I went to Bacolod in Negros for a golf tournament and the free time that we had were spent on sightseeing and enjoying their local cuisine especially their batchoy and pancit molo. But we were enchanted by Bacolod's grand ancestral homes which I didn't want to miss. The most intriguing of all the antique homes was The Ruins.
Opened to the public only 3 years ago, The Ruins left a lot of imagination for the visitors. The story behind the Ruins was it was burned down by Filipinos during the 2nd World War simply because they didn't want the Japanese to make it as their headquarters. One can only enjoy the tiles, the huge pillars and grand staircases that were saved in the fire. But in spite of what was lost and saved, you can feel the luxury,
wealth and dwell into the privileged life of the people who lived in this mansion. It has a European touch since the patriarch was of Portuguese descent married to a Visayan.
On another occasion, Father Gaston, a French descendant, hosted a dinner for us in his antique home circa 1935. His long table seats at least 20 people and the tablecloth that was meticulously crocheted by his grandmother was a labor of love. . On the table was our French onion soup waiting to be devoured by a group of hungry souls. This was lovingly prepared by Father Gaston who learned the art of French cooking while living with a french family abroad.
You can see the European flavor in their gardens and architecture. But the inside of the house is uniquely Filipino as shown here when I visited another ancestral home, the Balay Negrense museum.
|where looking out the window is a favorite pastime next to siestas.|