When sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson had his mansion built for his Portuguese first wife, Maria Braga, I bet he didn’t foresee that it would be intentionally burned down later on. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have made it so intricately beautiful. Not that I’m complaining.

“The Ruins” is just beyond beautiful. While browsing photos of tourist spots in Metro Bacolod online, this was one of the first things to catch our attention. There was something fascinating about this naked concrete structure bathing in the dwindling sunlight. While planning for this trip, we swore we would try to visit it at dusk. And we made it.

The Ruins by Day
The Ruins under overcast skies

Hello, Bittersweet Past

We were welcomed by the staff of the Ruins. Upon seeing our backpacks, they realized we came straight from the airport. One of the guys even joked, “Sir, hindi po hotel ‘to.” It was a good way to start a conversation. They were very accommodating. They even advised us to leave our backpacks at their station coz it was drizzling and they wanted us to be comfortable. We took their advice, and they looked after our belongings since.

Despite the overcast skies, it was still bright when we arrived. We were glad that we were able to see the grandiose mansion ruins still bathing in daylight as we were really looking forward to staying at the place until nightfall. While waiting for the sunset, we killed time by taking lots of pictures although the slight rain was making it difficult.

Inside the Ruins
Inside the Ruins

The Ruins houses a cafe, a restaurant and stores so there were a good number of people inside. Other tourists were exploring the different parts of the mansion.

There’s also a mini-golf course in the area so kids can also enjoy this place.

History of the Ruins

Constructed in the early 1900s, the Ruins was once a mansion that was said to be the biggest residential structure in the area at the time. Sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson had it built in the middle of a sugar plantation for his Portuguese first wife. The architecture is Italianate and its columns neo-Romanesque.

But even this imposing beauty was not spared by World War II. Fearing that the Japanese would use it as headquarters, the United States Armed Forces in the Far East and Filipino guerrilla soldiers set the entire mansion on fire. What was left were the columns, the facade and the floor.

The Ruins by Night
The Ruins by Night

Like eager kids at a theater waiting for the show to start, we sat on a row of chairs in front of the mansion and waited for the sun to set. Our excitement grew bit by bit as the skies slowly darkened and the columns illuminated.

We just sat there with our jaws on the floor. It was a breathtaking sight, slow and sweet.

The Ruins, Talisay City
Entrance Fee: P50 (Adults), P40 (Students and Senior Citizens), P20 (Kids)
Opening Hours: until 8pm

How to Get to The Ruins: There are three ways to get to the Ruins. I’ll start with the cheapest to the most expensive.

  • Walk to the main gate of the airport, to the Guimbalaon-Silay downtown road, and take a tricycle to Silay City downtown. It costs P50 if you’re alone or P10 if you’re sharing the ride with other passengers. From there, take a jeepney going to Bacolod. I’m not sure if this jeepney will pass by the Bata area or if you will need to take another ride going there but you should find your way to the Pepsi Bottling Plant in the Bata area. There are tricycles waiting there that are ready to take you straight to the Ruins, P7.
  • At the airport, take the shuttle to Bacolod and find your way to the Pepsi Bottling Plant and take a trike to the Ruins. Shuttle ride is P100 per person.
  • Take a cab and tell the driver to take you to the Ruins. Fare should be from P250-P300.

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Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice pics. Thank you for bringing us with you in your travels, even if only thru the pics. Know that somehow you would boost our country’s local tourism thru this.

  2. Jec says:

    Very very informative! I’m planning a solo trip to Bacolod this coming October and the details of your trip just helps me a lot. Plus your pictures are just great!

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Thanks for the super duper kind words Jec! Enjoy Negros Occidental! :)

  3. Hi! I’m a travel writer myself, and I was researching online after a visit to The Ruins for an article and stumbled upon your site. Thanks for taking me back!

  4. Zayrel M. Bunda says:

    manami nada subong.. sang una wla pa na ma ubra para tourist destination kahaladlok … maka puli masyar ko liwat heheehe..

  5. Geraldine Carreon says:

    Just a flight away to Negros Occidental is what it takes..

  6. Paula Cerezo says:

    Keep publishing old colonial buildings/structures/ruins/landscapes. Love them. Thanks

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Thanks Paula! I’m glad someone appreciates them! :)

  7. Sana babaan nila entrance fee, mahal ng P60. Tapos makikita mo sa loob may mga plastic chairs and washing machine na parang bahay na may nakatira dun. Nakakasira ng “ambience(?)”, ng ruins feel. Sana alisin nila yun. I was there last November.

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Haha. I didn’t notice the washing machine. But yeah, sana mas mura. :D

  8. been here 2 yrs ago… very beautiful especially during sunset when the lights slowly illuminates the ruins…

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      I agree! It’s really gorgeous during the sunset!

  9. katia says:

    im planning to go there this october can you give me an advice where else to go after seeing the ruins. . . thank you. . .and thanks for posting your picture in ruins.

  10. henry elmaco jr says:

    TOGETHER WITH MY FRIENDS WE WENT TO VISIT THIS PLACE. WE WERE AMAZED OF WHAT WE DISCOVER.

  11. frances says:

    hey there!

    do you think i can do the ruins and mambukal in one day?

    thanks.

  12. Lourdes Cruz says:

    Hi, just want to thank you for your posts on Bacolod, which all came in handy during the planning and actual visit to Bacolod’s various attractions, with special mention to its amazing food finds. More power to your travel adventures!

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Hi Lourdes! No problem! I’m pleased that someone uses my tips, to be honest. haha

      • It was just last year when I and my Tita Pet celebrated our birthdays at The Ruins. It was a “Bring-Your-Own-Baon” get together with all other singles friends. Though we were charged for a corkage fee, we were still happy eating at the newly built picnic huts few steps away from the skeleton building. Facilities are indeed improving from year to year. Aside from birthdays, The Ruins is also a good venue for weddings and reunions. Just don’t forget to bring your fully-charged cameras.

        Reminiscing The Ruins – http://tambay.ph/city-blogs/reminiscing-the-ruins

  13. Guest says:

    Hi, would like to ask if you know someone who can help us see & explore the city at an affordable price? Thank you.

    • Hi! Silay is a very walkable city so I doubt you need help in exploring it. You just need a map.

      However, a guide will surely add a lot of local insights to the walk. Unfortunately, I don’t know any guide in Silay. :)

  14. clarisse says:

    Thank you for the info. We might put the ruins as the last in our list so we could see it both in perfect daylight and at dusk.

  15. julie says:

    somebody mentioned that the fare from pepsi to ruins is 100 each? is it true? actually i’m planning to visit there tomorrow. =)

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