Here’s a 4-day itinerary for an awesome visit to the City of Smiles!
Day 2: Mambukal Resort, The Ruins, ChinaTown, Bacolod City Hall, Provincial City Hall, SM City Bacolod.
DAY 3: Panaad Park and Stadium, Bong-Bong’s Pasalubong, Hinigaran.
DAY 4: Balay Negrense, El Ideal Bakery, New Silay. Whattatrip!
Here’s another must-see attraction in Negros Occidental. The Ruins is located in Talisay City, surrounded by vast fields and a small local village. The grand mansion was built by Don Mariano Lacson in memory of his first wife, Maria Braga. It had become the residence of the man and his unmarried children, until the World Wars began. During the war, the mansion was attacked and what we see now are the remains of a beautiful structure once standing proud.
It is very fascinating to see a mansion so huge and majestic hidden in the middle of the woods and fields. A notable landmark near the Ruins is the Simborio, the chimney for the muscovado sugar mill the family owned.
The house is so beautifully structured, following an Italian neo-Romanesque style. After its destruction by fire, the mansion was renovated and now offers a fantastic fountain and gardens. I was really awed to see such a majestic architecture, so I took lots of photos.
Noticeable on walls are carved M’s placed sideways. This proves the tale that the house was dedicated to Maria Braga. And since the story is pretty similar to that of Taj Mahal in India, the mansion became popularly known as the Taj Mahal of Negros. I just hoped Maria Braga lived long enough to see how much her husband appreciated her. 😄
So what made the foundations still standing after the mansion was set on fire by the United States guerilla fighters during World War 2? According to the very entertaining tour guide, the house was built using oversized steel bars and A-grade mixture of concrete which includes egg whites! Just imagine how many eggs were used to build the mansion. Lol. 😄 The wealth of the owner is clearly visible on the tiles used as well, a type of floor tiles imported from Europe.
On the first floor are exhibitions of the rooms the way they were thought to have existed before and some pictures of the Lacson family.
To fully appreciate the ancestral house now owned by the Javellanas, my sister and I decided to climb up the stairs and get a full view of the gardens and the surrounding fields. It was scary to walk on the narrow cemented foundation of the building, knowing that behind the plastic cover was nothing and that we could easily fall off with one false step.
You will also enjoy the Cafe and mini-playground located within the vicinity. By the way, entrance is not for free, but the fee is very minimal. It’s all worth it!
If you are lucky, you will get to learn the story behind the ruins and also a little bit of the town’s history from this wonderful guide! He was so entertaining that everybody loved him!
So there! I hope you enjoyed this entry, and consider visiting the beautiful Ruins!
My travel continues and next time, we’ll see the rest of the city! Vi ses! ♥