Words and photos by Justin Francia
It’s surreal to realize that people in the ancient times didn’t have the privilege of technology that we have now. No smart phones, no cameras, just pure memories. However, it’s amazing that despite the fact that photos weren’t as popular yet during the old times, we’re lucky we can still witness visual remnants of it.
Thanks to lovers of history and preservers of culture and antiquity, we have a lot of beautiful places to visit to be able to feel what it is like during the old times. But as popular as it is, it’s not only Vigan that’s home to revival of traditions and heritage. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, located in Bagac, Bataan, is also home to history; it is a 400-hectare property specifically made for an adventure of a lifetime that will take you back in the 19th century.
Owned by Mr. Jose “Jerry” Acuzar, the place feels like a huge time machine. In such a massive, wonderful place, you can see actual antique houses and some replicas of sceneries found in the old times. Brick by brick, some original antique houses in Las Casas were meticulously transferred to this heritage resort coming from provinces all over the Philippines. Detail by detail, the place aims to replicate landmarks of forgotten historical places in the Philippines.
The hotel rooms in the resort (yes, you can stay overnight!) are just as amazing as the antique houses you will see around. The interior design of the hotel buildings, as well as the casas, feature also furniture you’d see in ancient houses.
The resort also has Italian, Spanish, and Filipino restaurants for their guests to experience a more immersive 19th-century feel.
In the morning, you can tour around in the area and unleash the dalagang Pilipina in you. There’s a lot of places for you to take beautiful photos. The resort also offers balsa rides along the waters of Umagol River. During the ride, you can see the old houses more closely as you’ll encounter the replica of Estero de Binondo.
Walking around will surely quench your thirst for those Instagram-worthy shots. The architectural designs of the old establishments will make you appreciate the heritage of the Philippines more. The details will make you feel like you’re not in the millennial era at all.
Plus, the staff in Las Casas are super friendly and you can ask them to take your photos anytime!
If you’re also into Philippine heroes, the place where Antonio Luna was killed in the movie Heneral Luna is also located in Las Casas Filipinas. One interesting fact about the house where the scene was taken is that it’s owned by a relative of Rizal. Cool, right? They also have an imitation of Juan Luna’s Spoliarium, but it’s made of wood! Found in their replica of Hotel de Oriente, its lobby has really amazing wood carvings that are—again and again—definitely Instragrammable!
You can also watch their History Land Tour, where brilliant performers are to show the historical events in the Philippines as they also feature snippets of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. Their show is one of a kind, too, because they’re very interactive. Watch out when you go there, you might be the next Maria Clara, Sisa’s sons Basilio and Crispin, or whatever the performers fancy for their guests.
It doesn’t matter what time it is of the day when you’re at Las Casas, honestly. At night, it’s nice to take photos of the scenery as the lights and its reflection look so good on camera. In the morning, you have the whole place to enjoy. From the bridges, old houses, to everything old and ancient.
Just make sure to start your day with their breakfast, which will surely give you a dilemma deciding on what’s the real winner—the champorado or the goto? Not to mention all the kakanins that will be enticing you!
And, as a cherry on top, this resort also has a beach for their guests to enjoy, too. They really have it all.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar truly is a must-experience destination for all Filipinos who want to take a step back in time and see the beauty of 19th century Philippines, its cultures, and traditions.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac, Bataan
Contact no.: (02) 332 5338