The Ruins, Talisay City: A Gem from the Ashes

The Ruins showcases what is left of the Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson ancestral house Home in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. During its heyday, the mansion was the largest residential structure ever built. It boasted of its garden of lilies in and around the four-tiered fountain on the mansion’s front lawn and the finest furniture, chinaware and decorative items that its owners brought from their travels across Europe and Asia.

The mansion dates back to the 1900s when it was built by the sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson for his first wife, Maria Braga, a Portuguese from Macau whom he met in his vacations in Hongkong. The mansion’s structure is of Italianate architecture enhanced by a belvedere complete with renaissance-type ballustrading typical of the homes of English ship captains.

the ruins

One of Don Mariano’s sons supervised the construction of the mansion making certain that the A-grade mixture of concrete and its pouring mixture was precisely followed. Thus perhaps, the marble-smooth finished walls’ sturdy response to the damage caused by fire when the mansion was torched during World War II by the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East), then guerilla fighters in the Philippines, to prevent the Japanese Forces from utilizing it as their headquarters. The fire lasted for three days annihilating the mansion’s woodwork and bringing down its roof but the concrete structure was able to survive and persist.

Today, the 903 square meter skeletal structure stand proud, amazing local and foreign tourists. From the time that it was opened to the public in January 2008, it has become a favorite venue for wedding receptions, debuts and birthday parties (the rains could really be a downer, though). For a minimal fee of PHP25.00, one could take pictures around the mansion. Its owners, the Javellanas, are continually adding improvements in the place, even setting up a cafe which serves light drinks and snacks (for a fee, or course. And they are going to add some exciting stuff in their menu in the months to come.)

For me, the Ruins is best enjoyed during dusk. What better way than to slowly sip a good cup of coffee (best if spiked) while taking in the beauty of the sunset. The drama! If you stay a little more, you can catch the mansion in its mystic glow bathe with lights and over.

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How to get there:

By private car, you can take the access road beside the Honda Cars Showroom in Talisay City. It’s a three kilometer ride on the pockmarked road (which, makes getting there all the more worth the trip, LOL!). An alternate (and quicker) route is also available through the Octagon Village in Brgy. Bata, Bacolod City. You may call 0917-8326003 for directions or you can brave your way through the village and ask residents for directions.

If you are commuting, you can hire a tricycle, either at Bangga Pepsi or at Bangga Rose Lawns (Memorial Park) and tell the driver to take you to the Ruins. If they don’t know what you are talking about, you can describe the haunted structure of the place, I’m sure, they’ve heard of it. If not, you can tell the driver you are going to the simborio. If unknown still, better call the number above for directions.

Search for hotels and resorts near The Ruins.
Text by Roxie Yap

Photos by Tony Manso

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The Ruins, Talisay City: A Gem from the Ashes by

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  1. emalinda says

    The RUINS caught my attention last night at GMA’s Kapuso Jessica Soho. Goodness!! such a beauty. I’ve been hearing stories about this when i was in Iloilo way back 2008 while attending seminar on AGIA. My regrets, really coz’ i did’nt even bother to inquire and delve further on this beauty. Majestic i should say . Yes— this is our very own Taj Mahal.
    Will be at the Ruins one of these days hopefully.
    To the Ruins guide— you are a marvel!! keep it up! congratulations!

    • Glady says

      That’s a pity. When you’re in Negros, you should not miss visiting the Ruins. Look for Roger so you enjoy your visit even more.

  2. says

    MY BACOLOD TRIP WAS WORTH IT-COMPLETING THE tour at the RUINS. by its history- Don Lacson- dearly loved his wife- such to build the mansion in her honor! Nostalgic/ its beauty turned into ruins- also for the love of country. To prevent the mansion from becoming a garrison of the Japanese Army.
    Nindot! Tsada kaayo- ang structure- . The feeling of being into “their time” is fascinating.
    only we didnt wait till dusk as we were booked for the last trip back to iloilo. i will always treasure my experience here- will broadcast to Cagayan de Oro for my friends to visit RUINS.

