Travels

The Ruins: Taj MaHal Of The Philippines

8:00 AM

There is beauty in the ruins, 
for even the phoenix rises from the ashes.
-LG



The Ruins in Talisay Negros is dubbed as the Taj Mahal of the Philippines. I went there and I was captivated by it's beauty as I was fascinated with its story.


(Click individual image to view in full size)


The Ruins: Taj MaHal Of The Philippines


The love story that built the mansion

photo credit: filipiknow.net

Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson was a bachelor who owned a 440-hectare sugar plantation in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. In one of his trips abroad, he met Maria Braga and instantly fell in love with her. With their family's blessing, they got married shortly after and were blessed with 10 children.

When Maria was pregnant with their 11th child, she slipped on their bathroom floor and bled profusely. With her condition, she couldn't afford to travel so Don Mariano sent for someone to fetch a physician. Unfortunately, though the physician was only from the next town, there were no decent roads yet and the mansion was in the middle of their plantation. So, it took 4 days for them to get to Maria.

Maria and the baby were already dead when the doctor arrived.

Don Mariano was in so much grief when he lost his love. In her memory and honor, he decided to build the mansion. Thus, the title Taj Mahal of the Philippines.

Maria's father helped fund the building and Mariano's son Felipe supervised the construction.

Don Mariano lived in the mansion and allowed his kids to stay too---for as long as they don't marry. 

A Japanese gardener was hired to maintain the gardens but he disappeared just before the war. It was found out later that he was a Japanese spy. 

The Ruining

Don Mariano's mansion was built in the early 1900s. They decided to burn it during the early part of World War II to prevent Japanese forces from using it as headquarters.

The concrete structure remained strong. It's said that it has a really good foundation because the cement was mixed with egg white instead of water. (When you touch it, the surface is really smooth).

Don Mariano wasn't just a sugar baron, he also owned a poultry. (Though honestly, with the size of the mansion, I can't imagine how many eggs they used. And what happened to the egg yolks?! Just me being overly inquisitive and silly here.)

Present day

The 903 square meter structure still stands tall to this day. If you take a closer look at the pillars, the design looks like letter 'E'. They're actually 2 'M's facing each other. Mariano and Maria together til the end.
Source: The Ruins website photo

The top edges of the mansion also feature a shell-inspired decor, which in New England indicates that the home is owned by a ship captain. This design is in honor of Maria Braga’s father, who was a ship captain.

The belvedere facing west enables one to view the beautiful sunset through the bay window. Don Mariano was said to often be sitting in the glassed-in sunroom viewing the ships that come and go along the coastal waters of Talisay.

The floor is an original. Standing on a centuries old tiled floor here!



Aside from the mansion, I was enchanted by the vast garden. The fountain, the old chimney that has somehow grown a tree (due to bird droppings according to the tour guide)... I love it!



There was also soft piano music playing from the cafe just across the mansion. It's perfect for a romantic date.

The Ruins is a real stunner. It's even more breathtaking at dusk.

No wonder it's one of the 12 Most Fascinating Ruins in the World.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

My sweet friends gave me a surprise visit and vacation. I'm glad The Ruins is on the itinerary they prepared. Here's a few snaps of us enjoying the place. 








You can visit The Ruins in Talisay Negros daily. They're open 8:30am-8pm with an entrance fee of Php50 or 1.06 USD. Check here for directions.

Sources:
Travelog Philippines
Choose Philippines



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91 comments

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  1. What an incredible story... very sad and romantic too... I love how it is two M's for the two of them. It's so nice that it has lasted this long even after it was burned... xox

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  2. What a beautiful palace! And the story behind it is so beautiful :)
    xoxo

    Ileana

    Novelstyle Blog

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  3. The places looks so breathe taking, I appreciate the story behind this building,
    my relatives have went one day I'll visit it too <3

    Capturing Life Memoirs | aimeebustillo.blogspot.com

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  4. Oh such a sad story but it looks like a stunning place! The two M's facing each other is so romantic. Lovely pictures xx

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  5. I did not really know that a mansion named Taj Mahal also exists in Philippines. While the purpose for its built sounds similar, I remembered the one that is built for his love Mumtaz Mahal by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in India.
    Enjoyed reading the post. Hope you enjoyed more that what you have expressed. The photos looks stunning, Lux.

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  6. Looks like a lovely place and a nice bunch of friends too! I've always found south-Asian architecture fascinating

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  7. I'd love to visit this place one day! Looks enchanting!

