The Ruins, The Romance and The Ristorante | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Aug 15, 2014

The Ruins, The Romance and The Ristorante

Tucked in the midst of a sugarcane plantation is my home province's precious gem; a structure created out of love and ruined because of a war, but has lived to tell the tale! It is called The Ruins.

I have been there countless times. I have seen it in broad daylight, in the golden hour, under the night sky and from all possible angles. But there was never a time when I felt I had enough. I just have to go back and embrace its enchantment year after year!  

Perhaps I'm not the only one. 

The Ruins in Talisay

The Ruins
The Ruins in Talisay is the remains of a mansion built by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson for his wife Maria Braga. In the early 1900s, the sugar baron's grandiose abode was the largest residential structure in the province. And during World War II, the mansion was intentionally burned down to prevent the Japanese from using it as their headquarters.

The strong pillars of the mansion endured several days of inferno. Thus, like a phoenix standing in the ashes is a structure now popularly known as The Ruins. 

tourist attraction in Negros Occidental
Negros Occidental's precious gem 

The Ruins is one of the tourist destinations in my province that I visit incessantly. During my recent homecoming, I was able to see The Ruins in all its glory from late afternoon until nightfall. I noticed how it significantly changed from an almost secret spot for locals to a well-known landmark in the Philippines. The entrance fee has been increasing each year, yet it's not something to grumble about as the attraction clearly gets even better. 

The Romance
Despite of having a throng of visitors that night, The Ruins remained spellbinding. A pianist filled the air with classic love songs which added an extra zing of romance to the already romantic ambiance! Visitors can explore the attraction with the help of a tour guide or on their own. It is nice to fully understand the history of The Ruins whilst on a comedic educational tour, but I seem to appreciate the place more when I quietly walk through the century old pillars. I constantly stare at its intricacy as it silently tells me a bittersweet story on love and war.

one of the 12 most fascinating ruins in the world
named by as one of the 12 most fascinating ruins in the world 
Lady at The Ruins in Talisay
see, hear and feel the bittersweet history

Around the old mansion is a sprawling garden with a neoclassical fountain; my favorite spot at The Ruins! Various amenities line the well-manicured lawn. There is a souvenir shop, a cafe and a restaurant across the mansion. And nearby are recreational facilities; a mini golf course and a giant chess board.   

The Ruins is now fondly called by many as the Taj Mahal of Negros. As a believer of fairy tales and ever afters, I couldn't agree more. The Ruins became a prime venue for photo shoots and wedding ceremonies; truly a perfect place to celebrate everlasting love.     

fountain at The Ruins in Talisay
the classic fountain is as old as the mansion
a seating area at The Ruins in Talisay
The Ruins is now a little touristy, but remained enchanting!

The Ristorante
To make the visit even more special this year, we had our family dinner at the Italian restaurant across the fascinating ruins. Most of the guests casually dined al fresco. I guess it is the perfect thing to do when you have a stunning view. But that night, I found the outdoor seating area too dark and too informal for a good Italian meal, hence I chose a table indoor.  

Ristorante at The Ruins in Talisay
Italian Restaurant located just across The Ruins
a quaint Italian restaurant at The Ruins in Talisay
inside the quaint Ristorante

The restaurant is pretty simple. Honestly, I was expecting it to be as charming and as romantic as The Ruins, but it isn't. When we were informed that the meals are prepared by an Italian Chef, I shook off the doubts. It might be a restaurant worth-trying after all, so I ordered Osso Bucco and Involtini della nonna. 

The dishes were freshly prepared and brought to our table piping hot by none other than the Chef himself! It was a wonderful gesture that my family appreciated. The food looked tad ordinary and quite similar as both are tomato-based. Good thing, they were packed with flavors and in ample portions. 

Osso Bucco at The Ruins' Ristorante
Osso Bucco:  a Milanese specialty
Involtini della nonna at The Ruins' ristorante
Involtini della nonna: rolls of pork loin, ham and cheese
family dinner at The Ruins' ristorante
family dinner at The Ruins' Ristorante

I did enjoy my Italian meal at The Ruins' Ristorante, but part of me wanted to finish it off hurriedly. I was restless because I know, behind those walls, glistening under the night sky is this....

The Ruins in Talisay at night
Because to me, it never gets old... just like LOVE!

The Ruins
Talisay City, Negros Occidental 
Contact # +63 34 476 4334
Entrance Fee (as of May 2014): P80/adult

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