Our first brush with Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar was at my wife’s friend’s wedding. It was a quick glimpse of the place as we weren’t able to go around except for the venues where the ceremony and reception was held. But even then, we couldn’t help but swoon at the glory of old Manila. So we didn’t pass on the chance to visit again and spend a couple of nights to experience this heritage tour in Bataan.
“Las Casas Filipinas” means “the houses of the Philippines”, and “de Acuzar” means “of Acuzar”. This internationally acclaimed resort is home to Jose Acuzar’s collection of restored Spanish-Filipino houses.
We stayed in a floor of an “accessoria” whose modern-day equivalent is an apartment or condominium. Back in the day, this 3-floored house sits by an estero (a tidal channel used as a drainage canal in populated districts) where trades are made. The second level is where business is usually done. This is where we spent our weekend, therefore our floor had a terrace overlooking the water where balsas pass by.
Inside are handsome dark wood furniture, and its bathroom is just as large as the bedroom. It’s complete with a tub, a separate bidet, and a shower room.
We enjoyed our meals from breakfast to dinner. There was a good number of options to choose from and were all very tasty. Buffet breakfasts were served at the ground floor of the Hotel de Oriente and for lunch and dinner, except the first night, was served at Casa Biñan.
One of the activities that we were really excited about was the heritage tour because we missed it during the first time we were there. The houses were already pretty to look at that it will make you wonder what stories they hold.
Crucial to every guided tour is the tour guide of course. We are happy with the lovely Sarah who narrated with a good balance of historical facts, intrigue and humor.
We missed joining the rest of our team in the balsa ride and because the minimum number of persons for the tour is four, we have to wait for at least two more. Shortly after, two guests joined us at the waiting area.
Since we were done with the Heritage Tour, there’s nothing much to surprise us anymore except for the details of the bridges or arcs that we pass through and some houses that were far from those covered by the heritage tour.
Our friends told us to not have high expectations with the beaches in Bataan. They often characterized them with rocky sea bed and filled with jelly fishes or sea urchins. So when we got to the beach, we cautiously tried dipping. Surprisingly, the sea is clear and clean.
I must say that it was a good experience despite the scorching heat of the summer sun. Plus, in this trip we learned that Tikoy actually likes to play with sand, he even tried to eat some! No joke.
We also tried their swimming pools on a Sunday morning. We had the pool all to ourselves!
- No two bedrooms or houses are alike. It’s like staying in a boutique hotel where every room is individually designed and curated. So even if you keep coming back to the place, as long as you stay in a different room, the experience will always be new.
- Always bring water and sunblock lotion. We’ve been there in December and March and we can say that it is really really hot.
- Try the breads at their bakery (panadera) near the plaza. They’re mostly sold out so better ask for their schedule of freshly-baked goodies.
- Key landmarks are relatively far from each other so make sure that you have comfortable footwears or wait for the free jeepney ride within the complex.
Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac,
Bataan 2107, Philippines
Tel: (+632) 866-8500 | (+632) 332-5286
Manila Sales and Reservation Office
Room Reservations Direct Lines:
332.5338 / 332.5286 / 355.3032
Mobile No.: 0917.537.8418
How to get there:
Bataan is accessible via the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX). There are buses running directly to Balanga town proper, which is about 125 km northwest of Manila. From Olongapo City, you may take the Victory Liner Buses. Tricycles and jeepneys are the primary modes of transport around Bataan.