Heritage Sites

A Monument of Love: The Ruins in Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Jul 30, 2014

As I stepped down from the coaster, my eyes were glued to The Ruins.

An Affair To Remember was playing and it made the whole experience more evocative of the times gone by.

I wanted to just lie there on the grass and let the clouds glide and cast different shadows on the ruins.


What remains of the Neo-Roman ancestral mansion of Don Mariano Lacson are its memories and the remnants. The original edifice was built in the early 1900s using steel bars and concrete.


Mr. Raymund Javellana, whose family owns and manages The Ruins, informed us that the mansion’s architecture is different from that of the other ancestral mansions during its time because it was of European-Italian-Portuguese influence. It looked like a ship where the second story had a belvedere which echoed that of a bridge where the captain steers.

Even the designs on the top are shaped like shells.

Why is this so? Sir Raymund said that Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson was married to Maria Braga, who was a Portuguese from Macau. After her death, he sought the counsel of his father-in-law to build a house for his unmarried children. Señor Braga was a captain of a ship which sailed across Europe and America.


It's but sad that no photos or paintings of how the mansion used to look like were left after the house was engulfed in a fire. What remains are the ruins and the stories that have been passed on from generation to generation.

It's also good that this 903-meter structure was spared from being used by the Japanese during the World War II, not only because it was in ruins, but also because it was in the middle of a 414-hectare sugarcane plantation. Who would have known that such a beauty exists amidst the rows of sugarcanes?


The ruins of the mansion are beautiful as it is. Hearing the story behind it from a member of the family several generations after makes it even more beautiful.

I would have wanted to stay longer to witness how the sun setting would cast its magical glow on the structure, but it was starting to rain.

Yet in that brief moment, The Ruins had cast its spell on me.


Madamo guid nga salamat Department of Tourism (DOT) Asec Art Boncato, Alkid, Vanezza and Joyce; Cebu Pacific Air; Michelle Eve de Guzman; DOT Region VI RD Atty. Helen Catalbas, Raymund, Ray and Pam; Ms. Cristine Mansinares, Mayor Monico and Mrs. Puentevella of Bacolod City; Mr. Raymund Javellana of The Ruins.

How to Get There

The Ruins is open daily from 8:30am-9:00pm. Contact 0917-832-6003 or email [email protected]

From Bacolod City, take a 10-15 minute jeep ride to Bata and ask the driver to drop you near the Pepsi Cola plant where the tricycles would take you to Hacienda Sta. Maria and to the entrance of the Ruins.

PAL and other major airlines fly daily to Bacolod City from Manila (50 minutes) and from Cebu (30 minutes).

Cebu Pacific, which sponsored the Davao Media Familiarization Tour, has direct flights to and from Davao City to Bacolod every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

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