Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Best Way to Enjoy Bacolod's "The Ruins"

"The Ruins" is one of the top tourist destinations in Bacolod City, Philippines. It is what remains of a very elegant mansion that a rich sugar planter built for his wife (see the story here:

It is breathtaking both in the beauty of the structure and in the story behind it. However, you can totally miss out on the awesomeness factor if you go there at the wrong time. Here are some tips on how best to enjoy the Ruins.

It is dramatic and haunting and romantic at the same time. We took our time wandering through the garden, and inside the structure. The friendly guides were very helpful and knowledgeable. 

Because it is made of cement, it normally looks like this: 

(Photo from

But there is a special, magical time when it turns to gold. if you go just before sunset on a sunny day, it will look like this....

MAGIC! See the big difference? No retouch, no Photoshop...promise! Just a change in the time of day. The rays of the setting sun touch the cement and make it look golden.  

We were so glad we decided to go there at 4:30 pm just as the sun was starting to set. 

And so happy that the tour guides had tricks up their sleeves for fancy shots like this.  

(And don't you think the all-white shirts were just right for the picture? Glad everyone agreed to wear white that day.)

The magic lasted only a few precious minutes. The atmosphere changed altogether as soon as the sun set.

The darkness made the ruins seem eerie and haunting...

But elegant just the same.

* Major tip for touring Bacolod: spend the whole day soaking up the other sights and eating all the delicacies. Save the Ruins to wind up your day. Bring beer or wine, if you want, for a relaxing prelude to dinner. 

"Life is short and the world is wide." - from


  1. I love the "magic" of the reflection on the water. Good suggestion about wearing all white. :)

    More power to the group and for this blog!

    1. many thanks, LP! and no, that's not water...the guide placed the camera on top of a glass-topped table, so that's us reflected on the glass.