Sunday, March 16, 2014

Amazing Race Christmas 2013, Team KoKo: Bacolod

Warning: Long post, lots of pictures. If you are just piggybacking on your neighbor's WiFi, mahiya naman kayo. LOL!  

Hello, Bacolod!

The trip from Iloilo to Bacolod was fairly short, and it started calmly enough, but it became choppy shortly before we got to Bacolod. Our GoHotel check-in time was 1 or 2 pm, so we just rode a cab going to Starbucks, which is in the corner of Lacson and 18th. Bacolod has relatively wider roads, compared with, say, Iloilo and Dumaguete. And the place seems very clean.

I couldn't remember where we ate our lunch, probably SM or Robinson's. After we checked in, we rested a bit and freshened up. Back in Iloilo, I've mentioned to Derdo that I was looking for some batwan, a souring fruit. She graciously offered me some and asked her friend, Lina, to meet me in GoHotel. I was in the bathroom when Lina came over, and I sent Sharkteeth to meet her; too bad, she immediately left, and S wasn't able to give her our letter of thanks. (Thanks, Ms. Lina!!! Thanks, Derdo!!!) Aside from the precious batwan, Derdo also sent some sweets. I was in sugar heaven! 

So off we went to The Ruins. It was a short ride from Robinson's.
1. Ride a jeepney going to Bata. Fare: ~12 pesos I think. I'm not sure.
2. Alight at the Pepsi bottling plant. There's a trike terminal going to The Ruins. Fare: 20 pesos. 
3. The Ruins entrance: 40 pesos, children; 80 pesos, adults.

Byahe pa lang ang ganda na
Brief history: The Ruins is what remains of the mansion built by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson for his first wife, Maria Braga, a Portuguese. According to the very funny tour guide, Roger, most of the mansion's exquisite decors, furniture, and china were sourced from abroad, as Maria Braga's father, a ship captain, traveled across Europe and Asia and brought with him those finds. The mansion is by itself a beauty and an architectural and engineering marvel. The concrete walls were poured from a mixture of cement and egg whites. Tangent thought: Lagi sigurong yema and leche flan ang dessert nila and ang taas siguro ng cholesterol level nila. During the Second World War, USAFFE soldiers burned the mansion to prevent the Japanese Army from using it as a headquarter. It reportedly took many days before the roof and the floor burned completely. The concrete structure remains up to the present, which I think is a testament to the superb architecture of the time. Or perhaps the egg whites. Hmmm...must be the egg whites.

Facade of the mansion

It was smaller than I expected, but no less stunning. Its beauty stood the test of time and the ravages of war.


A wall of The Ruins is adorned by the framed paintings of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson and Maria Braga.  Aminin...poging-pogi si Don Mariano, right? Aartistahin ang dating, bigote pa lang, ulam na. Hahahahaha! And not surprisingly, Maria Braga is a looker as well.

Plants were allowed to grow inside, which added to the beauty of the place. The mansion's columns and highly detailed arches and cornices are all well preserved. Arrrrggg...Art App and Humanities 101, please don't abandon me now!!!




It boasts of a belvedere on the second floor, facing west, which commands a beautiful and dramatic view of the sunset. Must be nice, watching the sunset, sipping drinks...

The garden and grounds are well tended as well. This four-tier fountain was reportedly brought in from abroad. It now houses a number of kois; they remind me of the ravenous kois in Nuvali. *shudder* There's a mini-golf course and a giant chess set. A covered well is decorated by Christmas knick-knacks.



We left around half past five. Our trike driver was supposed to wait for us, but he wasn't there. Okay lang naman because there are lots of trikes available, just that we wouldn't have rushed had we known na aalis pala sya.


Aren't you wondering why S was furiously taking notes? Well, she was writing her her own account (but we did use the same pictures) of the visit to the Ruins. Oh, my little dork, how I love you and your quirks.


 We ate in Manukan Country that evening. Syempre, chicken inasal. Naglakas-loob kaming mag-order ng oysters. Although the oysters were fresh and delicious, I only ate a few for fear of an upset stomach. I didn't wanna be traveling with an upset stomach, I mean, seriously, who does? I once ate oysters Rockefeller from a restaurant near NAIA, and it made me sick. It happened to me once when I was abroad, and calling it "awful" is an understatement -- I bet the cab driver deemed my behaviour suspicious. Anyhoo, back to the food. We ate in Pacita's (I think), and their chicken was delicious, way better than our local inasal/inato places here in Dumaguete. I was supposed to buy some napoleones, but like I mentioned earlier, Derdo gave me a box.

We were supposed to leave for Dumaguete that night, but we weren't able to. I was quite thankful, actually, that we weren't able to -- otherwise, we would have traveled during the night. Traveling during the day was scary enough, with so many hairpin turns and long stretches of lonely solitary roads, I can't imagine how it would have been had we traveled during the night.

PopCake guarding our seats

Take me home, country road

We were so exhausted when we got home, which was around 2 pm of New Year's Eve. And TheDog was missing. Thank goodness, he was back before dark. So glad to see that white one again -- I missed him so much, akala ko napulutan na ng mga lasheng.

The Ruins
Talisay, Negros Occidental
Phone: +63-34-476-4334
Mobile: +63-917-832-6003


  1. Anonymous5:51 PM

    Was this guy your tour guide?

    How many stuff toys did S bring? I saw two at least in the photos. Or was one yours or the husband's? :)

    the comments box always tells me "Ang URL ay naglalaman ng mga iligal na character". walang ACR?

  2. Yes, that's him! That's Roger.
    Well, she brought Bear-Bear, Piggie, PopCake (the husky), Cutie Bear, and the newest in the menagerie, Giraffie No-Neck. Grabe, sa kanila pa lang, isang bag na. Hahahaha.

    Re comments, I'm not sure. I'm so untechie. What's "ACR"?

  3. Love your photos of the ruins, ha! I haven't been to Bacolod for a long time although I am from there. Makes me miss the place so much!

  4. It's a treasure of a place. I want to go back myself, if only to experience full sunset and darkness. Ang layo lang talagang puntahan (from Dumaguete).


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