The Ruins… Philippines Own Taj Mahal

Recognized as one of the heritage sites in the Philippines, the Ruins was once a magnificent mansion of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. Built early in the 20th century, it stood as a testament of his love to his first wife, Maria Braga, who died of an accident together with their last unborn child. This tragic event moved the sugar baron to erect a mansion in memory of his wife. The mansion was surrounded by his more than 440 hectares of sugar plantation and mostly built with the finest material imported from other countries.

It became the home of his children until each got married and had to move out of the house to observe the tradition that anyone who gets married would have to leave the mansion. This tradition was also observed by Don Mariano when he married his second wife many years later. However, the magnificence and beauty of the mansion became a memory when world war II came. All structures that have the potential to be used as a Japanese foothold during the war were burned down through the command of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFE). The mansion was not spared. Stories were told of how the mansion burned for 3 days before the last ember died.

Today, only the solid structure of the 903 sq. meter mansion remained. In 2008, the structure was opened to the public and once again, the love story of Don Mariano and Maria Braga is retold.

During new year’s eve, we took our mama and papa to the site and truly it was ‘a sight to behold!’ Carved on the walls of the structure were the letters M which faced each other. This was done to immortalize the love of Don Mariano and his first wife Maria Braga:

Letters M facing each other on one of the walls of the mansion

The ruins of the mansion:

A view of the four-tier fountain from the first floor of the ruins (and Josh and Danielle)

A closer view of the almost 100 year old water fountain:

Today, the ruins is not only a tourist attraction and heritage site but you can reserve it for your own wedding and other special events and the catch- it’s only a 30 minutes drive from Bacolod City!

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