I must admit, I don’t think I’m able to give The Ruins justice in these photos. The famous landmark of Talisay is so much more than what I was able to capture. Since I was in town during Bacolod’s popular Masskara festival, a lot of tourists were there as well so it was a bit challenging to take a proper photo of The Ruins’ entire facade. Even so, one can still imagine how the old mansion must’ve looked like at its heyday.
From what I’ve gathered, this mansion was built in the 1900s by Spanish-Filipino sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson for his Portugese wife, Maria Braga. It was the biggest and most elegant residential structure in the province at that time–with a 4-tiered fountain brought in from abroad fronting the mansion and lavish furnishings from Europe and Asia filling the lavish home. It met its ill fate in the early part of World War II when Don Mariano asked Filipino guerrilla fighters to burn the mansion down to prevent the Japanese from using it as their headquarters. Due to the mansion’s use of Grade A concrete and sturdy construction, it took days for the fire to bring down the mansion’s roof, walls and floors. If that isn’t a testament to just how grand this mansion was, then I don’t know what is. With only its pillars, grand staircase and parts of its two-inch wooden floor on the second storey that remain, The Ruins can still take anyone’s breath away. It certainly took mine. I hear it’s even more magnificent at sunset. I must come back for you, I must.