When Raymund Javellana moved back to help run the family’s sugar farms in Bacolod in 2005, he thought that it was “pay back time and I must help promote tourism in my hometown.”

A member of the prominent Lacson-Javellana and Lopez-Heredia families, he inherited a farm with a burnt mansion, which he transformed into a tourist attraction known as The Ruins in January 2003. Today, The Ruins is one of the most sought after tourist attractions in the island and has been called “one of the most fascinating ruins in the world”.

Raymund, together with a friend, is also in the inbound tour business and has developed exciting journeys that will give visitors a rare glimpse of Bacolod’s beauty, culture, food, and products, as well as its sugar industry and world class golf courses.

Here he brings us on a visual tour of his Bacolod, his SM.

 
“When I first saw the ruins, I was moved to give justice to the structure, which was left abandoned since it was burned in 1942.  In early 2007, I began work on the landscaping of the garden surrounding the mansion, and the rehabilitation of the four-tier fountain fronting the main entrance. The Ruins opened in January 2008, and the rest, they say, is history.”

The Ruins is the burnt mansion of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a structure, which he built in memory of his wife, Maria Braga, a Portuguese from Macau. Abandoned and left isolated through the ravages of time, it was burnt during the eve of World War II, and today is the perfect venue for garden weddings and receptions, debuts, company outings, field trips, and concerts.  Raymund is shown here with officers of the Resorts Association of Negros Island: Director for Public Relations Roberto A. Jereza, Vice President Ronnie Lizares, President Freddie “Bomber” W. Zayco, and Chairman Edgardo G. Sarrosa.


"If I had guests, I would bring them on a tour of our museums, domed Cathedral in the City of Silay, and heritage houses where they can can go back to the time of the hacenderos."

Silay’s mansions give us a glimpse of the lives of hacenderos: The Balay Negrense, the Victor Gaston Fernandez ancestral house turned into a museum; the Velez ancestral House; and the Manuel Severino Hofileña ancestral house.


"The arts and culture of Negros is an epitome of the people of the island, whose main  source of livelihood is sugar.  In the heydays of the industry, the best of everything can be found on the island.  Abundance and living in style was an understatement.  To this day, the Negrenses value what is exquisite and has a flair of elegant living."

Raymund with Ramon Hofilena and his treasure trove of more than a thousand works of Dr. Jose Rizal, Bencab, Angkiukiok, Manansala, Luna, Hidalgo, HR Ocampo, Legaspi, Joya, and more. . .

. . . and at the Orange Gallery with internationally acclaimed artist Charlie Co and Bacolod artists Sony Golez, Jacky Alano, Carmel Hiballer, Manny Montelibano, and Orange Gallery owner Victor ‘Bong” Lopue.


“All our tours are actually gastronomic tours, as we never stop feeding our tourists with delicacies of Negros.  When they arrive in the airport, they are served with fresh lumpia, after the tour of the mascovado mill in HPCo, we serve them empanada, and usually have dinner at the semi-fine dining restaurant at The Ruins, with our famed lechon, Negros style stuffed with lemon grass, “batwan”, as well as  tamarind and guava leaves.”

At The Ruins with cousins Chef Michelle Lynn Lacson and Chef KC Lacson.


“SM has played a vital role in the conservation of our hard earned money, as many of us used to go to Iloilo to shop for items we could not find locally.  SM has provided us with reasonably priced products under one roof that is clean, comfortable, and best of all, safe for shoppers.”

SM City Bacolod is known as the Bacolod’s Mall of Asia.  Just as the latter has scenic Manila Bay as its backdrop, SM City Bacolod is very close to the Guimaras Strait.


“I like Bacolod because of its laid back lifestyle – less traffic, less pollution, and in short – a less stressful life.  We are generally a happy go lucky people.  We love to have fun, but are also serious in doing the job that has to be done.  That’s what makes a Negrense different, but not necessarily special.”

Raymund and wife Yves Tankeh Javellana enjoy the coffee and desserts at Brew Ha at SM City Bacolod.


 “ When I’m at SM City Bacolod, I enjoy going to ACE Hardware, especially the Garden products section, which I consider my playground.  I love going through the gardening tools and equipment – sprinklers, hoses, water pumps, lawn mowers, lights, tents, and much more – which have found their way to add to the beauty and functionality of The Ruins.”

ACE Hardware is one of Raymund’s favorite stops at SM City Bacolod.
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