July 10, 2014

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a heritage park in the province of Bataan. It is a project of the New San Jose Builders, owned by art collector Architect Jose Rizalino Acuzar. They transported 18th-19th century-old houses from their orginal sites and rebuilt them on this 400-hectare land and recreated a charming village of cobblestone streets.
Two weekends ago, my friends and I went to Las Casas to celebrate our dear friend Chris' birthday. It was also our friend S' little despedida get-together because she's leaving to take on a post in Myanmar for an International org. We left Metro Manila early on a Saturday morning and had one of the most memorable roadtrips ever.

We arrived at about 10am and registered for a day tour (with lunch and merienda). Registration area is, strangely, just a tent outside the gate near the parking area. Anyway, this is Casa Mexico where guests are received when they arrive, after registration, that is.
Fees (inclusive of 30mins to one hour guided tour) --

Php 650    | Entrance Fee
Php 850    | Entrance Fee + PM Snacks
Php 1,200 | Entrance Fee + Welcome Drinks + Lunch (plated) + PM Snacks + Bottled Water
Las Casas also has rooms and private casas available for those who want to spend more time here.
Please click the links for the Rates --
We joined the last guided tour that morning because we figured, it would be too hot in the afternoon to go around the premises. I suggest you join the tour because they tell you a lot of interesting information, both important and trivial, about the houses. I won't share them here, of course, because it would be like telling you the ending of a book or a movie. And that's not nice. :D Besides, it is more fun to listen to the tour guide tell the story of each house you visit.

It's quite charming that tour guides and the rest of the staff wear filipiniana. It really feels like you've been transported to another era.

The property is quite huge and you'll be doing a lot of walking. So remember --
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Wear comfortable, light clothing (especially during the summer).
  • Bring your own hat or umbrella during the tour because it could get very hot.
  • Bring water. Hydrate!
  • You will have to take off your shoes when you enter some houses and the floor could be dusty, so wear or bring socks.
The last tour that morning ended just in time for lunch. Lunch was served at Cafe Marivent. They gave us ice-cold towelettes to cool us down. The service was wonderful here (I guess, it holds true in the entire resort).

Lunch was plated. We had a choice between tanguige and pork belly. Some of us chose the fish and some of us had pork. Both dishes were delicious. Each dish came with a bowl of soup and a small plate of fresh fruits. And because it was too hot that day, we tried their homemade ice cream, too! The gabi ice cream was divine!

After a long lunch (and good conversations), two of my friends decided to swim while the rest of us went to get each a message.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the premises. We also checked the shops. We heard the bakeshop sells delicious bread, but they disappear quickly. Grab some when you arrive in the morning!

More structures are being restored/re-constructed. I can imagine how extra beautiful this place would become when they finish everything.

Visiting Las Casas was worth the long roadtrip from Manila. Stepping into its gates was like stepping into the past, giving us a tiny idea where and how our ancestors used to live. Nostalgic, romantic, and awe-inspiring.

We left before dark. If you have time, wait for the sunset because many say, sunsets here are magnificent. Better yet, stay overnight because the resort looks glorious at night.

Best Time to Go

January and February when the weather is pleasant. A lot of people go during the summer, that's fine, too. But summer's just too hot for me. :D

How to Get There

By Land:
Bataan is accessible via the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX). There are buses running direct to Balanga town proper. Balanga Town proper is about 125 kms northwest from Manila. From Olongapo City, you may take the Victory Liner Buses. Tricycles and jeepneys are the primary modes of transport around Bataan.

By Air:
You may go through the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga or through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminals in Manila and make the necessary land transfers. (grabbed from Las Casas' website)

. . . . .

For rates, bookings, and more information, visit or call

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Manila Address:
Mezzanine Floor Victoria Towers
Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Philippines

Phone: +63 2 332 5338
Fax : +63 2 332 5286


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