Saturday, July 05, 2014

A Journey to the Past

We made a short trip to Bataan on a rainy week end, just to take some time off from the busy Metropolis. Out of curiosity, we  decided to visit Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, because it will be the venue for  the 2015 APEC Summit .

After a two hours and a half drive from Manila with moderate traffic on the way, we reached the place. It is a heritage resort hotel with some recreational amenities, where the sea meets the land. Las Casas, as it is commonly called, is an open-air museum and a heritage park located in Barangay Pag-Asa in the Municipality of Bagac, Province of Bataan.
Unlike other heritage towns, what makes this place different is that the old houses here were just transferred from their original locations and restored back to their former glory.
Going in, if you are not a hotel guest, you have to choose from the following options:
Entrance with free snacks for adults: Php 850.00 for children: Php 425
Tour Packages :
Package 1: Php1200.00 + Set Meal
Package 2: Php1,500.00 + Buffet Meal (Minimum of 30 persons)
Tour package includes: entrance fee, welcome drinks, guided tour of heritage houses,  lunch, use of beach facilities, afternoon snack, with tetra pack juices, 2 bottled water, vicinity map.
Entrance Only : Php 685.00 for adults and  children  are free of charge.
The vicinity map will guide those who opted to pay for the entrance only, while you may be able to see around, you will not be allowed to see the interiors of the heritage houses.
Old houses and settlements never failed to fascinate me. It was in 2003 when Architect Jose Rizalino “Jerry” Acuzar, owner of the property, thought of the idea of transferring Spanish houses from various areas in the country, which were mostly neglected and poorly maintained. Dismantled piece by piece, these architectural treasures were rebuilt and restored. And in 2010, this more than 400-hectare gem was finally opened to the public.
 To date, a total of 27 Spanish Colonial houses and buildings comprise the attraction which are mostly from Pampanga; the northern provinces of Ilocos, La Union and Cagayan; and Tondo, Binondo and Quiapo Districts of Manila.
Casa Mexico receives guest joining the guided tour. One of the antique collections inside the house caught my fancy.
This is also a prefect destination for families and friends to bond, since there are varied  activities to enjoy.
 A guided tour of the houses is done a certain number of times a day where you will be allowed to enter certain houses, appreciate their very intricate interior designs and gain historical knowledge of these casas.
The interiors of one of the Casas  we visited, simply reminded me that maybe, I was first born in that era. The house decors are very much similar to our very own. 
If all the ladies in today's generation will iron clothes this way, obesity will no longer be an issue, and a 20" inch waist line will just be a breeze. :)
For those who love the waters , there is a
 warm water swimming pool and the beach with a good view of the West Philippine Sea.

The restaurant served a very good healthy plate to guest joining the tour.

We both enjoyed our lunch break and appreciated the graciousness of the staff. Perfect Filipino hospitality that we are noted for. Keep it up!

Being friends with owner, some plazas are named after prominent politicians. Plaza Castro, after Former VP Noli de Castro.

Plaza Belmonte, after the Speaker of the House

If you are a history buff, the place will surely amaze you, but if not,  just enjoy the other facilities the place has to offer, cultural dances at night and bond with nature because if you are inside Las Casas, it is as if you are living years back in time.  It was good trip and we had fun! :)

Image credits: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar website

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