Talisay City in the province of Negros Occidental is a city between two equally culturally-rich city of Bacolod in the south and Silay in the north. The city is not only a home of Minuluan festival but also houses the 12th most fascinating ruins in the world. The RUINS is a must visit place when you visit Negros Occidental. A place considered to be the Taj Mahal of Negros. A memento of a profound love of Don Mariano Lacson to his wife Maria Braga. Acclaimed as the top landmark in the Philippines.
Brief History of The Ruins
Located in the middle of 440 hectares of sugar fields. The grand mansion of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a Spanish-Filipino sugar baron, built the house in honor for his wife Maria Braga, a Portuguese from Macao. The marriage between Don Mariano Lacson and Maria Braga was a happy one. But not until Maria was carrying their 11th child. She suffered a tragic miscarriage which cost both their lives. Don Mariano was in terrible pain when he loses both Maria and the child Maria was carrying. Though life must go on. He build the grand mansion in memory of his deceased wife.
It was completed in early 1920’s. The two story structure has 10 bedrooms and had a floor area of 903 square meters. Resembled that of Italian inspired architecture with neo-Romanesque twin columns. Filled with European and Asian furnishings, eventually earning the reputation of owning the biggest and grandest mansion in the whole province in that time.
TheLacson family had often stood together in the belvedere to watch the beautiful sunset. The floor of the mansion is lifted five inches above the ground to serve as a ventilation. Its amazing facade is comparable to the ones in Carnegei Hall. In constructing the house, Don Mariano’s father-in-law was believed to have played a big influence in the architectural design of the huge mansion.
One amazing fact about the construction of the mansion is that it was mixed with more than 490 million eggs. It causes the great transformation of the structure during sun retreats.
Additionallythe area of the mansion is perfectly manicured flower beds. Imported lilies surrounded the fountain outside the house. I couldn’t imagine how beautiful it is during its early days. The vicinity and the flora is maintained by a Japanese gardener who was also an informant to Japanese Military before the war strikes. The whole garden was intended to Angelina, one of Don Mariano’s daughter.
The Ruins during daytime
Sadly, when World War II strikes the mansion was burned by US Armed Forces in the Far East with Don Mariano’s permission to prevent the Japanese from making it as their base. It took three days to totally burn it down. Finally, when the flames died down the pillars of the mansion, the grand staircase, and some parts of the two-inch wooden floors on the second storey withstood the fire.
The 440 hectares of lands was dived to his 10 children. The mansion went to Mercedes Lacson who married Manuel Javellana from JaroDistrict in Iloilo. Take note that Don Lacson remarried to Conception Diaz from Talisay and had a three additional children.
Today, the land of Lacson’s were bought by Raymond Javellana included the lease where the Ancestral house stands. The ruins of the mansion has turned into a favourite tourist destination here in Negros Occidental. It is not only a best place to celebrate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and even taping. Though not totally restored to its original beauty, somehow, a back bedroom downstairs has been restored to its original state with a night table, a wooden bed and wide windows.
Outside the Ruins is a Cafe which serves Mediterranean food and souvenir shop. A few steps away is an 18 hole mini-golf course for visitors who are more into sports that history.
Entrance fee is PHP 80.00 for adults and PHP 40.00 for students.
How to get there:
From the capital city of Bacolod it would take about 30-45 minutes via cab. You can drop by Bata or PEPSI bottling plant and head East. About 600 meters you will see a cellsite above two storey building. Opposite that building is a sign “This way to the Ruins”. You will enter that narow streat leading you to Rose Lawn Memorial garden. Then follow the small red and yellow signs on the electrical post which will lead you to the Ruins. Also you can ask some locals for directions.
Address: Hda. Sta. Maria, Talisay City, Negros Occidental
Contact Number: (043) 476-4334 / (0917) 832-6003