What could a traveler expect from Bacolod if the Masskara Festival already had its run? We found out by booking a flight to the City Of Smiles a week after all the festivities we're over.
After embarking from a one hour plane ride from Manila, we were immediately greeted by throngs of shuttle drivers at the Bacolod airport. Apparently, there’s only two mode of transportation out of the airport; it's either we take the shuttle which costs a hundred pesos per person or take a cab which is quite expensive at five hundred bucks. Us being non-gazillionaires, naturally took the cheaper alternative.
The trip to the city took about thirty minutes and the van dropped us straight to the Business Inn at downtown Lacson. Lucky us, we were able to get a plush room for only P1,200. If you are on a budget, you can also get also get one for as low as P800, we however, missed seeing their promo before booking in.
We strolled around a bit afterwards, looking for a place to have breakfast. Since it was still quite early, the only places open were the usual fast-food fares. With our stomachs already protesting, we decided to just get some good ol' Mcdo al fresco style in front of the provincial capitol. And you’d think we’d be hurriedly sampling a genuine Chicken Inasal dish.
After a few hours rest (we skipped lunch), we were on our way to one of the famous spot in Bacolod; The Ruins. We were told that the best time to visit the place was during the late afternoon. The skeletal ruin is at just the right spot as the sun lowers down at the opposite end of the horizon. The edifice literally glows orange as the sun retires down for the day.
To get there from Lacson, we took a jeep going to Bata. We boarded down at the old Pepsi plant; took a tricycle, which cost us 50 bucks, straight to The Ruins. You might also want to get the tricycle driver’s celphone number so you can just text him to fetch you upon departing as the terminal is quite a walk away from the place. Unless you’re brave enough to walk down a deserted road with nothing but corn plantations on both sides and no streetlamps in sight, get Manong’s number.
The Ruins, according to the history posted along its walls, was built around the early 1900’s. It was owned by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson who managed the sugarcane fields surrounding the villa.
During World War II, it was burned down by the USAFFE to prevent the Japanese forces from using it as a base of operations. The house was initially poured with three barrels of gasoline, and when it did not suffice to graze the house, additional fuel was added to bring the roof down and burn the two-inch thick floorings. The house reportedly burned for three days.
If you are a history fan, an architectural geek, or just a plain romantic, you would definitely love this place. The structure's concrete is still silky smooth and the architectural decors perfectly preserved in all it's Neo Romanesque glory. The whole area is not that large, but you definitely would not run out of subjects to photograph.
And if ever you tire out of shooting the Ruins, you can just relax, dine and enjoy the warm glow inside the house. They serve Mediterranean food although we did not get to try out their menu. Pricing looks just about right, and if you add in the ambience, well it's a bargain then.
Talisay City, Bacolod
Ring them up at (0917) 832-6003
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