The Taj Mahal of the Philippines : Talisay Ruins


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.

Perhaps you want to see my picture of the real Taj Mahal? Click here!

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.

Click here to see images from the Masskara festival in Bacolod!

The roof, is one clearly lacking piece of architecture in this ruined mansion.

The roof, is one clearly lacking piece of architecture in this ruined mansion.

Sorry, I was busy playing with lens flares here. A lot, actually.

Sorry, I was busy playing with lens flares here. A lot, actually.

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.

A small fountain guards the main entrance of the mansion.

A small fountain guards the main entrance of the mansion.

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.

bacolod talisay ruins philippines

bacolod talisay ruins philippines

The mansion ground is also home to a small rest-bar which, among other things, serves a nice little local brew called ‘bogs brew’.

bacolod bogs brew philippines

I have no idea about how it got the name.

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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