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The Chronicle of the Burnt Mansion

Updated on August 18, 2014

The Ruins

The Ruins
The Ruins | Source
The side part of the Ruins
The side part of the Ruins
The Azucarera
The Azucarera

History

Situated in the middle of a 440 hectares of sugarcane fields in Talisay City, Negros Occidental stands the remnant of a grand mansion. Owned by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a Spanish-Filipino sugar baron who was married to Maria Braga, a Portuguese from Macao. Their marriage was a happy one. But destiny seems to be unfair to them when Maria was bearing their 11th child that cost both of their lives. It was a terrible goodbye for Don Mariano's beloved wife. But life has to move on. He still have his 10 children with him.

As a symbol of everlasting love of Don Mariano Lacson to his wife, he built a mansion for her. It was a very huge house resembled that of Italian inspired architecture with neo-Romanesque twin columns where the initial of Mariano and Maria is engraved sideways opposite to each other. It was completed in 1920's. This two storey grand mansion has 10 bedrooms and had a floor area of 903 square meters. It was believed that the father-in-law of Don Mariano played a big part of the house construction and architectural design. The shell like crown of the mansion is his contribution as he is a seaman. The floor area of the house is lifted five inches high to serve as a ventilation. The wood flooring upstairs is a two inches thick, a meter wide and twenty feet long made of hardwood like narra. Imagine how many whole trees were made off the second floor of the mansion. The belvedere facing west upstairs, where the family stood up every afternoon to watch when the sun retreats its glory. The house is filled with European and Asian furnishings that earned them as the grandest and the biggest mansion in the province. The facade of this grand mansion is comparable to the ones in Carnegei Hall. One amazing fact about this mansion is that the cement used in constructing were mixed with egg white serve as binder to make the cement intact. The fountain area outside the house is surrounded with imported lilies maintained by a Japanese gardener. The vicinity of the mansion is filled flora with perfectly manicured flower beds. A few steps away is the azucarera where the family manually made their own " mascobado".

The Ruins at daytime

The Ruins during daytime
The Ruins during daytime | Source

War Times

As the war strikes the Lacson family found out that the gardener they hired was an informant to Japanese Military. With the help of the US Armed Forces they burnt the mansion with Lacson perrmission to prevent the Japanese from making it their garrison. It took three days of inferno before the flames died down. The pillars of the mansion, the grand staircase and the two-inched wooden floor on the second floor withstood the fire. The architecture remains and only now remember as " The Ruins".

After the war subsided the land of Lacson was divided into his 10 children in draw lots. The mansion went to Mercedes Lacson who was married to Manuel Javellana from Jaro District of Iloilo City.

How To Get There

Today, the land of the Lacson's were bought by Raymond Javellana. Althought it was left and only remember as "The Ruins", this abandoned ancestral house is a very popular tourist spot in Philippines. Managed by Roger Lucero who was also a youtube sensation because of his humored tour guiding skills.

The ruins is a must visit place. A perfect location for all occasions. With a very cheap entrance free and accessible location. Off to one side, a cafe which serves Mediterranean food, and a souvenir shop as well. An 18 hole mini golf course in a few steps away for visitors who are more into sports rather than history.

If you came from the capital city Bacolod it is a 30-45 minutes cab ride. Find your way to Bata or Pepsi Bottling Plant and head east.Find the two-storey building with a cellsite about 600 meters away. Opposite to that is a narrow street with the sign " This Way To Ruins " leading you to Rose Lawn Memorial Garden. Then just follow the red and yellow signs on the electrical post which will lead you to the place. You can also ask some locals to lead you to the ruins.

Address: Hda. Sta. Maria, Talisay City, Negross Occidental

Email: ruins@theruins.com.ph / Website: www.theruins.com.ph

Contact Number: (043) 473-4334 / (0917) 832-6003

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