Friday, June 7, 2013

The Ruins

As some of you may know, I have just recently visited the city of Bacolod for the Soroptimist conference. One of our dinners was held in a place outside of the city, in Talisay, called "The Ruins." And it certainly caught my attention.


According to what I've read about the place, the Ruins used to be a mansion owned by sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in the 1900s. Some people say Don Mariano had it built for his Portuguese wife, and his unmarried children lived there. It is said that one of his daughters was in charge of the garden, and that they employed a Japanese gardener just for it. During World War II, however, it was burned by the United States Armed Forces of the Fareast to prevent the Japanese from using it as headquarters. The gardener turned out to be an informant.

Today, the structure stands in ruins, thus the name. But thanks to grade-A building materials and Don Mariano's son's supervision of the building of the mansion, the stone facade is still more or less intact despite the fire. It's now a tourist attraction in Talisay, Bacolod. You can eat there. They made a small eating area inside. It's beautiful at sunset. It certainly makes your imagination run. It is a popular wedding venue in the region, and I can certainly understand why given its romantic history and picturesque gardens. But over its physical beauty, what caught me were the possible stories a place like this could hold.

Would anyone know more about the history of the place? I mean, I've read what the pamphlets and the tourist guides say, but I'd like to know some little known facts about the place, its past, and its owners. If you know any interesting tidbits or rumors about the place, do let me know.

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