Ladies and gentlemen, let me show you the most breathtaking place I have ever set foot on:
The Ruins in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
Photos don't do it justice. Its majesty is utterly awe-inspiring. After a commute through noisy concrete streets, stepping into this place, I felt transported into a whole other elegant, romantic world.
The mansion, as explained by the amusing tour guide, has an interesting history, which makes it all the better. Sugar baron Don Mariano Lacson had it built for his wife, Maria Braga, who passed away with Lacson's child in her womb. Lacson dedicated the mansion to Braga as a testament of his undying love.
|Trivia: What appeared to be E's are actually M's facing each other. |
The M's stand for Mariano and Maria.
It stood until the Japanese occupation, when Filipino guerillas known as USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East) set fire to the mansion to render it unusable as headquarters of the Japanese. The place was ablaze for three days, destroying the solid wooden floors and ceiling.
However, due to the oversized steel bars and the high-grade concrete mixture used in its construction, the underlying structure remained undamaged. Now it is recognized as one of the world's most fascinating ruins.
To complete the picture of perfection, the ruins are surrounded by a brilliantly verdant garden scattered with benches and stone sculptures.
When you're done taking endless photos of the house (let's see if you can stop), you can rent clubs from the souvenir shop and play mini golf...
or do a Harry Potter and play chess on a larger-than-life set.
You can also bring home cute little souvenirs of the ruins from the cafe-slash-gift shop.
|They played a lot of Nat King Cole songs, which set the mood perfectly.|
Afterwards, I felt that we spent too little time in The Ruins. The wonder it inspired in me is incomparable to anything I've felt for a place. I'd go to Negros Occidental again in a heartbeat, just to spend all day here.