If there's one place or site that you shouldn't miss while you're in Bacolod City, it's "The Ruins" in Talisay City (near Bacolod). Due to time constraints we skipped the ancestral houses in Silay City and went to the Ruins to spend the last few hours we have there.
To get there from Lacson street, you have to ride a jeepney with "BATA" on the signboard. Ask the driver to drop you off at Pepsi plant (alam na nila 'yun). It's a smooth 10-minute jeepney ride (with moderate traffic). The pedicabs/trysikads use the sidewalk of the Pepsi plant for their terminal. There's a big signage there that says, "The Ruins terminal". The roundtrip fare was 100 pesos each person. The driver will wait for you outside as you explore the Mansion. If you don't like that hassle just take a cab instead.
We paid an entrance fee of 50 pesos, you get a discount if you're a student or a senior citizen. It was drizzling that time and I'm kinda hoping and praying for a clear sky to get a great view of the Mansion.
There were some visitors who were in a bunch and I followed them. I then realized that there was a tour guide/curator inside the Mansion. His stint lasted for 15 minutes with a quick tour around the Mansion. He also narrated a quick history of the Ruins.
We learned about the intimate details regarding the mansion and the family. It has been regarded as the "Taj Mahal of the Philippines" because of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson's love for her first wife Maria Braga. During the 1900's, the sugar baron built the mansion for her even if she passed away already. The concrete structure was a mixture of cement and egg whites, the result was a smooth finish on walls and columns.
Why was it burned? Hmm... I guess you have to be there and be toured by the curator for you to know the real story behind it - first hand. The curator was so good with injecting humor in his spiels which made it more effective in getting the attention of the people.
|two M's for Mariano and Maria|
The best time to go there is during sunset (between 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.) because as the sun rays hit the mansion, it turns into a golden gem. They call it the "magic hour". Too bad the sun didn't show up that day. They also offer "Dinner by the Ruins" wherein you can have your dinner at the garden with a great view of the mansion during the night.
|the fountain and the chimney on the left side for the sugar canes|
We also saw a couple having their pre-nuptial photos taken there. Nice idea right? Too much love going on there. From the historical facts to the engagement pictorial going on, love was (and still is) the prevalent theme around the mansion.
Don't miss The Ruins if you're in Bacolod. It's nice to fall in love all over again. Drama is sometimes good.