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  8. Wow, what a beautiful place! It's very interesting they used egg white to mix with cement for foundation. I really wonder what happened to egg yolks. Maybe they had many dishes with egg yolks in them :-)

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  9. What a great story. Very interesting. I'm so glad you got to visit there with your friends. I love all the pictures, too. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful week.

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  10. Aaaaah. This is one of the places I want to visit. Hopefully soon, mapuntahan ko siya. :)

    ** Join Love, Beauty Bloggers on facebook. A place for beauty and fashion bloggers from all over the world to promote their latest posts!


    BEAUTYEDITER.COM
    INSTAGRAM @BEAUTYEDITER

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  11. You're lookin' gorgeous there, friend ...

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  12. What a romantic story but 10 children wow. Beautiful building and love the group photos

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  13. Would sure be quite the spot to visit indeed.

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  14. The chimney that has grown a tree - that was beautiful!

    I wonder where are the 10 children now. I enjoyed the love story behind it. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. i had never heard of the ruins before this, so thank you for the introduction! :)

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  16. Fascinating! I love the backstory of this magnificent place. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. What an interesting and romantic story. I love the pictures!

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  18. Yes you are gorgeous.

    I would love to see this mansion. What a sad story though.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  19. So stunning and gorgeous. These shots are breathtaking!

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  20. amazing place, lovely pictures!

    lu | coco&louis

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  21. Lindas imagens amei o look, tenha uma semana abençoada.
    Blog: http://arrasandonobatomvermelho.blogspot.com.br/
    Canal:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmO8csZDARM

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  22. The Ruins are a beautiful place! It's a shame to call them that. ha. You are lovely too. Thanks for sharing these photos with us.

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  23. Wow. Looks like you had a wonderful time exploring. It is so beautiful.

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  24. What an inspiring post, I wish I could visit it!


    xoxo
    www.bellezzefelici.blogspot.com

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  25. Simply awesome to read about Taj Mahal of Philippines. Architecture of the ruin building looks great.

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  26. Hello, Lux! <3

    It's really nice to read a post from a fellow Filipino blogger. Also, this is very informative and I look forward to visiting this place one day! :) I never heard of this before only until now.

    Anyway, do you happen to have a GFC or Google+ or Bloglovin? I'd love to follow your blog! Hope to hear from you soon! :)

    Love, Airish
    Gorgeous Glance
    http://www.airishabella.blogspot.com

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  27. Oh my! Such a beautiful place!

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  28. What a sad story and an amazing ruin! I really enjoy your travel articles like this Lux - more please!

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  29. What a sad story behind the Taj Mahal of the Philippines. Thank you for sharing. Nice photos of you and your friends.

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  30. What an amazing place to visit.

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  31. What a great read Lux - to know the history of a place, how it came to be, and to realize it was birthed in love...is beautiful. Love the pictures of you and your friends. Glad you got to see them and this gorgeous place.

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  32. Hi, Luxie!

    This is a sensational post - a breakthrough for you, in my humble opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed being transported halfway around the world to your region and back in time to learn the history of the manson constructed on the sugar plantation in Talisay, known as Taj MaHal Of The Philippines. Throughout history love has driven people to great lengths and accomplishments. The mansion, built in loving memory of a wife who died tragically, is a great example. It amazes me how the majestic structure has been preserved and has become a popular tourist destination, its elegant architecture, and how a tall tree grew from bird droppings landing at the bottom of that tall chimney. I can imagine the serenity of gazing through the window of the belvedere and watching the ships come and go. It is metaphorical that at first glance the design of the pillars appears to be a series of the letter E placed back-to-back when it is actualy letter Ms reaching out to each other as lovers do.

    What I liked most about this piece was the opportunity to see pictures of you, Lux. I hope you will do this kind of thing more often. Super post, dear friend!

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  33. What an incredible story- and such a beautiful place! I love the pics. :)

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  34. Really interesting post...thx for sharing! xx

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  35. My sister is from the Philippines. I'd love to see this in person some day.

    Cute pictures. :)

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  36. So lovely :)

    Thank you for your wonderful comment on my earlier post :)

    Come and check out my new post Google Plus

    Love
    Akanksha

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  37. this is a gorgeous place! Wow. I will have to add it to my bucket list! I love your smile!

    @spreadingJOY
    Marie
    spreading-joy.org

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  38. Beautiful structure. Sad tat it was ruined during the World War.

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  39. The story sounds incredible and the location is beautiful!
    Love,
    Nilu Yuleena Thapa
    BIG hair LOUD mouth

    ReplyDelete
  40. Beautiful photos and beautiful you! Thank you for the history lesson. Fascinating! Hope your week is awesome.

