The Ruins in Talisay City, Negros Occidental is what remained of the grand mansion that Don Mariano Lacson built, following the death of his first wife, Maria Braga.
Built in memory of Maria Braga, the mansion became the residence of Don Mariano and his unmarried children.
Today, it is a tourist attraction for its romantic, yet strong structures. Many interesting tales and facts lie within the walls and posts that remained of the Ruins.
The Ruins is of Italianate architecture with neo-Romanesque twin columns. The couple’s initials M and M are molded onto the mansion’s posts.
The top edges of the mansion also feature a shell-inspired decor, which in New England indicates that the home is owned by a ship captain. This particular design is in honor of Maria Braga’s father, who was ship captain.
Still in keeping with the marine theme, the second story of the mansion features a belvedere that faces the west. According to the tour guide, Don Mariano would be often seen sitting in the glassed-in sunroom viewing the ships that come and go along the coastal waters of Talisay.
The mansion was reduced to its skeletal frame when in the early part of World War 2, the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), guerilla fighters during the Japanese occupation, set the mansion ablaze so it will not be used as headquarters by the Japanese forces.
The fire burned the mansion’s roof and the 2-inch thick wooden floors but the foundations remained standing, thanks to its oversized steelbars and the meticulous way of pouring the A-grade mixture of concrete.
Indeed, my first impression upon seeing the skeleton of the mansion was that it appeared to be structurally very sound, that it would be easy to bring it back to its former grandeur.
To accomplish the high-quality strength of the structure, the construction had to be done 24 hours, 7 days a week, so that the mixing and pouring of the concrete would be continuous, thus ensuring that the concrete was very compact and that no air got in.
In its heyday, the fountain outside the mansion was surrounded by a beautiful lily garden, which was maintained by a Japanese gardener, who mysteriously disappeared following the burning of the mansion.
Today, it is a landscaped garden, drawing various inspirations, from formal English gardens to Japanese-inspired gardens.
Also outside the mansion is the ‘Simborio,’ the chimney for the muscovado sugar mill of the family’s sugar farm. It is in the mill where the juice of the sugarcane is extracted before transferring them in large vats where juice is heated and then cooled to produce the sugar crystals.
There are also modern additions to The Ruins: the 18-hole mini golf course and newly built toilets that still use the mansion’s original septic tank.
Inside The Ruins is a semi-fine dining restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine and a mini-bar.
The Ruins is open to the public from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm daily. The Ruins may also be used for special events such as weddings, family reunions, etc. There are also camping and picnic grounds, bath houses and a pavilion.
Copied from Lacson Ruin’s Facebook account: Proceed to Bata (Pepsi bottling plant) and turn east. About 600 meters, you will see a cellsite above a 2-story bldg on the left. Opposite that bldg you will see a big sign that says ‘THIS WAY TO THE RUINS’. You will enter that narrow street leading to Rose Lawn Memorial gardens. Follow the small red and yellow signs on the electrical posts which will lead you all the way to the RUINS. We are in Talisay City (next to Bacolod)