Bacolod, a city in the heart of the Philippines, is a treasure trove of rich heritage and cultural significance. Nestled in the lush landscapes of Negros Occidental, this city is a testament to the resilience and elegance of the Filipino spirit. One of Bacolod’s most iconic symbols of this heritage is The Ruins, a silent but splendid witness to a bygone era. As the sun sets over the sprawling fields, The Ruins emerges from the shadows, bathed in a golden glow that highlights its silent splendor. Standing tall against the passage of time, this majestic structure is not merely a ruin; it is a living story etched in every weathered brick. Originally known as the Mariano Ledesma Lacson Ancestral Home, it was built in the early 1900s by the affluent sugar baron, Don Mariano Lacson, as a testament to his enduring love for his Portuguese wife, Maria Braga.
What was once a palatial mansion, however, met a tragic fate during World War II? In an effort to prevent the invading Japanese forces from using the mansion as their headquarters, it was set ablaze, leaving behind the skeletal remains that we now fondly call the ruins. Yet, the flames failed to consume the spirit and grandeur that define this architectural masterpiece. Walking through the arched hallways and weathered corridors, one can almost hear the whispers of a bygone era. The Ruins exude an air of timeless elegance, with its neoclassical architecture, intricate carvings and sprawling gardens. The remnants of what was once a grand staircase now stand as a silent staircase to the past, inviting visitors to ascend into history. The intricate details of the Italianate design, coupled with the sprawling gardens that surround The Ruins, create a picturesque scene that transports visitors to a different time.
What adds to the allure of The Ruins is the love story that birthed its existence. The mansion was built not merely as a symbol of opulence but as an enduring testament to love. The central fountain, adorned with a marble sculpture of Psyche, reflects the romanticism that inspired Don Mariano Lacson. The mansion’s walls, now scarred by time, once bore witness to the laughter of a family and the echo of grand celebrations. Preservation efforts have ensured that The Ruins stands as a living legacy, narrating the tale of Bacolod’s aristocratic past. Today, it serves not only as a historical landmark but also as a venue for cultural events and celebrations. As the night falls, The Ruins is bathed in a soft glow, creating an ethereal ambiance that captures the silent splendor of Bacolod’s rich heritage. It stands as a poignant reminder that, even in ruins, there is beauty, history and a story waiting to be discovered.