Get Immersed in the Culture
At 6PM every night, a cultural show is presented in Las Casas Filipinas. A showcase of the different Filipino folk dances is truly amazing. And you know what’s more amazing? These dancers also serve as waiters/waitresses in the restaurants in Las Casas. Talk about being multi-talented!
Las Casas Workshops – Sustainable Livelihood
Before even reaching Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, I was already prepared to get my mind blown. What added to the fascinating experience of traveling back in time is the sustainable livelihood the heritage park has created.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a work of art. Every art work embedded in each restored or replicated structure is made in-house.
There are three workshops in the park: the brick workshop, the carving workshop, and the mosaic workshop.
The brick workshop produces all of the bricks used in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. The red bricks they create are made from oven-baked clay, which are designed and molded by hand. A single brick takes about two months of production. Las Casas has an in-house wood-fired oven that can cook up to 15,000 pieces of bricks per batch.
The carving workshop houses carvers who came mostly from Paete, Laguna. Paeta is a town down south that has a long reputation for carvers who create astounding art pieces by hand. Witnessing how these guys get to work is jaw-dropping. They can turn a simple piece of wood into anything they put their mind to. They jokingly call themselves the pokpok boys.
It was an honor to meet and have a quick chat with Mang Seling, the oldest of the pokpok boys. This down-to-earth craftsman is 77 years old and has been in the carving industry for over five decades. He can carve out almost any material, with his expertise lying in wood and marble.
If ever you’re in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, don’t miss one of his greatest works near the Reception Area. It’s a carving of three guys, two playing dama while the other one watches them. It’s made from marble. It took him one year and two months to complete it.