The Ruins, Talisay City
– The ruins of the once Neo-Romanesque mansion of the Lacson family have become one of the island’s most popular attractions. Built in the early 1920s, the owner, Don Mariano Lacson, lavished on its construction in an outpouring of his deep love for his wife, Maria Braga, who suffered an untimely demise after the difficult birth of their 10th child – the reason it has been informally nicknamed as the Taj Mahal of Negros.
It was burned by the local guerillas during the Second World War to prevent the Japanese from occupying it. The 2-inch thick wooden floors took several days to burn but the oversized steel bars and A-grade concrete used for the foundations thankfully guaranteed a sizeable portion of the home to survive for succeeding generations to appreciate the grandeur of a bygone era. It is best to visit the site in the afternoon just before sunset, as it changes from daytime colors to an amber glow as the sun touches the structure. The Ruins take on an entirely different and enchanting grandeur as both the grand old home and its manicured grounds light up.