  3. Mark Stephen says

    First of all please move the trackbacks at the bottom of the comment/speak your mind section because I find it hard to scroll all the way down just to post my comment.

    2nd. Thank you for posting this wonderful article!! you’re awesome! My future to be wife is planning to go there to have a glimpse of our history and also take some pictures as I will create a photo album to be shown during our wedding and I’m sure that the “RUINS” will add some sweet memory to that special day!

    DO you have any clue if they are open on weekends? I can’t wait to go there as we will experience the beautiful sunset of the ruins and also we don’t want to bring a huge camera will a small camera do the Job to get a good shot of the sunset?

    thank you! Negros rocks! awesome!

    • says

      Hi Mark! Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, the Ruins is open on weekends unless somebody booked the place. In which case, you may call them just to be sure.

  4. gelai says

    We went to Bacolod for a business trip. But I thought that my trip wouldn’t be complete without going to famous places in the province. People told us that the trip in Bacolod will really be incomplete if you will not visit The Ruins. By just asking people how to get to The Ruins, finally the mansion took my breath away! The place is really a must see / visit in Bacolod. The caretaker / tourist guide of the mansion named ROGER was very nice to help us take our pictures. He will also tell you stories of the mansion or the history of it. He made our trip worthwhile. I told him that he’s now part of my timeline coz I was with my partner…we happen to celebrate the 18 years of being friends and hoping to be tied up in the next few years… the trip in the mansion was like a pre-nup photoshoot because of what Roger did to make the photos very memorable to us. Thanks to the crew/staff of The Ruins. May the management keep the beauty of this place and may they also take care of their people like Roger. We will surely come back! And if our wish come true…we will surely have our true pre-nup photoshoot at The Ruins… or might have the wedding done at the mansion. :-)

  5. says

    Who is this ARDEN who seems to have been mentioned in the complaint posted in 2009? Now, it’s 2011 and he’s still rude to visitors. I have missed the visit to the Ruins with my sisters about 3 years ago. But I will surely include it in my itinerary the next chance i’d get to visit Bacolod. Rude staff posted in places like the Ruins is THE last thing Negros needs. I hope the management looks into this serious matter and act on whatever measure is necessary to preserve the reputation of the Ruins. No matter how awesome a tourist spot is, rudeness from staff is a big turn-off for tourists, foreign or local. This is embarrassing!

    • Glady says

      If you are at the Ruins, ask the guide assigned to you and if it’s this Arden you have a chance to correct him or you can politely tell him you prefer another guide. I’ll try to mention this to Mr. Javellana if I bump into him. Don’t let a certain Arden ruin your visit at the Ruins Talisay. Pun intended :D.

  6. ely eclar says

    I have my relatives coming from Manila to visit RUINS as one of their itinerary, as we approach the small booth for the entrance fee,we had some jokes that we were all students for us to pay only 30 pesos and the collector (Mr. Jun Andren ) shouted to us ” Dali-a nyo na, kay ga lingin ulo ko” as he was very angry. We were all shocked and surprised, by his response.Is this how you treat your visitors? I hope the management of RUINS will look into this matter because this might trigger another unbecoming incident which could ruin the reputation of one of the most famous RUINS in the world.

    • Glady says

      Very unfortunate incident. Even if that Mr. Andren is really not feeling well, it’s not an excuse to be bad mannered towards guests. I’ll do my best to forward your comment to the management of Ruins.

  7. therese lacson says

    i realy realy love ruins..super duper nami2 sng ruins nag fieldtrip kmi gna sa ruins and I enjoy..as in love ko nah ang ruins..proud gid ko nga na belong ko sa family lacson..

  8. Kristine Darunday says

    Hi to the administrator,

    just want to ask any information bwt wedding on ruins…I want to know all the details bwt having a graden wedding there…thnx

  9. Carina says

    love this place.. my friends will be coming in from cebu and i’ll be bringing them here. does anybody have the contact # of this place? thanks!

