Negros is the “Sugar bowl” of the Philippines, endless fields of sugar cane with picturesque villages paint the horizon as I travel with anticipation to the Ruins. An abandoned mansion build by sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma around 1900.
This mansion was the largest residence ever build in those days and I’m looking forward to visiting it. In World War II it was destroyed by US Forces and Philippine Freedom fighters to prevent the Japanese army to use the glorious mansion as headquarters. Stories tell that it took days before the inferno took down the roof and burned away the wooden floors.
What is left are the remains, the outside walls, staircase and terraces, and the beautifully restored gardens.
The place that once hold the finest china and furniture brought in from all over the world, is now a 930 foot square abandoned building in a gorgeous setting of landscaped gardens. Many brides-to-be dream of having the wedding right there on this romantic spot that is loaded with history. And some of them even get to life that dream.
As is a couple on the day of my visit. The gardens are being decorated for a huge party and the flowers are put in place already, together with music and lights. It is hard to take pictures without white chairs and tables on it, but I managed.
Setting my picture format to the fullest I can cut out the scenery I want to show and leave the wedding preparations out.
The entrance fee is 95 pesos per person, and you can walk the grounds and the house without limitations except for the upper floor.
The beautiful landscaped open plan gardens hold many birds and dragonflies and are very quiet after the busy and crowded city.
The mansion still looks grand. And it is easy to imagine what it would have looked like in days of glory.