I came across several interesting news feeds regarding The Ruins of Talisay, Negros Occidental. Search for the best hotels in Talisay. Seeing pictures and reading the reviews about it got my curiosity aroused and I decided that I needed to see the place up close and personal. Last December 7, I invited my friend Ting to come with me. We left Bacolod around 12:30 PM via Bata Libertad jeepney. Great accommodations in Bacolod City.
Upon arriving at Bata roughly 20 minutes later, we boarded a tricycle going to Hacienda Santa Maria. On the way, we were treated to the vibrant landscape full of sugarcane, which is the main product of the island. Oddly, the road we took is the same road going to the International Airport, which explains the presence of traffic lights in the middle of sugarcane farms! I find it odd as there’s no traffic. A few more minutes and the remains of the mansion came into view.
The Ruins used to be the biggest and grandest mansion in the province. The structure sits on a total of 903 square meters. It was once furnished with the finest furniture, chinaware, and decorative items. It was built in the early 1900’s by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a sugar baron, for his wife, Maria Braga Lacson. It’s because of this similarity that some refer to it as Philippine’s equivalent to the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. There are excellent hotels in Agra.
However, at the onset of WWII, it was said that the guerrilla fighters burnt the mansion to prevent the Japanese forces from using it as their headquarters. Hence it is presently known as The Ruins, stripped of its woodworks, only the columns, stairs and facade remained, to remind us of its former grandeur.
The structure is well kept with lights installed that highlights the facade at night, although Ting and I didn’t witness it as we left early since we planned to catch the last trip of the ferry going back to Iloilo. Look for accommodation in Iloilo City.
In front of the mansion is a multi-tiered fountain that shelters the carps and goldfishes.
The staircase leads to a spacious interior with sets of dining tables where one can experience a glimpse of siesta time as it was in the past. There are memorabilia’s for sale inside. At the back is a colorful and actively maintained garden complete with canals. There’s also a mini-golf course. On the left side is an Italian restaurant. Ting and I tried their Brazos de Mercedes, it’s one of the tastiest I’ve tried so far. The place’s at home environment made us comfortable enough to unconsciously spend more than 2 hours chatting about a wide array of topics.
It’s time well spent. Ting and I left The Ruins at around 2:45 PM, we could have stayed longer but we have a boat to catch.
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