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  41. Oh I have not been to the Philippines!
    My home country, Malaysia, is right next to it though.

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  42. What a fascinating story and an amazing post! I love the chimney with a tree.

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  43. Beautiful post.
    http://www.thestylegalaxy.com/

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  44. What a wonderful post. It was entirely new to me. An incredible story and lovely, beautiful pictures too.

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  45. I hadn't heard of this place until now but thank you so much for introducing it to me. It really does have an intriguing story and I liked seeing all of the photos. Seems like you had a splendid time in good company.

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  46. I love hearing the history behind amazing places like this one. It's such a fascinating and rich one! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, it really looks like you had a special time there.

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  47. So beautiful!

    God bless,

    XO, Claire

    Http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.com

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  48. Beautiful story and the place looks amazing too 😊

    www.freshfacebeauty.in

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  49. Interesting. Never knew about this place, I love the wrote write up, including the pictures.

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  50. What a charming place! And you look beautiful! Baci, Valeria - Coco et La vie en rose NEW POST

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  51. Oh wow...what a wonderful story!
    I almost feel I've actually been here and seen this magical place - and I really hope I can physically do that someday!

    Thank you so much for sharing this...I so enjoyed it!! :))

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  52. What a great Place! The Pics are beautiful!

    kisses

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  53. Nice photos! And that is really a beautiful garden ♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  54. Wonderful photos.=) Looks like an amazing place.

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  55. What a fascinating and beautiful place! I love hearing the history behind old buildings. Thanks for sharing.

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  56. What a gorgeous building! Thanks for sharing the story behind it! <3

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  57. É verdade!

    Uau! Não sabia da história! Bom, adorei as fotos.

    Ótima quarta!

    Beijo! ^^

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  58. This is very beautiful! Maybe someday I will be able to visit there. Your pictures are wonderful!

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  59. This place looks amazing and beautiful !


    http://www.thequinoxfashion.com/

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  60. I always love a building with a story and its so lovely that he built this is memory of his wife. It's such a gorgeous building too :)

    Rachel xx http://www.thedailyluxe.net

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  61. The power of love! We have a similar building in Malaysia,Kellie's Castle

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  62. Such interesting post, thanks for sharing
    www.alessandrastyle.com

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  63. That looks BEAUTIFUL! Such a fun trip!! :)

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  64. Stunning pictures! Amazing place!
    ♥☻♥☻♥
    Jeanne
    http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

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  65. What a beautiful place! Thank you for taking us there through your lovely photos!

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  66. Loved that post, and what a love story! I'd love to go to the Philippines to visit the mansion! xo, Sophia from http://www.sistersandglitters.com

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  67. Sad story but a very fascinating place all the same. Lovely pictures.

    http://fashionablyidu.com/

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  68. What an amazing place!! So beautiful!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!
    Hugs.,
    Deb

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  69. Gorgeous! Loved the pictures and the architecture. x

    Have a nice weekend,
    Andreea
    http://couturezilla.com/

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  70. What an amazing place and such an interesting history. Thank you for sharing it!

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  71. Amazing post, such an amazing story, it's hard to find place with as lovely stories as this one.

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  72. Awesome post! Hope you had fun!

    visit me too: www.fantailflo.com

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  73. Dear Lux, What a fascinating place and story! I love the pictures of you and your friends. It looks like you had a great visit! I would like to see this place some day!

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  74. You are beautiful. I had to smile myself seeing you so happy!

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  75. This was such a fascinating travel post! How lovely he met his wife on a trip abroad, though tragic the way in which she died. I'm so pleased the ruins are still open to be explored in the present day, and that his story lives on :)

    aglassofice.com
    x

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  76. I REALLY enjoyed reading about this and seeing the photos and I was going to say when I first came here how i think your profile photo is so pretty and then i see more and realize you definitely are so pretty. Fascinating story to read!

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  77. Wow, I didn't know this place exists. It's beautiful partnered with a beautiful story too.

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  78. Wow! This was an amazing post! I had never heard of this place, and I was really intrigued by the love story so beautiful and sad! Incredibly amazing architecture and design. It looked like you and your friends had a marvelous time exploring the grounds, that is wonderful! Enjoyed my visit with you today and sending you hugs :)

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  79. Wow...what a truly beautiful place, Lux! Thanks so much for sharing the beauty with all of the pictures and the amazing story too! What rich history!

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  80. Very interesting story "Taj Mahal of Philippines".

    Regards
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete

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