Friday, May 27, 2011

The Ruins (Talisay City, Philippines)

Are you going to Negros Occidental, specifically to Bacolod?  Why not see a very romantic setting - THE RUINS, it's very near Bacolod City. 

The structure of THE RUINS is of Italianate architecture with neo-romanesque columns, having a very close semblance to the facade of Carnegie Hall in New York city. in New England, they often were homes to ships captains. A belvedere, facing west, affords a beautiful view of the sunset in a glassed-in sun room with bay windows.

The mansion was built in the early 1900′s by the sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson and was home to his unmarried children with his first wife, Maria Braga Lacson, a Portuguese from Macau. 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.  The mansion was the largest residential structure ever built at that time and had in it one of the finest furnitures, chinawares, and decorative items, as the father of Maria Braga was a captain of a ship that sailed across Europe and Asia and would cart with him these items. One of their daughters, Angelina,  maintained a beautiful garden of lillies in and around the 4-tiered fountain fronting the mansion, all brought in from abroad.

The wall near the entrance has the pictures of the original owners
One of the sons supervised the construction of the mansion making certain that the A-grade mixture of concrete and its pouring was precisely followed.

The mansion met its sad fate in the early part of world war II when the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East), then guerilla fighters in the Philippines, burn the mansion to prevent the Japanese forces from utilizing it as their headquarters. it took days of inferno to bring down the roof and the 2-inch wooden floors.

To this day, the 903 square meter structure still stands tall amidst sugar plantations and continues to awe both local and foreign tourists.  (Source:  The Ruins Brochure)

The Mini Golf Area

Fountain at the side of the Ruins

Details of the floor
This mirage effect is facilitated by a dark glass table!
The Ruins is a fun-filled area for the entire family.  An 18-hole mini-golf course, laden with blue grass, awaits everyone to test their skills in a friendly game of golf.  A 500-square-meter garden of fruits and vegetables afford the guests with freshly picked organically-grown produce, free from chemicals and pesticides.  Plants are available for sale, along with souvenir items such as key chains, memo magnets, hand-painted fans, eco-friendly bags, etc.  (source:  The Ruins Brochure:  The Burning Love)

They have added a cafe area
The entrance fee to the Ruins is:

From Bacolod, you could take the Bata route:  follow the directions from the corner where you turn to Rose Lawn memorial Park.   Or you may turn on the street just  before you reach Honda.   Go straight until you se the Ruins at your left.  This is a short cut, if you're wiling to pass through the dirt road.    If traveling through a public transport, take the jeep going to Bata until you reach the corner where there is a big billboard of the Ruins, either at Bangga Pepsi or at Bangga Rose Lawns (Memorial Park) and tell the driver to take you to the Ruins.

The Ruins  is a very photographic place, and it's best if you go from 8 AM to 10 AM,  or from 3 PM to 5:30 PM when the shadows are long and the light is golden. It's also nice to take pictures at dusk as  the Ruins have very good lighting inside and out in the gardens.   Many photographers and soon to be weds use the place to take the pre-nup pictures.

Photographer or not, you will surely get excellent pictures from THE RUINS.  I will surely go back there with my beloved to fully enjoy the romantic atmosphere.

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