The mansion was the largest residential structure ever built at that time and had in it one of the finest furnitures, chinawares, and decorative items, as the father of Maria Braga was the captain of a ship that sailed across Europe and Asia and would cart with him these items. One of their daughters maintained a beautiful garden of lilies in and around the 4-tiered fountain fronting the mansion, all brought in from abroad.One of the sons supervised the construction of the mansion making certain that the A-grade mixture of concrete and its pouring was precisely followed.The mansion met its sad fate in the early part of World War II when the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East), then guerilla fighters in the Philippines, burnt the mansion to prevent the Japanese forces from utilizing it as their headquarters. It took days of inferno to bring down the roof and the two-inch wooden floors.To this day, the 903 square meter structure still stands tall amidst sugar plantation and continues to awe both local and foreign tourists. Truly, a picture-perfect backdrop and a magnificent sight to see..
The RUINS is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Mondays through Sundays including holidays. A restaurant serves Mediterannean food and operates from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Recently opened is an 18-hole Mini-Golf Course as a recreational fun activity for the whole family.
As for this blogger. make sure you go around the grounds and marvel at the mansion’s magnificence. Order a buco shake and a sandwich if you are not having lunch, and enjoy dining at the veranda.
Do not rush the visit. A guided tour is most informative, and definitely entertaining. No one ever toured this place and did not feel entertained by the witty guides who, in jest, say they are descendants of the owners. Indeed, humor blends well with the history of this grand mansion now in ruins.