The Ruins: A Love-Built Mansion of Negros
by Danny Tariman
It was a hectic day for my family. We had been touring around Bacolod City and its neighboring cities the whole day. It was indeed a fun day for our family, seeing beautiful tourist spots in and around Bacolod.
We capped our day visiting the Ruins, a burnt mansion in the middle of a sugar plantation. According to the story, it was built out of the love of its owner, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, for his wife, Maria, who died with their unborn 11th child because of a freak accident.
To immortalize his love for her, Don Mariano decided to build a big mansion in honor of his departed wife, to house his 10 children. It was built using grade-A materials, and finished off with egg whites mixed with cement for a smoother finish. We were shown a series of letter “M” that are engraved on the external walls of the burnt mansion. The letter stands for Mariano-Maria.
As fate had it, during World War II, the mansion was burned by American troops and Filipino revolutionaries to prevent Japanese troops from using it as its headquarters. As the story goes, the fire raged for 3 days until it was totally burned-down to its current state – the ruins.
My cousin who guided us in the tour of Bacolod, recommended that we go to this structure late afternoon to view it with the sun setting down. True enough, the view was very romantic with the amber-colored sun providing a warm glow of the area.
The frontage of the ruins still has that original fountain, still flowing with water. The Ruins is surrounded by very neat and well-kept gardens. During our visit, there were plenty of tourists inside and outside of the burned building. I would hear that the visitors are both locals (from within Negros) and from Metro Manila.
There is also a restaurant/cafe at the side, offering meals and snacks. Oh, I will not forget the freshly-squeezed sugarcane juice that we bought from there. It was so refreshingly-sweet – I was wishing I can buy this drink in Manila too.
At the back of the mansion is a wide green gardens – another picnic area for visitors. At the far-end is a rock sculpture very good for photo shoots.
Oh, what a beautiful place! My family had indeed a wonderful afternoon in this romantic place in Silay City.