  10. LITO PERALTA says

    We are such a blessed people that we have a rich historical past and having The Ruins shared to so many Filipinos, who are living in Metro Manila such as I myself. I could never forget the excitement and awe that my wife and I felt during the visit. The sight, especially during nighttime, is such an enriching experience. This will not be the last but here is looking to many more visits in the future.

  11. says

    Madamo nga salamat sa information. We will be visiting Bacolod in a few months time and we will surely visit the Ruins in Talisay to see this work of art that a lot of people are talking about.

  12. says

    “..Filamer Christian College had a field Trip on Bacolod Last Feb 16 and Ruins is one of the place we visited….The Ruins is so Beautiful historical landmark in NegrOs specifically in Silay”…Im so amaze its architecture like the stairs, entrance door..mostly especially the fountain.” we should preserve the Ruins…

    • Negros Occidental says

      We’re glad you liked the Ruins. Now that it has become a major tourist destination in Negros, it will surely be preserved by the owners.

    • Negros Occidental says

      Yes, Alvin, The Ruins is another cultural landmark of Negros Occidental in addition to the well known houses of Silay City. We all should appreciate and preserve these landmarks.

  13. says

    may post ka gali about sini? now ko lang nakita sang nagsearch ko about “ruins talisay”. Grabe, top 1 sa serps. hehe.

    actually, kadamu ko na ni nakita ang picture sa ruins. pero wala ko kabalo nga ari lang ni gali sa talisay. toinks…

    gusto ko gid da makakadto…

  14. Glady says

    Yes, the management should address the complaint in order to correct it. I beg to disagree with some points you raised in your comment Edwin. It will be unfair on the part of the owner if we judge them by the attitude of their staff.

  15. EDWIN V. GATIA says

    The sad commentary posted by some people who visited the place is pretty SERIOUS and should be looked upon by whoever is running the place.
    I may be wrong (and you can correct me if you will), but such bad attitude probably reflects the arrogance, snootiness, and condescension of the Negrense “elite” (as they once were . . . )

    Edwin V. Gatia
    Fleetwood, Pennsylvania

  16. Tikalon says

    “I’m really sad about your experience at The Ruins. We were on tricycle when we went there but nobody treated us shabbily. I think you better contact the management and let them know that their staff behaved in such a way. Nobody deserves to be treated that way.”

    Well ang tricycle wheels man na gyapon ah. Hehehe.

    Kidding aside, the staff members have no reason to treat visitors in such a way. After all, the place is being marketed as a tourist destination in Negros. Tsk. Bad.

  17. Glady says

    I’m really sad about your experience at The Ruins. We were on tricycle when we went there but nobody treated us shabbily. I think you better contact the management and let them know that their staff behaved in such a way. Nobody deserves to be treated that way.

    Here are their contact details.
    Mobile: (0917) 832-6003
    Telefax: (034) 495-2790
    Email: lacson_mansion@yahoo.com.ph
    Website: http://theruins.multiply.com

