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.
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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.
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.
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.