open to the public in the fourth quarter of 2023, Harold Geronimo, Megaworld Vice President for Public Relations and Media Affairs, said at a press conference.

The expansive township showroom will occupy a more than half a hectare lot along Upper East Avenue just within the curated park beside McDonald’s Upper East, which will open in October, Jennifer Palmares-Fong, Megaworld Visayas vice president for sales and marketing, said.

Beside The Upper East House will be the retrofitted and refurbished century-old BMMC train that used to be the main mode of transport to deliver sugarcanes during the early days of the sugar mill.

A gallery featuring memorabilia from the historic sugar mill will also be the main highlight of The Upper East House.

“We take pride in The Upper East bearing a part of the legacy of its location as the former site of the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company, an institution that played a pivotal role in jumpstarting economic progress in Bacolod City. Today, we continue to honor this legacy as we develop this historic site as Bacolod City’s iconic central business district and once again become a catalyst of progress in this part of the region,” Palmares-Fong said.

Among the structure’s most prominent design features include the silong, which was used in the past for storage and to raise farm animals, and the tukod, a long piece of wood used to hold open, swing-out windows, she said.

Guests and visitors will be welcomed to a spacious veranda and outdoor lounge with water feature fronting the eight-lane Upper East Avenue, she added.

The interior walls will be adorned with decorative wooden panels, while calados (carved wooden screens) and cartouches (decorative ceiling panels) will hang from the ceiling as accents and to help circulate air across rooms, respectively.

The reception walls and partitions will be adorned with solihiya (woven rattan strands), while patterned wooden planks, tiles, and stones will be used across the entire space to radiate retro charm.

As a showroom, The Upper East House will feature model units of the township’s residential developments and sales offices complete with facilities.

Meanwhile, the upper ground floor will also have spaces for retail shops and cafes.

“The Bacolod Murcia Milling Company spurred economic growth in the City of Bacolod. It influenced social development, as well as the political rivalries and alliances in Negros Island, but most specially it drew into Bacolod a lot of population, not only from Negros but also from the entire Panay Island,” local historian and journalist Modesto P. Sa-onoy said.

Continuing its rise as Bacolod’s the city’s first master-planned mixed-use community, The Upper East will soon have its own Megaworld Lifestyle Mall, commercial parks, hotel, church, and other institutional and recreational facilities, Palmares-Fong .

Megaworld also recently announced that Landers Superstore, its first in Western Visayas, will open inside the township next year.*

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