Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan – October 10, 2010

Plastered on their brochure, visiting Las Casas de Filipinas boasts that you will “Experience history come alive in a 19th century Hispanic town.” I didn’t know exactly what expect when from this place. This particular lakwatsa was a very pleasant surprise.

A few weeks ago, while have dinner with some friends, I was asked if I had ever been to Las Casas in Bataan. I had heard about this place several times this past year. Travel gods Ivan Man Dy and Ivan Henares told me about this place some months back where houses from all over the Philippines were being purchased and transported to another location. My kuya in turn told me that there is this town being built resembling an old Spanish town. Apparently they were all referring to the same place. Anyway, my friends and I decided that we would spend 10/10/10 on a road trip to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in the town of Bagac, Bataan.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan


View Las Casas de Filipinas, Bataan in a larger map

Getting there

Before any trip, I usually scour the internet for information on my destination. So I browsed their website at http://www.lascasasfilipinas.com. Though I must say that the frustrating aspect of their website is that, when you click on the tab for “Location.” Aside from mentioning the town of Bagac, Bataan, it offers no directions whatsoever on how to get there.

Thank God for Google Maps. Of course my Escape was also equipped with a GPS.

Getting there is pretty simple. Here it is in a nutshell. From Manila take NLEX northbound. Exit Dau then take the onramp to SCTEX. Head south towards Subic but exit at Dinalupihan. Follow the SCTEX exit then turn right towards Balanga, Bataan. Follow the signs heading to Bagac. When you get to Bagac, follow the signs to Las Casas de Filipinas.

The whole trip, give or take will take you 2.5 to 3 hours at a leisurely pace.

Not exactly an uneventful trip

It was one of those days. While the trip was fairly pleasant. It was wrought with a few minor disasters. After assembling the group, as we left Quezon City, we realized that the Lakwatsero Mobile’s air conditioner was on the fritz. In short, it wasn’t cooling. I accidentally took the off ramp to Dau… then while along SCTEX I ran over a dog crossing the road (ok, it wasn’t intentional… he ran in front of us). Then as we were traversing the provincial road, a chicken flew right into the grill of the Ford Escape. The chicken caused more damage than the dog.

Arriving at Las Casas de Filipinas

When we got there, we passed through two guard houses, parked the car then headed to the “office” to register and pay for fees. Everyone was very accommodating and very nice… and in our case, patient. They explained the rates for people wanting to stay overnight, and in our case, on a day trip. For Day Trippers they offered the following fees: P650 entrance fee, or pay P1000 which includes a 1 hour tour and a plated lunch. Supposedly for P1200 you can opt for a a buffet (but the buffet wasn’t available apparently). If we went for just the P650 entrance, the restaurant did offer some ala cart offerings. When we later looked at the prices in the menu, let me say that the P1000 Day Tour package is well worth the price.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

We started our tour with our very nice tour guide Ericka, as she took us through 20 ancestral houses from all over the Philippines. The houses are named after the place where they originated. The “office” was in Casa Mexico (above photo) which came from Mexico Pampanga.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

The entire property sits on around 400 hectares of private land, where only 40 hectares are developed.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

The above photo is of Casa Lubao from Lubao Pampanga.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Some of the homes, especially the ones for rent to families were adequately furnished. Many of the rooms we saw had some furnishings.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

The streets are quite wide and clean. Everything seemed to be quality work. Even the lamp posts. Nothing seemed cheap.

Casa Jaen

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Casa Tondo

Bataan-LasCasasFilipinas-20101010 139

One of the buildings we entered (below) was supposedly the first building used by the University of the Philippines. Casa Hidalgo.Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

As we proceeded through the town, I just kept on taking pictures of the place. It was certainly a great photographer’s heaven. In fact, aside from the 4 of us, it seemed like other 20 guests we saw were all photographers. One big group seemed like a big photo club.

Casa Baliuag

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Awesome work on the landscaping.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Inside Casa Lubao

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Casa Binondo

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Oh cool… Kalesas

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Below, at Casa Cagayan is actually their spa.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Plaza Belmonte

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

The hotel, Casa Baliuag II

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Tired and extremely hungry… we had lunch

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

I went for the lechon kawali… “in fairness” it was good!

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

The set meal came with soup and desert as well.

After lunch we walked around some more then went back to the restaurant

Much to our surprise. Our tour included a snack meal as well which was a choice of Halo Halo, or an assortment of sandwiches. We all went for the Halo Halo.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

All in all, the trip was quite fascinating. I was quite skeptical about a town built from old houses from different parts of the Philippines. I am aware that there are some factions that are not happy with what the owner did… taking ancestral homes from their original locale and transplanting them elsewhere. While I understand and appreciate the concern. I can also see that at least here, in their new home, they won’t just fall to neglect and rot away. Here, they can be appreciated.

The place is still being developed. As a resort, they don’t offer very much right now. They are building a new “front” gate and a church (built from scratch). They are also putting up another controversial house. The old home of Jose Rizal’s Mother’s Mother.

vicinity-map

(above map is from their website at http://www.lascasasfilipinas.com). The also give a big folded paper map when you get there.

It was a great lakwatsa for myself and my friends, Christian Aquino, RJ Bumanglag, and Binggoy de Ocampo. What a way to spend 10/10/10.

