There is something about monuments of remembrance, that captures the human imagination. Like Taj Mahal for instance. Built as a monument by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan for his wife Mumtaz, this mausoleum has had many a romantic tourist going all ooohs and aaahs. During my visit to Bacolod, for the Masskara festival, I had chanced upon an opportunity to visit something similar in the Philippines.
Talisay is a small city, which is part of Metropolitan Bacolod in the island of Negros Occidental, and has no other respectable claim to be visited, except for a decrepit place called ‘the ruins’. It is not a mausoleum, but a rather large mansion which has become somewhat of a tourist destination.
This 10-room mansion was built by a local magnate, called Ledesma Lacson, in the memory of his wife who died during pregnancy. During WWII, the mansion was burnt by the US-backed local guerrillas, who did not want this to fall to the Japanese, lest they use it as a headquarters.
The fire took away the whole roof, but the walls and foundation were left intact. And now, this place is used for weddings, birthdays and other functions in the evenings. And in the mornings, it is open to the tourists.
The mansion ground is also home to a small rest-bar which, among other things, serves a nice little local brew called ‘bogs brew’.
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