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

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


  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.

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