The Ruins: Taj MaHal Of The Philippines8:00 AM
for even the phoenix rises from the ashes.
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.
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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 RuiningDon 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 dayThe 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!
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.
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Photos from Stephanie, Lester, Sis Ba, Czar, Pearl