“Free ka bukas? Punta kami Acuzar sa Bataan.”
No sooner had I received the message than I replied with an emphatic YES!, never mind that I had something scheduled on that day. I had actually been trying to book a night at this resort, but weekends are always fully booked, so this day trip opportunity was one I was not about to miss.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Bo. Pag-asa, Bagac, Bataan
Day Tour Rates (inclusive of taxes and service charge):
Entrance fee only: Php685 (toddlers below 5yrs, free)
with snacks: Adult Php850, Child Php425
with set lunch: Php1,200
buffet (minimum 30pax): Php1,500
Overnight rates: see last photo below
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is an open-air museum, a heritage park, and a resort all rolled into one extraordinary space. Built on a 400-hectare property, Las Casas is owned by art collector and architect Jerry Acuzar, whose real first name is actually Jose Rizalino (his parents must have been history aficionados too).
I say, the man is clearly destined to carry out the laborious task of bringing together abandoned/neglected heritage houses from various parts of the country, and rebuilding them to create the living museum that it is now. You read that right, the houses are not just replicas, they were actually painstakingly dismantled brick by brick; wood by wood; transported to Bagac, Bataan; reassembled; and then restored. WOW. You have to be seriously passionate about our history, heritage and culture (and also crazy rich!) to be financially and emotionally invested in a project like this. It took him 7 years, starting in 2003, to build his “collection” before opening it to the public in 2010. That’s some serious commitment.
The day trip fee includes a 30-minute to 1-hour Heritage Walking Tour, where you will learn of the stories behind the houses; and be reminded of the time when smiling while being photographed already meant flirting, and ironing of clothes involved the feet rather than the hands, among others.
You can also swim in the beach fronting the resort, or the batis-inspired pool.
And for lunch/dinner, they have Italian, Filipino-Spanish, and Filipino restaurants. If you are going to eat at Café del Rio (Filipino restau), don’t miss the sisig. Sobrang sarap!
I think it is beautiful that even as we keep on moving forward, achieving technological advances and cultural changes, we are still able to look back and truly appreciate the richness of our past.
The resort is continuously being developed, targeting to have around 50 heritage houses, from the current ~30, in the coming years.
And if it isn’t obvious yet, it also makes for a wonderful opportunity for photos. You can even have a photo-op wearing traditional Baro’t Saya / Barong Tagalog etc.
We all enjoyed this day trip, but I think it is so much lovelier at night. If you do decide to spend the night here, overnight rates are in the photo below.
HOW TO GET THERE / DIRECTIONS
By private vehicle:
- Head to North Luzon Expressway
- Take San Fernando Exit to Jose Abad Santos Ave.
- Continue onto Bataan Provincial Highway / Roman Superhighway
- Turn right onto Gov. J.J Linao National Road (to Bagac)
- Slight left onto Aguinaldo Street
- Turn Right toward Las Casas Road.
By public transportation:
- Take bus from Cubao to Balanga or Mariveles, Bataan – Bataan Transport / Genesis (~3hrs)
- Walk to Bataan transport terminal and take jeepney to Bagac – ask driver to drop you off near Las Casas (~45 mins)
- Ride tricycle to Las Casas (~5 mins)