Time Machine: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar



From the time I had stepped foot on Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan, I knew for sure I'll learn a lot about history and heritage altogether. It was as if I was on a time machine, trying to turn back time in my own pace. It was only then that I got to appreciate the glories of the past.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar isn't your typical weekend getaway. Here, there's no long stretch of white beach, nor the climate wasn't as cool as the highland destinations of Baguio or Tagaytay. But that's the whole point - this place has the nostalgic charm of its own.



Under the scorching heat of the sun, we were greeted by the friendly staff dressed in intricately-designed Filipiniana attire with a refreshing glass of Sago't Gulaman (a local drink made of brown sugar, tapioca and jelly). Everyone was given a native wide-brimmed hat for protection against the roaring rays. The welcome arch served as a the portal to history. After gulping the last droplets of the sugar potion, off we went retracing history that lives within the walls of the 27 old houses.



Mansions and stone houses were sourced from around the country. The owners made an effort to bring these houses piece by piece, plank by plank. Yes, you read it right. These houses weren't replicas. These are the real ones transported to this village-like place.


Though the old houses are the main attractions of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, there are also houses which they converted into villas, and a hotel building called Paseo de Escolta. The rooms feature modern facilities enough to make you comfortable during your stay. 




We went on a walking tour of the heritage houses together with the delegates of the 7th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tours of the Philippines, an initiative of the Department of Tourism, Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Trade and Industry. This venture brought together delegations from the US and Canada, and aims to reintroduce the Philippines to Filipinos and and their families who had been living abroad for many years.



While walking around, we also saw this stone bridge, reminiscent of the ones we usually see on TV shows and movies covering the rich Philippine history. I can imagine how beautiful it is at night, when all the lamps bordering the bridge are brightly-lit.




Interesting stone carvings are also part of the picturesque landscape. This verdant lawn serves also as a helipad for the discerning visitors.


A batis-inspired swimming pool at La Piscina is also open for guests. It faces the West Philippine Sea and the hills of Bataan. 



While walking from the La Piscina back to our meeting place, we had a glimpse of what used to be a building of the University of the Philippines - Casa Quiapo. 



There are houses improved to welcome overnight visitors. These are fully-airconditioned villas with one or two bedrooms, a dining room, a spacious bathroom with a bathtub and a living room. 




While there are villas available for overnight stays, the other houses, like Casa Lubao, are only open for heritage tours. This is my favorite among the houses we visited during the walking tour.

The tour guide said it was originally owned by the Arastia/Vitug families in Lubao, Pampanga, who sponsored former President Diosdado Macapagal's education way back. The exquisitely-designed ceiling is one of the main attractions of the huge abode.



The decades-old furniture were also preserved, as well as the large balcony that commands a panoramic view of the heritage village.


The four-poster bed radiates the luxurious life of the previous owners. 




Casa Mexico

The walking tour ended a little before lunch, where a plethora of cultural dances were displayed to the viewers delight. The sumptuous buffet spreads resemble a typical Filipino fiesta or feast, where viands of pork, beef and seafood are abundantly available. The long queue at the halo-halo station left  me with a huge cup or ube sorbetes instead. Right after lunch, we left the heritage village to have  a quick tour of Bataan.



Special Thanks to the Department of Tourism. 
Visit http://www.visitmyphilippines.com/ 
for more exciting travel tips and exhilarating destinations.

Comments

  1. dito nagshoot sila richard dati sa zorro? guess ko lng

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello po, ang ganda naman dito. Sana maka visit ako dito kasama nbg mga friends ko di kaya as weekend getaway treat to my self hehe. Big thanks for sharing this with us.

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