History and Culture

A Home to the Past

Bataan

Renzelle Ann Palma
Renzelle Ann Palma | Apr 17, 2013

Heritage houses, some dates back to the 18th century, from different towns and cities in the country were transported and restored piece by piece in this Heritage Resort in Bagac, Bataan. The resort is a vision of Mr Acuzar who initially wanted his property and collection of historic houses to be a private resort. As he acquired more houses in his name, he decided to open it for everyone with the goal to transport the modern FIlipino and discover more of the country’s colorful history. Today, more than 30 houses are built and each has a story and a mark in our past.

Each heritage home tells the position of the owner in the society at the time he lived in such as the Casa Cagayan which were originally from the Cagayan Province (the houses in the resort are named after the places they came from) and are now perfectly restored along the shoreline of the property. The wooden house is made out of tree trunks in its natural shape which provides the support for the whole home. During the 1900’s, these houses were referred to as the Poor Man’s Houses. For the wealthy, there are the Bahay na Bato or the mansions of the past. Casa Bizantina, Casa Candaba, and Casa Unisan, the house claimed to be the first bahay na bato to be built in Unisan, Quezon, perfectly stand with the mountains, rice fields and the sea as the backdrop.

Replicas of historic houses are also found in the area such as the Casa Biñan which was once the home of Jose RIzal’s mother, Teodora Alonzo. Now it serves as a fine dining Italian restaurant on the resort. Other facilities and amenities to enjoy are the Panederia where freshly baked pandesal and different kinds of bread are served, the Paseo de Escolta where hotel suites are situated for guests who wish to stay overnight, Casa Luna which houses artworks, memorabilia and the library, Tiendecitas or the convenience center and of course, most of the heritage houses are open for rent as well.

Once in Las Casas, do not forget to join the walking tour which are scheduled throughout the day. The history and stories of the houses are then presented by the tourist guide as you go around the living museum that it is. For the day tour (650php or $14 per person), guests are welcomed with refreshments and the walking tour follows. Most of the facilities are also accessible for the walk in guests.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is the perfect destination if you want an instant time warp to the past. It is a beautifully located resort with landscape and seascape as one of its strengths. And of course, each step is a time machine of what we once were, a glimpse of our past and the history that made us what we are today.

TIPS:

Wear comfortable shoes in going around the vast complex.

Traditional hats are provided in the hour long tour.

If you decide to visit at night (6pm-11pm), there are no more tours available. Instead, use the fee (650php) as your consumable meal at the Casa Binan (Cafe Marivent).

If you decide overnight, make sure to stay in one of the old houses to have a feel of how people in the past lived. Amenities are all modern when it comes to the inside of the houses.

Prepare swim wear if you decide to enjoy the waters of the beach or the batis inspired pool. Kayaking is also available at the Umagol River that is also within the complex.

How to get there:

Bataan is accessible via the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway and Northern Luzon Expressway. There are buses running direct to Balanga town proper.

Las Casas Filipinas is located 20 kilometers away from the Mt. Samat Shrine. From the Japanese Friendship Tower in Bagac, turn left and the resort is 2 kilometers away.

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