The Ruins in Talisay City – Built for the Romantics

We all deal and react differently when one is beset with a loss of a love one. Having our hearts torn by separation from someone we love deeply produces a sudden urge that unleashes a series of actions that bursts our inner rage into the world. In my case - I go along with a few friends at Mogwai in Cubao X and just drink myself to half death. The son of Chavit Singson, after a fight with Lovie Poe went to Hong Kong with intentions of a drug binge trip - well, we all knew how that one turned out.

For Don Mariano Lacson, the feeling of despair brought upon the untimely passing of his beloved wife, Maria Braga, a Portuguese lady he met in Hongkong, was so overwhelming that he ended up building a mansion in the center of his vast sugar plantation in Talisay City, Negros in honor of her memory.

That gesture bridled by love and misery remains alive up to this day courtesy of its ruined structure. A tower might crumble and rot in time but not this mansion that Don Mariano built, its skeletal remains has not diminished its glory, rather it brought forth a more interesting aspect to it and has attracted curiosity among both history and romance lovers. FYI: I am more of a history lover than bullshit tales of romance Hah!

My friend Dee, accompanied me to The Ruins - from Bacolod City, we took a short jeepney ride and a tricycle through a residential area in Octagon Village in Brgy. Bata. This neo-Romanesque mansion became the resident of the lonely sugar baron, Don Mariano and his children and soon became a popular place in Talisay City as the site of numerous social occasions attended by the who's who of that time. Imagine a party held at the spacious garden beside the mansion with guests sipping wines dressed in early 1900's fashion and little kids frolicking around with maids and butlers romancing by the fountain.

Life was so good back then I would imagine as I'm sure the emptiness that Don Mariano felt has somehow diminished just by setting refuge and shelter in this 900 square meter house that stands 2 storeys high highlighted by its strong structures, a grand staircase and wide skeletal windows, sitting by the window smoking a pipe and watching as the ships sails pass and disappears over the Talisay coastline.


George Estregan errm I mean Don Mariano and Maria Braga.

The Mansion met its demise in early World War II as the Filipinos and American troops were forced into retreat by the advancing Japanese Imperial Army, the Americans wary that the mansion will be transformed into a headquarters by the Japanese, burned down the mansion to avoid it being used as a strategic base of Japanese operation in Negros.

 We went there during a cloudy mid-afternoon that makes it impossible for me to get a good looking sky to complement as a background for this scenic mansion ruin. Nevertheless, the absence of a blue sky proved symbolic to this ruin - it may lack its original fervor and spirit nowadays but its story remains forever - as to its origin and history serves as an inspiring tale for the romantics in all of us.

Here is a photograph of me - taken by my friend Dee, while I try hard to make my own impersonation of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. - just like the sugar baron, I'm still waiting for my Dona Maria Braga.