I highly recommend you consider visiting this place.

Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar, Bagac, Bataan

Contact Information:

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Batangay Pag-asa, Bagac, Bataan
http://www.lascasasfilipinas.com

26 Comments

  1. I thought our tour guide’s name was Ericka?

    Reply
  2. awesome! will plan to visit this place too.

    Reply
  3. waaahhh! this is one of my must-see this year, d lang ako matuloy tuloy. Ang ganda nga, ok din jan paggabe, I saw some night shots of the place and indeed, it was amazing. thnx for sharing! :)

    Reply
    • Thanks! Yup… its a very photogenic place. I assume gabigenic din siya.

      Reply
  4. finally went there just last Sunday…and we also had Ericka as our tour guide ;)

    Reply
  5. We went last Friday, also got Ericka as the guide (maybe she’s the only one, but she was actually very impressive). We wanted to back out of the tour since my mom could not walk and climb all the stairs, but they offered a golf cart. So we did a short version, stopped at only a few of the houses, but Ericka gave us the story of each one.

    Very interesting, would recommend to anyone who has an interest in some Philippine history. Better if you take the tour without kids who just want to go to the beach :)

    Reply
  6. great blog, mr. lakwatsero! will definitely visit this this awesome place asap!

    Reply
  7. Hello Jojo! The place looks great and it’s actually the first time I heard about it. By the way, just a little correction on Balanga, Batangas. I think you meant Bataan, not Batangas. :) Have a nice day!

    Reply
    • Sa akin naman. I had heard stories about the place from the two Ivans and other folk. I accidentally chanced upon the website… so ayun.

      The place is interesting. There are of course those who would rather the structures remained in their original locations. But at least this way, the buildings are preserved and not left to rot.

      Reply
  8. Will be visiting this March!!! So excited! Thanks for the driving directions!! :D

    Reply
  9. MY PHONE WAS STOLEN AT LAS CASAS ON APRIL 5, 2012

    My fiancé and I were on vacation at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan on April 4-6, 2012. On April 5, it was in the afternoon, when I called for room cleaning. We left the room, bringing an iPhone 4s, a Canon Digital camera, wallet, and room keys, so that the cleaning personnel with a cleft palate and the security guard could perform their duties. After a couple of minutes, we returned and we were advised that the cleaning had just finished. My fiancé placed all the four things I mentioned on one of tables and he sat on the bed and turned on the TV while I went inside the bathroom to pee. The cleaning personnel was still inside the room and said that he just needs to collect some things. We assumed that they were just linens and perhaps some trash. But, not ten minutes had passed since the cleaning personnel and the security guard had left, we noticed that my iPhone was no longer on the table!
    I immediately called the front desk to report the incident. They told security about this. I tried to call my missing iPhone for an hour or so but after that, it stopped ringing. Its battery could not have drained right away because I charged it in the morning. I was advised that the security team searched for the missing phone but it was nowhere to be found.
    The HR personnel, Kit Agbay, was trying to assist us, but to date, over a week after the incident had happened, we still haven’t received a resolution. We were still not given at least a copy of the police report or any such documents.
    It’s horrible that this place harbors a thief, perhaps thieves in their property!

    Reply
  10. Puwede po ba malaman kung magkano lahat ng expenses from gas, toll fees and the entrnce fee po dun sa Las Casas? Kahit from Quezon City din po yung gas. From Antipolo lang naman po kami eh. :D Thanks po.

    Reply
  11. Next time be more careful with crossing dogs. I like your photos, and your effort to promote the Philippines. But “The chicken caused more damage than the dog” i find a little twisted. The dog got hurt or might be dead. You might just had a slight bend on your bumper. And the dog caused damage? Sorry i am a dog lover. But your photos are awesome.

    Reply
    • Hello Ingrid.

      I didn’t set out to run over any animals, specifically dogs. I too am a dog lover and currently have 4 rascals running around the house. The accident happened in the middle if an expressway and I was traveling too fast to avoid it. He crossed the road just as I was passing.

      Reply
  12. wow! …. ang ganda po … i wish makapunta ako dyan …

    Reply
  13. Do they allow prenuptial photography there? and if they do how much? I hope I get a reply from you. Thank you and God bless your soul.

    Reply
  14. Pano po ba magpunta if magccommute lang?

    Reply
    • Awesome shots! I went there on rainy days and it was a different setting…but the place still looks magnificent. Thanks for showing the “sunny” side of it.

      Reply
  15. same rate din b s kids at adult?pg commute b meron bus papunta jan?

    Reply
  16. same rate po ba ang children at adult?

    Reply
  17. Hi,
    We’d like to visit this place overnight. We’re going on vacation to Philippines starting June. We’re trying to find a place to stay overnight.
    Please let us know.

    Reply
  18. how to go to this place by public transpo?

    thanks

    Reply
    • I really wouldn’t know. Sorry.

      Reply
  19. pumunta ako roon ,kasi maraming nagpipicture picture doon ay naku nagsayang lang ako ng oras ano ba yon..hinde ko type punta na lang ako Sa Luneta Park or Intramuros

    Reply
    • Well to each their own. A lot of people find it a beautiful place. I am sorry you are not one of them.

      Reply

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