Nestled in the heart of the Philippines, the city of Bacolod is a place where time seems to stand still and history is etched in every corner. One of its most captivating treasures is The Ruins, a poignant testament to love, resilience and enduring beauty. As the sun dips below the horizon and casts a warm, golden hue over this majestic site, visitors are transported to a different era, where romance, opulence and grandeur converged. The Ruins is the skeletal remains of the magnificent mansion built by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in the early 20th century. The mansion was erected as a symbol of his unwavering love for his Portuguese wife, Maria Braga. Standing tall against the ravages of time and the test of World War II, this structure is now celebrated for its resilience and undying beauty. The mansion’s neo-Romanesque architecture and intricate designs are a testament to the grandeur of its time, while its love story has become legendary, woven into the tapestry of Bacolod’s rich history.
Every year, Bacolod pays homage to this timeless beauty with a grand celebration known as The Ruins’ Revelry. The event, usually held in the month of May, is a vibrant showcase of the city’s culture and heritage, set against the backdrop of the majestic ruins. Locals and tourists alike gather for a week-long celebration, filled with music, dance, art and culinary delights that capture the essence of Bacolod. The Ruins, with its enchanting ambiance, becomes the central stage for this festival, creating a surreal atmosphere where the past and present collide. The Ruins’ Revelry is a unique blend of tradition and innovation, offering something for every visitor. It features cultural dance performances that bring to life the history and folklore of Bacolod, along with contemporary art exhibitions that highlight the city’s vibrant arts scene. The aroma of Bacolod’s delectable cuisine wafts through the air, drawing attendees towards an array of food stalls serving local delicacies, including the famous chicken inasal and sweet piaya.
As the sun sets and the ruins are illuminated, the festival takes on a magical air. The Lights and Sounds show at the ruins is a highlight of the event, a dazzling display that transforms the skeletal structure into a canvas of light and shadow, narrating the love story of Don Mariano and Maria Braga. This visual spectacle is accompanied by live music, further enhancing the ethereal experience of the evening. The Ruins’ Revelry is not just a festival; it is a celebration of Bacolod’s enduring spirit, its rich history and its undying love for beauty and culture. It is a reminder that in the face of time’s relentless march, some things can remain eternally beautiful and continue to inspire generations. For those fortunate enough to experience the magic of Bacolod and The Ruins, it becomes a cherished memory, a testimony to the enduring allure of this timeless city.