The Ruins at Bacolod Province
Ancestral homes are not at all hard to come by in Bacolod Province, but the most famous of them all is The Ruins in Talisay City. The iconic ruin of this once-grand mansion, regarded by many as the Taj Mahal of Negros, is easily recognizable – a huge majestic structure set in the midst of a vast sugar plantation.
Visiting The Ruins takes patience, as it is quite remote and located off the main road. But its grandeur is still evident the moment you enter the gates of the lovely nine-hundred-square-meter property. The mansion was built in the early 1900’s by a Spanish-Filipino sugar baron named Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, in memory of his Portuguese wife Maria Braga. It was the biggest and most magnificent mansion in the province at the time. It met an unfortunate end, however, when Don Mariano ordered the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East) and the Filipino guerilla fighters to burn down the house during World War II, so that it would not fall into the hands of the impending Japanese forces and be used as their headquarters. It took days for the mansion to burn down. When the inferno subsided, the frames, pillars, grand staircase and garden fountain survived – proof of its excellent architecture.
The Ruins today is one of the most picturesque sights in Bacolod. One of the bedrooms was renovated to its pre-war state, and there you will find a collection of photos of Don Mariano’s family. You can simply relax while sitting in the exquisite gardens, or play mini-golf a few steps away. The resident tour guide is highly entertaining as well as informative. The Ruins is especially charming at twilight, with orange lights that give its imposing figure of the mansion a cheery, almost-romantic glow.
Hda. Sta. Maria, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Bacolod Province
(+63 34) 476-4334
(+63 917) 832-6003
Monday to Sunday, 8:30AM to 8PM
Photos and article by Jess Jacutan