Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Negros Occidental | The Ruins in Talisay

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL | The Ruins in Talisay
Ruins of Italianate Architecture

No ghost, but like a mausoleum of a decadent past with memories of those who created and called this Mansion home; The Ruins of The Lacson Mansion.

The Italianate Architecture with Neo-Romanesque Columns fascinated me the most. Though I wouldn't consider it an Architectural Marvel, the Haciendas of Negros are really something to behold at the time when Dons and Sugar Barons lay claim to most of these lands. We took less than an hour to explore the place and be fascinated by the History of the Ruins and the opulent family behind it. A worthy side trip if I must say when you are visiting Metro Bacolod.

Tiered Fountain in front of the structure restored to its flowing glory.

Exposed to the elements yet standing strong in its pillars, of Arches lining the corridors and the charred marks left behind. A stone structured ruins leaving awe and wonder to its visitors.

 A Popular Side Trip When In Bacolod

This was an unplanned side trip after an arduous climb in Mt Kanlaon Natural Park. The provisions for our meal plan as campers in the Natural Park combined with the fact that most of us hikers were not really ready to climb this Volcano made us decide to cut our hike short by a day taking a shorter trail as we descended. Now we have an extra time to explore Negros Island. Mt Kanlaon gave me a few bruises and cuts; this had brought down my enthusiasm to explore travel side trips in Bacolod, I was much to eager to take a relaxing trip in Mambucal Mountain Resort in Murcia instead.

It's been a decade since I've been in Bacolod and just listening to the locals speak the Hiligaynon Language is heartwarming. This is my birth tongue although spoken in a different accent as compared to how Ilonggos and Capizenos use it, to a non Hiligaynon speaker there is not much difference. So along with a trek buddy from Manila and two ladies from Cebu that I met in this climb, I instantly became the guide and translator for this DIY trip. It was a good call that all of us are mountaineers; no one cared to complain about a little discomfort; in fact, we were getting excited for an adventure as our early bus ride from Canlaon City arrived in Bacolod.

It was already mid-day when we arrive in Bacolod South Terminal. I've made contact with a Bacolod local friend for instructions in commuting to Talisay, one of the Cities composing that of Metro Bacolod. A jeep and tricycle ride seems easy and really affordable. It's a Monday, our DIY adventure is about to start but as we got off the bus we had to dodge many taxi drivers offering a ride, we vowed not to take any cab to heighten our Bacolod travel experience. Among the throng of Cab drivers though is a lone Tricycle driver offering to drive us at Php 50.00 per pax one way. Considering that he knew there were four of us; I wouldn’t take this ride if I was alone, there is also that transport that we have to consider for our way back to Bacolod and the midday sun. I ask my buddies to take it, with only at approximate of Php 30.00 difference and knowing that we would still need to haggle with a tricycle driver after getting off a Jeep ride. We took the ride, and it proved to be convenient for us, what with our heavy trek bags that we had to carry around.
Entrance Fee for Adults as of August 2015 is Php 95.00 per pax.

Traveling along Bacolod highways in a tricycle hit it home for me; I'm in one of my kindred Visayan place the City of Smiles Bacolod. Same as I remember the place from almost 10 years ago when I was a Communication Student from Jaro Iloilo CIty who came to work on a documentary project; same warmth from locals, same humidly hot city near a port with only a few notably tall structures.

I've heard about the Ruins, but not from when I was a student. As I learned by now, this was originally a derelict structure that was left abandoned to elements for quite some time. It's fairly common in Visayan cities to have abandoned structures that actually have a rich history in them, but I've only seen a few as big as the Ruins of Talisay. I won't romanticized the place in words, our visit was not a good timing after all, but that's the only time we have to spare, to photograph the structure in midday, but as we arrive I instantly recognized the fact that this place is really stunning during golden hours. A lone structure with high beams bare of roofs and ceiling, like an island rising in open fields of well tended gardens; a skeleton of a once opulent piece of architecture.

Hidden from a thicket of tall trees, the structure came in full view for us when we were approaching the Mansions gate. By this time, we have made a bargain with the tricycle driver, he was to give us an hour to explore the place and he would drive us back anywhere in Bacolod that we plan to have lunch. Along the way, we also anticipated paying an entrance fee, we just didn’t know how much would it be by then as we noticed that the amount consistently increases. We paid a hefty Php 95.00 per pax, higher than what was posted in recent blog we read along the way. Its quite expensive if you consider that you won't really do anything in here but take pictures; there was also no guide available to tour us around or blabber about the places history, it didn’t matter though since I was actually familiar with its history or at least the fast facts regarding the original owners who built this mansion. Roger was the resident tour guide that became an online sensation in youtube due to his funny delivery of the Ruins history and architecture. I told my friends that this was originally called Lacson Mansion, the surname of one of Bacolod's prominent families. There were but a few guest with us, after 20 minutes of exploring, we saw the guide finally as he was being bombarded with questions by other guest. It has a nice ring to it though, hearing a story of a noble man building a home for his wife and comparing the place to Taj Mahal or how it took days to finally burn the wooden parts of the structure.

 The Online Post That Said It All

Roger, the resident Tour Guide of The Ruins will tell of this sites history along with his jest of humor.
He's become an online sensation with this.

Note: As of this blog post, Roger is inside the Pinoy Big Brother House.

How To Get There

Getting there is fairly easy since Talisay City is one of the Three Cities that comprise Metro Bacolod. But this may require haggling skills with Cab and Tricycle Drivers if you select this mode of transport. Arriving from anywhere in Bacolod or directly from the Silay City Airport is possible. Consider that the Airport is much nearer to this site than the downtown of Bacolod itself. Drivers will offer a fixed ride especially if its a back and fort trip. 

Note: It maybe difficult to hire a cab when leaving from The Ruins so its common for the Drivers to wait for the guest while they are exploring. Ask for a price for a return trip for convenience.

Commuting Instruction - Since we are arriving in the South Bus Terminal, we can catch a Jeep from there that goes to Northbound Terminal, going to Bata route. Ask the Jeep driver to drop you off Pepsi Bottling Station along the highway, then from there you can hire a Tricycle ride for a one way trip at Php 100.00 directly to The Ruins. The price may vary, again depending on the haggling skills. 

Note: Metro Bacolod has Two Bus Terminals, The North Bus and The South Bus Terminals. This is to be considered if you have plans of going to any point in Negros Island. 

Ang Pala-lagaw's The Ruins of Talisay Photo Gallery
Click this link for the Flickr Album: Negros Island

Twin Neo-Romanesque Columns line up the corridors in a series of Arches.

The first set of stairs to the Mansions entrance way.

Fine details in door frames and Arched hallways.

The initials M M reffering to the original owners Don Mariano Lacson and his first wife Maria Braga are all over the structures corridor walls from floor to ceiling.

It was hot midday outside, the Ruins offered refuge for us to cool down.

On closer look, the structure still has the marks of the fire that consumed the wooden part of the Mansion.

Charred remains of the structure, evidence of the conflagration done during WWII that made this Mansion what it is as of today.

On The Map

Francis Balgos has declared himself a champion of weekend travel warriors, of call center agents who have less time for themselves, he feels everyone of you who has desires to be at two places at the same time, to see the world in their own eyes, to live fully at the best of their years. ...

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