The Ruins (The Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson Mansion)
A relatively new addition to the Negros experience is (ironically) this old mansion in Talisay City which was opened to the public only in January 2008.
The Ruins, as it is known today, was the old mansion of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson (1865-1948). Built after the death of his first wife, Maria Braga, it served as the residence of the sugar baron and his unmarried children. It was the largest and probably the most grandiose residential structure built during those times.
Unfortunately, during World War II, the mansion was burnt by the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), the US guerilla forces, to prevent the Japanese from using it as one of their headquarters. Its roof went down, the once 2-inch wooden floors were incinerated, and its contents were all looted. However, because of its robust A-grade concrete frame, not all were consumed by the fire.
Today, the mansion’s frame stands as a testament of its stately past.
When the sugarcane plantation was divided among the relatives, Pacita Lopez Heredia inherited the 3.6-hectare farmland where the mansion stands. Not knowing what to do with the land, it was offered as a donation to a group of priests. Eventually, the offer lapsed, and Raymund Heredia Javellana, today’s owner, has been continuously rebuilding the place as a cafe and tourist attraction. “It is a work in progress,” he says. “Everyday there is always something new. People who visited before would come back and notice something they haven’t seen the last time they were here.”
The Ruins opens from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm daily. Fee is at 25 pesos per person. It has a cafe inside and a mini-golf course at the back garden for 50 pesos per game. The mansion plays host to various events such as weddings, tours, concerts, movie shoots, and a lot more. For more information, call +63-34-4952790 (landline) or +63-917-8326003 (mobile). You can also email at firstname.lastname@example.org.