Imagine physically moving heritage houses to a remote and sleepy town to recreate and build an 18th century Manila City vibe – that is the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. An open-air museum and cultural heritage resort to experience of what the Philippine was.
It all sounds so uncomplicated when you hear the story on how they moved old houses to build this complex 18th-century Filipino heritage resort when in fact it takes lots of time and money for this huge workforce. One major component of Las Casas Filipinas is the 18th-century heritage casas (Spanish for houses) built during the Spanish Colonial era. Literally, brick by brick they transported the casas from their original location elsewhere in the Philippines and is meticulously dismantled and then transported to Bagac for precise restoration. Although, some of the parts of the casas are replicate of the original due to wear and tear and destroyed during the world wars.
Sadly, there have been issues and controversies regarding the transfer of these colonial casas. In heritage conservation, the building should remain in its historical and significant origin. But unfortunately, Philippine law has no legal protection for heritage structures on privately owned land. So to ensure its preservation, relocation is the best solution for its survival.
△ The 400 hectare Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (The Philippine Houses of Acuzar) resort is located in the peaceful town in Bagac, Bataan. Roughly a 3-hour drive from Manila.
Owner and builder (New San Jose Builders ) Jose “Jerry” Acuzar, is the man behind Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. He created a time machine for us to see and relived the age-old Filipino traditions while providing comforts of modern times. An ambitious plan that is now recognized and part of the Historic Hotels Worldwide and was named Asia Awards of Excellence winner for Asia’s most excellent destination for 2017!
Various guided day tours and activities are available for visitors and resort guests. Also for a complete old Manila style experience, the Paseo de Escolta, a themed hotel is available within the resort. We stayed in the hotel for a night and our room is big enough to fit four people. Our 42 sqm room has a balcony with a full view of the beach and the surrounding mountains. I didn’t take photos inside our room but I have to say the bathroom is huge with a full size-tub. For a more immersed and private experience, renting private colonial casas (houses) is a pure nostalgic experience. The downside, one-night rate at the hotel, and food at the restaurant are pricey. LOL!
Overall, the resort is amazing, nostalgic, and the feel of the old Philippine vibe. The view and the scenery are great here, you have the heritage houses, the beach, and the mountains. I hope Las Casas would be here for a long time because this place is worth a second-time visit (or more) and proud to have a place like this in the Philippines.
△ This is the view from the main entrance overlooking the lake and the old casas along the Umagol River. We are inside the reception building (Casa Mexico) settling our hotel room reservation.
△ The Hotel de Oriente. Originally built in 1889 at Binondo Manila, this replica of the hotel serves as a convention center and a venue function for resort guests. The original hotel in Manila is designed by Spanish architect Juan Jose Huervas y Arizmendi and it is believed to be the first lush hotel in the Philippines. But by 1912, The Manila Hotel was built and it was hailed the finest hotel in the far east back then.
△ The Sanctuario de San Jose is a replica of the St. Joseph Cathedral in Balanga (Santuario Diocesano y Catedral de San José de Balanga). The Catholic church is at the center of the resort and is famous for a wedding location and prenuptial photography.
△ Plaza Marcelino
△ Casa Balanga. Build in the 1920’s, this casa was used as a Kempeitai (Japan’s military police) during the World War II.
△ Casa Ladrillo. One of the unique casas at the compound because of it’s European style influence and made of bricks.
△ Tulay ni Lola Basyang (Lola Basyang’s Bridge), a replica of Manila’s Jones Bridge.
The Esteros (Canals)
The Estero De Binondo is just located behind our hotel. A perfect place to experience riding on a balsa – a native raft used during the Spanish times in waterways of Manila.
Cars are not allowed inside the heritage area of the resort but complementary transport is accessible – jeepney, kalesa, and tram.
△ Tram is now used inside the heritage destination. Also known as streetcars, the trams used to operate in Manila from the late 1800s.
▽ Kalesa & Jeepney. Before jeepneys, we have the kalesa – a horse-drawn carriage.
△ This is the beach entrance just in from of the hotel. Perfect for sunset views.
For more information regarding prices, tour & activities, and reservations to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar check the helpful links below:
Official Page: Click Here
Facebook Page: Click Here
Location Map: Click Here
Thank You! I hope you enjoyed reading my post and would love to hear your Las Casas adventure too.
Thanks to Dan & Anne for inviting us to your wedding!