Thursday, October 21, 2010

Side Trip: The Ruins (Talisay City, Negros Occidental)

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For more photos of The Ruins, pls. visit my Facebook album by clicking this link The Ruins.

When I was still in Bacolod, I made a side trip to Talisay City where The Ruins is located. This wonderful structure belongs to the Lacson family of Negros Occidental.

I wanted the completely capture the wonderful story behind The Ruins for this blog. Below is the article from the brochure I bought at The Ruins. This will provide the readers a comprehensive story behind this structure for better appreciation.


“For Burning Love – Born to Lucio Lacson and Clara Ledesma in 1865, Mariano Lacson was the youngest of the eight. One of his brothers was the revolutionary general, Aniceto.

The bachelor mariano was an avid traveller even then. In one of his visits to Hong Kong, he met and fell in love with a Portuguese lady from Macau. Her name was Maria Braga. The fairy tale romance culminated in marriage.

Mariano and Maria had 10 children. In 1911, while nearing the full term of her 11th pregnancy, Maria had an accident. Both mother and child were lost.

Heartbroken and inconsolable, Mariano decided to build a mansion in remembrance of Maria, right in the middle of his 440-hectare sugar plantation in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. It was, in fact, designed to be a monument to their enduring love affair.


Maria’s father, a ship captain, introduced European architectural influences into the design of the mansion, from the over-all Italianate inspiration to the shell details on the roof. The structure of the house was of solid concrete. Interior floors were dressed either in tiles imported from Spain or 20-meter-long hard wood planks that were cut a meter wide.

Until the eve of World War II, the mansion served as residence of Mariano and all of his unmarried children.

Mariano set the rule that as soon as his children married, they should leave the mansion. Mariano himself would abide by it, moving to a cottage nearby when he decided to remarry years later.

The bombs of the world war eventually fell. As dedicated by the exigencies of the time, the United States Armed Forces in the Far East, or USAFFE, recruited guerrilla soldiers and instructed them to burn down structures that might be used as headquarters by the Japanese. 



Eyewitnesses recount, the mansion of Mariano Lacson smoldered continuously for three days, but the fire would not consume all of it, leaving behind remainders of a glorious past, and the lovers' two initials, this time as if seared and branded on every post of the house." 

Travel Tips:
- There's no direct transportation going to The Ruins.
- 2 options: Either you hire a private vehicle or cab at Bacolod City to bring you to the place -OR- ride a jeep going to Talisay and hire a tricycle. The second option is much cheaper, jeep fare is around P10-P15 and the tricycle will cost you around P100-P150 (with proper negotiation of course) going to The Ruins and back. But if you are not a lone traveler, option no. 1 is recommended.
- Travel time from Bacolod City to The Ruins is around 45mins-1 hr.
- The road going to The Ruins used to be bumpy, but an alternate route was already made available.
- Entrance fee is P25.
- The best time to go is during the late afternoon, before the sun sets. The entire structure will turn gold because of the setting sun.
- The Ruins is also a gourmet restaurant that offers fine dining. 

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