Philippines in 3 Weeks (Part 2 of 5)


My Philippine posts aren’t going to be in order. I still have to find out if my hubbie has more pictures of our trip to Surigao and Cebu so instead, I want to share our trip to Bacolod. This was the day prior to our long drive to Cauayan.

Hubbie and I, plus Anna, with Dr. Ric Flores and Dra. Myrna Ortega-Flores (who I fondly address as Kuya and Ate) arrived at Bacolod-Silay airport from Surigao via Cebu early that day. We were met up by Ate Agnes Aurelio, Ate Myrna’s niece.

Ate Agnes, together with her jolly husband, Kuya Boy, took us to see The Ruins, a very popular historical spot in Bacolod. It didn’t dawn on me that this famous landmark, which has been on my list of places to see since I saw “Kapuso Mo, Jesicca Soho” feature it a few years ago, is in the same place we were at. So when they said we were headed there, I got very excited. I probably made everyone in my group’s ears bleed since I talked non-stop about how beautiful it was on Tv and how funny the tour guide was. And suddenly doing a 360 degree turn at my first sight of the place because I was dumbstruck and speechless. It. Was. Breathtaking. The mansion, the greenery that surrounded it, the whole atmosphere of the place – simply stunning.

Despite Roger Lucero’s (a celebrity in his own right) funny narration of the mansion’s history and how it all became, there was still a certain aura of pensiveness about the whole story. It was tragic how Maria Braga died while pregnant with their 11th child. And because of this sorrow and longing for his wife, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson decided to build the mansion in honor of her and where he housed his 10 children. He, on the other hand, remarried and resided in a different home with his new family where he had 3 more offsprings. Three of his daughters with Maria were spinsters. During World War II, with the children’s consent, the house was burned by the Americans to prevent the invading Japanese from turning the place into their headquarters. The roof, the 2″ thick flooring were all consumed by the fire and all that was left were the walls and posts made of superior grade cement. Quite heart-breaking, right?

Walking inside the mansion while listening to Roger, could give you a sense of nostalgia making you wish you lived during that time if only to see what it looked like then. It might have looked majestic.

And as great tragedies always turn out, my phone’s battery was not to be trusted and with all the hassle of packing, my cameras were all in our suitcase so yeah, I have no pictures. Luckily, Kuya Ric will always be dependable. All these photos were taken by him.  If you want to know more about The Ruins, visit their site here.  And lookup Roger Lucero on Youtube.com.  The guy is hilarious!

Let me leave you with this…  Tchau e até a próxima!

The once named “godmother of the Philippine Blogosphere”, Gigi Manaloto-Refugia, known by her pen name “Ate Sienna” has been blogging since 2002 in her old pansitan.net community where she housed famous bloggers.  She now writes about being 50-something and shares her tips on fashion, makeup, skincare, travel, food and thrift-store diving.

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