The Neo-Romanesque columns of The Ruins are similar to the columns of Trinity Church in Boston and its arches are similar to those of Carnegie Hall in New York City. (Photo from Negros Occidental Tourism Facebook page)
In 2010, I had the privilege of revisiting The Ruins during my senior’s trip (now you can do the math with my age!). As a Negrense who lives just a city away from Talisay City, where The Ruins is located, it is easy for me to get there and enjoy the view, but touring a place led by witty tour guides is always a welcome treat. The experience is always made special because of the useful and note-worthy information they share in the most entertaining way possible.
In that tour, we were guided by Roger, a tour guide known for his wit and effective use of puns, who is now an endorser of a pasalubong shop giant in the island.
From that tour, I learned how The Ruins was built. Tour guide Roger recounted the story of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a Spanish sugar baron from Molo, Iloilo who met a Portuguese woman, Doña Maria Braga from Hong Kong. They had 10 children and were supposed to have 11 but Doña Maria unfortunately slipped in the bathroom during the full term of her eleventh pregnancy, which led to her and the unborn child’s death.
The lighting works in the infrastructure highlights the details of one of the most-visited landmarks in Negros Occidental.
Photos from Talisay City Facebook page
built the mansion for Doña Maria, thus it is called the Taj Mahal of Negros, an immense mausoleum of white marble, built in the 1600s by order of emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife.