Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bacolod Tourist Destination: The Ruins

A rather new, but actually very ‘old’, Bacolod tourist site is The Ruins. Situated amongst the farmlands in Talisay City, this heritage site is fast become a very popular Bacolod tourist attraction.

The structure of The Ruins is of Italianate architecture with neo-Romanesque columns, having a very close semblance to the façade of Carnegie Hall in New York City. In New England, they often were homes to ship’s captains. A belvedere on the 2nd floor, facing west, affords a beautiful view of the sunset in a glassed-in sunroom with bay windows.

The Belvedere

The view from the Belvedere at twilight

A brief history of the Bacolod Ruins

The mansion was built in the early 1900’s by the sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson (1865-1948) and was home to his unmarried children with his first wife, Maria Braga Lacson (+1911), a Portuguese from Macau. The mansion was the largest residential structure ever built at that time and had in it one of the finest furniture, chinaware, 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 maintained a beautiful garden of lilies in and around the 4-tiered fountain fronting the mansion, all brought in from abroad.

Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson

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, burnt 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 structure still stands tall amidst sugar plantations and continues to awe both local and foreign tourists. Truly, a picture-perfect backdrop and a magnificent sight to see.

How The Ruins became a tourist destination

After literally being in ruins and practically abandoned, the mansion was left to the elements for several years. It wasn’t until last year, when some of the Lacson great grandchildren who inherited the land where The Ruins sits, decided to develop it. They fixed the surroundings and put up a café where they serve tapas, pasta, beef and lamb dishes and more. They also serve ice cold beer and wine.

View of the Garden

Since they opened last year, a lot of tourists and locals visit this tourist site which is so close to Bacolod. It is only about a 15-minute drive from the center of Bacolod City. It also a favorite venue for photo shoots as the remaining structure and its unique architecture and design details serve as a beautiful and magnificent backdrop.

The fountain and garden which has become a venue for events

The Bacolod Ruins, or Talisay Ruins as it is also called by some, has been a popular venue for Bacolod weddings, special events and parties. The most recent addition to this tourist spot is a mini-golf within the grounds of the site. The owners are continuously developing the area and adding new stuff to do so it will remain a top tourist attraction. Even for the Bacolod and Talisay residents and locals, it has become a place for family bonding activities and fun.

How to get to The Ruins

Option 1: Take the turn at Honda Cars in Talisay City towards the mountains. It’s a 2.4km stretch of farm road from the national highway. (You’ll need an off-road or SUV because the roads are rather rough and unpaved)

Option 2: Take the turn at the PEPSI bottling plant in Bata Subdivision towards the mountains. Enter the narrow road leading to Rose Lawn Memorial Garden, then, turn right and navigate the main road of Goldcrest and Octagon Villages. This will lead you all the way to The Ruins. (Follow the signs going to The Ruins starting from the road you turn into at the Pepsi plant corner)


thomas said...

dear heirs of 'the ruins'...

you have a national treasure...it is splendid, beautiful and from what i can view very rich italianate.

what a responsibility to own such an edifice.

please ensure that it is historically kept and maintained. you might want to scour the neighbourhood for furniture, kitchen utensils, ec.etc. used in that era. buttons, clothes, shoes, anything of that time frame.

i am sure you have travelled the world and seen other foreign national treasures and how they are kept. the dupont homes and gardes in delawae is an excellent example....should any of you be inthat vicinity, it will be worth your while to get ideas.....their longwood gardens is an escellent example of how you can develop a portion of your property.

golf courses are moneymaking but dull compared to what else you can develop the ruins into. PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THAT TREASURE so it can be handed down to generations after you.....

new orleans has a similar history where ships'captains build beautiful antebellum mansions as a result of their voyages and ability to bring home just about anything they wish to own aboard their vessels.

a couple of my classmates are visiting....with cecile piccio.

Ephramar Telog said...

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