Love, for me, is the strongest force that could bind two individual beings. It is a supernatural feeling that no other researcher could profoundly explain. It is just felt and would always leave its remains for whatever reason.
If Negros Occidental would have been asked of an undying love story for the whole world to tell, the stories of Jack and Rose, Edward and Bella, Christian and Anastasia would be taken aback.
Their romantic story dated back in early 1900s. Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, an attractive wealthy bachelor met the beautiful Portuguese lady, Maria Braga, in Hong Kong. Cliché as the story went, he fell head over heels for her straightaway. Their sprouting feelings went beyond as time passed until they finally decided to tie the knots and lived in a beautiful ancestral house in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. While Maria was still conceiving their 11th child, she accidentally slipped in their room and bled outrageously. Her condition was fragile so Don Mariano sent his horseman to the next town to fetch the Doctor instead.
It took two long days before the horse-drawn carriage reached the said town and another two more days to get back to the couple. By the time it had arrived, Maria, together with her child had unfortunately passed away.
The whole family grieved on the tragic loss and Don Mariano cannot simply bear the pain. So as a way to somehow escape and unload the heavy baggage, he decided to build a mansion, wholly dedicated to his loving wife.
It took three long years just to put up the mansion in the 440- hectare plantation of Don Mariano. The Italian inspired architecture is a mixture of pure concrete and egg whites which then resulted to a marble-like finish.
During the Japanese occupation, it was intentionally set on fire by the WWII Filipino guerillas to prevent the invading Japanese forces from using the largest residential structure as their headquarters. The burning of the mansion lasted for three days.
Up to this day, the Ruins stood strong beating the time that the couple had lost. It clearly depicts the unwavering love of Don Mariano to his wife despite being tested by fate. And just like a sunset, their story might have ended in a sudden but it will always leave an idea to many that sad endings, can also be beautiful.