It was a beautiful Friday morning, March 23, 2018 at exactly 7:00 am we started our journey. It was a two days tour going to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a Heritage and Convention Center located at Ibaba Bagac, Bataan. Estimated travel time was 3 to 4 hrs depending on the route or traffic encounter coming from Manila. Unfortunately this timeline was not followed due to some situational delayed along the way. We almost arrived past 2:00 pm on the place.
Our check-in time was 2:00 pm so its okey. When we arrived we went first on the reception area of the hotel to check-in and get our hotel keys.
Upon arriving, this was the first view that caught our eyes. An eight tower structure with unique architectural design. The place was surrounded with replication of old historical buildings and architectures showing the Philippines heritage. Even their reception area was adorned and designed with old photos and frames.
There was a transport jeep that tour around the area to transfer people from going to and from their hotel, tourist spot (vice versa).
After getting our hotel keys and room number we unpacked our belongings and started to tour the place. Room image below:
Below was the map going to the place and hotel policies:
Website of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar: https://www.lascasasfilipinas.com/
The place has a total area of approximately 400 hectares but the total developed area is around 26 hectares as of date and still continue to developed as time goes by. Special tours for the heritage site includes Hotel de Oriente tour, Workshop Tour (9:00 am, 11:00 am until 3:00pm) and Balsa River Tour.
We started by taking the Heritage Tour. This tour is from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm so we still manage to take this one since we already arrived late at the place. Its an hour tour of historical experience. Visiting different Casas along Parque de Manila including as follows:
- Casa Lubao
- Plaza de Castro
- Casa Binan
- Casa Baliuag I
- Casa Binondo II
- Casa Quiapo
- Casa Tondo
- Casa Binondo I
- Casa Candaba (Exhibit 9:00am-5:00 pm)
- Casa Unisan
- Casa Meycauayan
- Plaza Mayor de Tobias
Along Paseo De Escolta:
- Casa Jaen I
- Casa Luna
- Casa Baliuag II
- Plaza Belmonte
- Casa Mexico
- Casa Jaen II
- Plaza Atienza
- Casa Byzantina
- Casa San Miguel
Our first start was Casa Lubao:
It was an ancestral home owned by Valentin Arrastia and Francisca Salgado built in Lubao, Pampanga in early 1900’s. During the World War II the Japanese took possession of the house and used it as a garrison. After the war the grandchildren Juanita Arrastia and husband Wenceslao Vitug acquired the Lubao house. It bacame known as Arrastia-Vitug home and remained at Vitug’s family for three generations.
This was owned by Primitivo Novicio uncle of Gen. Antonio Luna (a great General in time of Phil.American war) and Juan Luna (an artist who draw “Spolarium”). This house was originally built in 1850 in Namacpacan, La Union and later renamed “Luna” La Union.
This was a witness to historical events including as headquarters of USAFIL-NL during WW II when the capture of Gen. Yamashita (Japan) was being planned and a venue for Nationalista party convention in 70’s in time of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos.
Casa Majayjay (Laguna)
Built in 1744, this was the oldest home to at least four gobernadorcillos of Majayjay in Laguna. The house belong to Ordoveza family known to be town elite at that time with money lending business.
Built in 1873, this pre-colonial house is an example of indigenous architecture known to be a house of a datu or a sultan (Torogan). It was name after its owner Togoran I Sabino Lakowa.
A found photo became a guide for the construction of this house. It was replicated when discovered and parts of this house was purchased from a junk shop.
It was originally built in San Fernando Pampanga in 1913 and owned by Teodoro Escotto and later was purchased by Rogelio Urrutia in 1950 then was transferred to Meycauayan, Bulacan. The original house was transferred to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in 2005.
Casa New Manila
Built in 1926 and considered as an American architecture situated in balete Drive for almost 90 years. Was constructed by Italian-American, Joseph Francisco and later was bought by Manuel Alcuas y Tuazon and Rosario Araneta y Zaragoza known as two prominent family in Manila. At that time this house was often used for many local television shows and movies.
Built in 1867 and known to be design by the first Filipino to practice architecture in the Philippines during Spanish Era namely Felix Roxas y Arroyo. This house was originally situated at R Hidalgo St. (Calle San Sebastian) and Callejon de Carcer in Quiapo, Manila. This mansion architecture was considered the most elegant in the entire country during the Spanish Era as explained by the American historian A.M. Norton. This was also the first school of Architecture in the Philippines that created great artist like Fernando Amorsolo, Carlos Franscisco, Guillermo Tolentino and Tomas Mapua to name a few.
Casa San Juan (Batangas)
It was first built in San Juan, Batangas by Don Eulogio and Dona Rufina then passed it to their daughter Soledad (pianist) married to a politician named Atty. Lorenzo Hernandez. This ancestral house was considered as one of the most beautiful house in Las Casas.
This was only a few of the Casas we visited on the Tour that day. It was a tiring but historical and educational day for our group. We continue our self tour on the place and we also tried to ride this one.
Some photos during the Tour:
As the day passed by and night time comes we continue to explore the place and it was a great experience strolling the place more during the night because of the serene but quite breezy ambiance.
After having dinner we head back to our hotel room to rest because the next day was our last day and we need to make the best out of it.
To be continued….
Excerpt: I need to post it today coz I’ve been motivated after seeing the G.C.F in USA posted recently by Bts member J.K.