  18. anndee says

    The RUINS itself is a beautiful place…
    once is just a dumping site of people living there…
    but now it’s good that the mansion was once again revived and put to life…
    the only thing that made us irritated is the service provided by the crews or whatever they call them there… it made us burst up into the level that made us realised that the crews are not worth to be there because they choose the customers or tourists…
    In our case, with my fellow friends (five of us) we went there to experience what RUINS is and to appreciate what ‘s in there. We walked a kilometer from Goldcrest Village of Bata, Bacolod City to the Ruins but it’s ok for us because we really wanted to be there… When we already there the crew (entrance) underestimeated us, on the way we looked because we are only with our slippers on… and when the tourist on WHEELS (car) got on he was treated happily and gave him a warm welcome… it’s really unfair… but before that, the crew told my friend that “DAY PAHIGAD KAY ANG SALAKYAN MAY INSURANCE IKAW YA WALA”… on that moment we are starting to burst up… then one of my friend joked that the entrance fee was expensive because we didn’t expect that it’s 35.00 and not 25.00. So the crew gave us discount to make the other one for fee so that we have to pay only 140.00 instead of 175.00 which we didn’t asked for becuase we will pay even how much… so we think for it before saying anything… another disgusting thing is that the other crew commented on us that “KUNG WALA KAMO CAMERA INDI NA LANG KAMO MAGSULOD… which made us really very angry, that’s why we are there to take pictures and stroll…. so one of my friend asked the name of the crew so that we can be sure for whom to look for in case we have the chance to comment or suggest… At first, the crew doesn’t told his real name but my friend convinced him to show his identification and his name is a certain “ARDEN alyas PEPITO”… on that moment my friends decided not to enter the RUINS because of it’s crews… so we just went to the other side of the RUINS which is visible so that we can take a picture for once… Another disgusting thing that we experienced is that when the other crew wanted us to go without explaining anything… so two of our friends walked away, three of us remained without doing anything just have a glimpse of the RUINS from the outside… but the crew forced us to walk away and saying bad things about us like “TIGULANG NA KAMO GAGINAGAGA PA KAMO”, “KUNG INDI KAMO MAGHALIN BATUHON TA KAMO”, and things like that, that made us speak back to defend ourselves…(MALAKAT KAMI AH, INDI LANG KAMI PAG-AMHA NA…, KABALO KA NGA PWEDE KA MAAKUSAR SA GINAPANGHAMBAL MO?…, INDI KAMI MAGSABAT KUNG I-TREAT NYO KAMI IN A NICE WAY)…. so we walked away with hatred and we promise to go back there when we already have our own “WHEELS”, so that we will be treated nicely also… PLASTIC…. The RUINS is a magnificent place… not to mention its crews because “NAKAKSUKA ANG BATASAN”… mga plastic, matapobre, grabe mang-underestimate… the management should know these issue so that the crews will be corrected… instead we will spread the good news about the RUINS, daw nami hambalon “INDI KAMO DA MAGKADTO SA RUINS KUNG WALA MAN LANG KAMO “WHEELS” OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT KAY SITA-SITAON LANG KAMO DA JAPON KAPIN PA NAKATSINELAS LANG KAMO…

  19. Glady says

    Thanks for visiting Aileen. Yes, the Ruins is really a must for photo enthusiasts. It has already become very popular with tourists and now a major landmark here in Negros.

  20. says

    me & my family accidentally reached this place after knowing CICM seminary was closed during the holidays last Dec… truly worth it! really nice photo opp for ilonggo photo enthusiasts =)

  21. Cherry says

    Will this be the mansion that you see from the road going to Bacolod City from Talisay? I stayed in Talisay for two years and I remember whenever we went to Bacolod City…when the sugarcane fields came into view, I would watch out for that big white house. I don’t know if this was the one though.

    Gosh, I miss Talisay! The two years I spent there in highschool were the BEST! I miss my friends there and I have been trying to search for them to no avail :(

  22. says

    the ruins was so cool! just visited it today! and it was a really awesome experience.

    and i really love this kind of gigs. i just can’t explain the feeling of being there. thanks to my cousin camille for taking me there with her. i akways wanted to see the ruins from the moment i knew about it months ago.

    it’s really worth it. won’t cost you much. (winks)
    i have plans of coming back here and bring a better camera. the one we used here is sick. lol. maybe next time with my friends.

    the date on this photo is incorrect.
    i’m wearing the white t-shirt
    from left to right–me, cousin pether (camille’s younger brother), cousin camille, and jules(camille’s bf)

  23. dorie of cebu says

    Hi Glady. We are planning to go to Bacolod before this year ends. We would like to ask from you what other best places to go there? Since we will be just staying for 2 days. Hope you can guide us in order for us to maximize our stay and minimize our expenses. Thanks.

  24. Glady says

    Hi Dorie! For a 2-day trip you can have a Silay heritage tour on the first day then spend overnight at Mambukal Resort.