The Ruins - Talisay City Negros

Hacienda Santa Maria, Negros Occidental 6115 Philippines

  • Independent
  • Not Wheelchair
  • Public
  • Outdoor

No Longer Maintained

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“the Taj Mahal of Negros”

The Ruins is exactly that: ruins of an old mansion. In the early 1900’s, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a Spanish-Filipino sugar baron, built the mansion for his Portuguese wife, Maria Braga. They filled their house with European and Asian furnishings, eventually earning the reputation of owning the biggest and grandest mansion in the province at the time. Sadly, it met a violent end. In the early part of World War II, Don Mariano found out that the Japanese were planning to turn his mansion into their headquarters. So he asked Filipino guerilla fighters in Negros to torch his house, just to keep it from the clutches of the Japanese. Others believe (the more romantic perhaps?) that he burned his own house down as he had gone mad after the death of his wife. Whichever version of the fire you believe, it's been told that that it took days to burn down most of the mansion. When the flames finally died down, the pillars of the mansion, the grand staircase, as well as parts of the two-inch wooden floors on the second storey withstood the fire. Architecture remains that attest to a point of history in the town of Talisay. Nowadays, the ruins of this mansion has turned into a favourite tourist spot among folks visiting nearby foodie-destination Bacolod (have to walk off all those calories and sweets). For a fee of P25 (around 60 cents), stone steps welcome guests into what’s been left of a pre-war mansion. The grand stone staircase stands on the left. The banister is gone as well as most of what’s supposed to be at the top of the stairs. You could still climb it, though. Just make sure you’re not squeamish about heights. Inch your way along the cement path, about a foot wide, against where the wall used to be. At the end of it, you’ll be rewarded by a view of the mansion’s front garden, with the fountain that’s lit up at night. Downstairs, a back bedroom has been restored to its original state, with a wooden bed and night table, and wide windows. This used to be the bedroom of one of the children. In the hallway beside this room are framed photos of the family, much like an informal memorial. On the grounds, off to one side, are an outdoor café that serves Mediterranean food, and a souvenir shop that sells everything from refrigerator magnets to T-shirts and bags. A few steps away is an 18-hole mini-golf course for visitors who are more into sports than history lessons. If you look around the remains of the mansion long enough, you could just imagine how it used to look at its grandest. But despite it having no walls or roof, The Ruins still stands silently proud amidst the sugar plantations around it. Much like how its first owner likely stood while it burned.

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Reviewed by
Steven Ang

  • 66 Reviews
  • 16 Helpful
August 29, 2014
Rated 5.0

Even though we've been to this place a lot, every time we visit Bacolod City we never miss drop by this classic Ruin, it's one of the grandest structure I have seen. Even in ruins, it still projects a grand presence in the middle of the vast hacienda.

1 person found this review helpful
  • 38 Reviews
  • 8 Helpful
August 28, 2014

My favorite place to visit when driving to Bacolod. The ruins has a very intriguing history to tell during the Japanese invasion. What's most interesting for me was the pillar that was made with eggs! They now have a small cafe inside for visitors to enjoy the ambiance.

1 person found this review helpful

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The Ruins - Talisay City Negros

Hacienda Santa Maria
Negros Occidental
6115 Philippines

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
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