After we all got to sleep–albeit just an hour or so–we left the hotel, drove to the airport (with Google Maps directing us of course ) and fetched the boyfriend’s brother and girlfriend. We got caught in traffic on the way to Silay City but good thing their flight was delayed. As soon as they landed, we entered our next destination in Google Maps and there we were–off to another site!
From the airport, we drove to The Ruins. We picked the first route Google Maps provided because it was the shortest and most convenient from the airport, but boy were we wrong to trust that route. It was indeed the shortest route but it was by far the worst road we’ve ever seen. It was literally like driving on the surface of the moon–it was that bad. It didn’t help that the sun has already set so the boyfriend’s little sister was close to tears. Us girls tried to just laugh at the situation, even though B was pretty nervous for the car–the tires, especially.
After about 30 minutes, we reached the end of the road and saw the entrance to The Ruins. But since it was the place in Bacolod we really really wanted to see, we forgot about the death scare we just experienced and quickly brought out our cameras and took pictures of the place. It’s such a shame we didn’t catch it at sunset–where people say The Ruins becomes all the more magical.
There was a tour guide on site so we just huddled behind a large group of tourists and listened. The tour guide, Kuya Roger, is genuinely funny. He managed to keep his cool even though a lot of the women in the aforementioned group of tourists kept interrupting him with really pointless utterances. Kuya Roger made good use of the situation, showing off his humor and absolute knowledge of The Ruins’ history.
There were a lot of interesting facts shared by Kuya Roger about The Ruins, a mansion built by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson (yes, the Lacson Street of Bacolod City was named after him). Allow me to share the ones that I remember:
- The house was burned down with the family’s consent because they didn’t want the Japanese to use this during the second World War. But how did the Japanese learned about the location of the mansion when it’s in the middle of nowhere? One of the family’s helpers (or was it a farmer?) was tipping the Japanese.
- It took three days to burn down the mansion. But of course, the tiled floors and foundation endured the inferno.
- The very foundation of the house was built with–get this–egg whites. Kuya Roger made us touch the columns and they were indeed smooth.
- Don Mariano only made enough rooms to house his unmarried children. As per Kuya Roger, Don Mariano did not allow his married children to live with them.
- Don Mariano built this for his beloved Portuguese wife, Maria Braga. There’s an inconspicuous letter “M” at the second floor belvedere.
- Don Mariano eventually remarried.
After the short telling of the mansion’s history, we were off exploring the area again. They have a restaurant and a miniature golf course. Kuya Roger took group photos of us–and I tell you, he has a trained eye. He must have taken a thousand of photos already since he knows how to operate all our cameras. He also knew how to angle the shots! Amazing.
We lounged at the little restaurant/cafe they have and with my best friend’s flying recommendation, ordered the Brazos de Mercedes. Siz was right! This really was a delicious slice of cake. It wasn’t overpoweringly sweet. It was fluffy, light and really memorable. They should probably sell this by the roll so tourists could bring home this goodness.
When we left The Ruins, we took the easiest route and went to Lacson Street once more for dinner. We went to this happening little corner called Sorrento and chose Pepe’s for dinner. Ate Debbie told us that they serve really good Beef Salpicao so we ordered away. We weren’t wrong in choosing Pepe’s because we were all really, really happy with everything on our table.
Post-dinner drinking was spent at Sibeeria, a decent bar filled with college kids. Although there were some who look like high school kids—oh well, I was already out partying at 15 too. We weren’t at a familiar bar so the four of us kept to ourselves and stayed near the bar where they serve BZB. We left after drinking two bottles each. It wasn’t our scene.
To be continued…