Old Bacolod

In between our Iloilo trip, we had pushed for a quick Bacolod visit. Quick meant an overnighter to include our main reason for the visit, a view of the famous Ruins in Bacolod. Getting there was an easy 1 hour and 30 minute fast craft ride (which I slept in the entire time!) via 2go Supercat. To me, Bacolod was more country than Iloilo. I saw hectares upon hectares of sugarcane fields along the wide roads. However, this observation remains to be inconclusive as it was after all, based only on a day trip. A few hours after our arrival, when we finished all the mundane tasks of checking in to our hotel and getting a quick lunch, we were lucky enough to have flagged down a taxi with a driver willing to take us to The Ruins that afternoon. So off we went.

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The Ruins was such a glorious place, as though it was straight out of a movie set. We learned that it was built in memory of Maria Braga, the deceased wife of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson as a remembrance of their love. The hopeless romantic in me breathed in all the history and beauty of the place. It was good timing as well that as we entered the mansion, a guide was about to give a tour of the place. He was a funny man named James Laksoon (no relation to the owners according to him). In fact, his jolly ways of giving the tour have been featured on TV, too!

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He said that the place was burned down prior to the Japanese occupation of the country in order to preserve the place as it was about to be used as headquarters, and this would have destroyed the beauty of the place. The structure is also believed to have a certain glow/shimmer especially at sundown due to the mixture of cement and egg whites used as finishing.

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Needless to say we were in awe of the place, which now has a cafe where visitors can stay and eat while marveling at the structure’s classic beauty.

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As we headed out from the compound, we asked our driver if we could make a quick stop at Silay too. Silay City is where my Grandfather was born and raised, so I thought it would be nice if I could see some parts of it as well. In Silay, we visited another old Negros landmark, the Gaston Ancestral Home otherwise known as Balay Negrense.

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The house is now a museum of old furnitures, artifacts and memorabilia from the olden times. It also had that historic aura which reminded me of high school lessons on Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. The house was a little bit eerie, perhaps since the time of our visit was already around the time the sun set. It is no stranger to this kind of vibe though, since the old movie Oro Plata Mata was shot at this house.

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There are not too many places like these in Davao, so I was glad to have gotten the chance to visit them. Of course, no trip to Bacolod is complete without some yummy food, but unfortunately due to extreme excitement of devouring them, they will not be shown here! Just for keeping tabs though, dinner was at Bob’s and then dessert at Calea, which were both so delish!

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