Three days before weekend, my office mates, our boss, and I decided to go out of Manila to have a mini out-of-town vacation somewhere in the North. We initially had this Baguio plan, however, we opted to go for a much better place which is nearer than the summer capital. Then, Las Casas Filipinas de Acusar came to our mind.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acusar is over 400 hectares open-air museum and heritage resort in Bagac, Bataan. There are more or less 30 historical houses that were dismantled and transported to this place, then reassembled and restored to its original state. Those houses came from different parts of the Philippines with cultural and historical significance to our history.
Public Transportation via Cubao:
- Ride the Genesis Bus or Bataan Transit along EDSA Cubao to Balanga Bus Station (Trip starts at 4:00am every 30 minutes)
- From Balanga Bus Station, ride a jeep bound to Bagac
- From Bagac, get off at Filipino-Japanese Friendship Tower and ride a tricycle to Las Casas de Acuzar
Possible Expenses: P270+ per person
We rented out a van that took us to Las Casas. The driver just used Waze and Google Maps for directions.
Expenses: P6,500 for overnight van rental
WHERE TO STAY:
Las Casas Filipinas de Acusar offers day tour trips for short visit to every guest. But if you want to stay longer inside the heritage resort, they also have accommodations like rooms and private casas. The Room rate starts at P10,000 to P17,000 while Private Casa is from P22,000 to P150,000. Wow, that’s so expensive for a night, right?
Since we were 6 persons, we chose the Executive Suites (P12,000 for off-peak season) which is 120sqm. This accommodation has three floors; first floor is the dining area with restroom, second floor has 1 bed and 1 toilet and bath with Jacuzzi, then third floor has 2 beds. The whole room is so big for us. I think, it can still accommodate up to 10 people.
Included in our accommodation are the following:
- Buffet Breakfast at Hotel de Oriente
- Heritage Walking Tour
- Complimentary WiFi (So sloooow!)
- Tramvia Ride
- Free Jeepney Ride
- Coffee & Tea Making Facilities
- Beach Area
- Swimming Pool
If you are not staying overnight, you can still choose the guided day tour. They have different tour packages which depends on every budget.
The Heritage Tour is one of the activities inside Las Casas de Acuzar. There are professional tour guides that will take the guests to the heritage walking tour. They have knowledge about the certain houses and culture of the Philippines.
Rate starts at P1,500. For more information about the tour packages, you can check them here.
WHERE TO EAT
There are restaurants and cafes inside Las Casas. The Hotel de Oriente offers good food. We had our buffet breakfast here which was super worth it. Casa Sta. Rita (Café del Rio) and Casa Unisan (Marivent Café) serves pica-pica and merienda meals. While Casa Biñan (La Bella Teodora) serves Italian food.
ACTIVITIES TO DO INSIDE
Look back to the 18th Century Philippines
Our country is very rich in in terms of old traditions. In every parts of the Philippines, we could see how diverse our culture is. So, if you are just as interested as me, then you should visit Las Casas soon. Guided tour guides are passionate to share some of interesting things about our country.
Explore and Ride a Tramvia
If you find walking a bit hassle, you may opt to ride a Tramvia. Starting point is from La Puesta del Sol near the beach front up to Parque de Manila, in front of Casa Candaba. It will only take you more or less 5 minutes to travel from two drop-off points. You will see the beautiful architectural houses while riding the Tramvia. However, it is just a bit hassle to wait for your turn since that ride is rechargeable and recharging takes time!
Tip: There are also jeepneys and van inside that you can avail for FREE. But if want a more private all-by-yourself tour around, they have kalesa, bicycle, and golf cart for rent.
Experience the River Cruise
If you want to have a Venice-inspired tour, you may sail a gondola. I know this is a bit expensive for a 30-40 minute ride, but they say it’s worth it. The price is P500 per person and minimum of 4 pax up t0 8 pax. The starting point is near Casa Hagonoy. Be delighted with canal tour of Estero de Binondo up to calm water of Umagol River.
Take Instagram-worthy Shots
Las Casas is indeed one of the most beautiful architectural designs I’ve ever been in the Philippines. Almost every corner is worth to capture. I super enjoyed my photowalk inside most especially the door in every house. They decorated them with flower vines, old rusty paint, and old woods that made them really charming and photogenic.
Hit the Beach
Las Casas is not just about open-air museum, they also have beach area where everyone can enjoy. The sand is not as white as other famous beaches, but they are definitely fine. They also offer water activities like kayak, banana boat, jetski, and even a yacht but of course, the rental fee is a bit expensive.
Tip: If you are staying overnight, no need to bring any towel, they will give you one per guest.
Take a Dip in Cold Batis
Right after we hit the beach, we went to the Batis. This is their version of swimming pool; rocky and like a fresh body of water. This area is exclusive for guests who are staying overnight only. They have mini store beside which you can get refreshments and snacks.
Eat an Authentic Italian Dish at La Bella Teodora
I promise you, their menus are so delish! We ordered the pasta Ravioli and pizza which I forgot -the-name and boy, they were so good! Our boss, who is an Australian, said that their food there is great! Tasted like legit Italian food. For the menu, they are bit pricey but they are worth the Italian taste.
Useful Tip: If you don’t like Italian food, they still have other cafes such as Café del Rio in Casa Sta. Rita and Marivent Café in Casa Unisan which serve pica pica and snacks.
Watch the Typical Filipino Games
Every weekend, they always held typical Filipino games such as Karera ng Kalabaw, Palo Sebo, Laban ng Gagamba, and Piñata. We enjoyed watching Karera ng Kalabaw near the beach. People were shouting while watching.
Appreciate Philippines Folk Dance and Song
There are performances of Philippine dances and songs from different parts of the country at sundown. I feel proud as a Filipino that they still practice Philippine traditions to show them to their guests. Such an amazing performances of Tinikling, Singkil, and Itik-itik which are nearly forgotten today.
Walk at Night Time
Night time in Las Casas is pure romantic but lil bit scary. The scene is silent yet inviting. Lamp posts and hanging tree lights add charm to the whole place. I had the chance to capture such magnificent photos of Las Casas in the dark.
Offer a Prayer at Sanctuario de San Jose
One of the most beautiful sceneries is the Santuario de San Jose with Umangol River as the background. The church is photogenic but prettier in person. They are having mass here every Sunday morning.
Relax and Just Do Nothing
If you feel exhausted, the best way to relieve the stress is to just relax and do nothing all day. Just appreciate every little thing that Las Casas offers.
1. Wear comfortable clothes and slippers during Heritage Tour. Some of the house requires removing of shoes during the trip.
2. I can say that the best month to go to Las Casas is February because the weather is cold, plus the sun is not really scorching hot.
3. They have driver’s quarter if you plan on bringing your own driver. The rate is P1,500 per night. Meal stabs are also available for P100 per meal.
4. You can even play games at Casa Lubao if you find the day boring (which is unusual to happen).
5. Smoking is prohibited on the entire Las Casas premises. You can smoke only in two designated areas which are bit far.
6. They have massage services at Napiya Spa but expect the price to be more expensive.
If you have extra hours before or after visiting Las Casas, you may check out Mt. Samat National Shrine (Dambana ng Kagitingan). In our trip, we visited this place beforehand since it was too early to check-in at Las Casas. Our driver drove us up to the top of the shrine but if you are adventurous as other people, you can try to walk or trek.
According to Wikipedia, “The memorial shrine complex was built to honor and remember the gallantry of Filipino and American soldiers who fought during World War II.”
There’s an entrance fee of P30. Upon reaching the top where the cross was situated, the weather was cold and breezy. The view was majestic. I saw mountain reaching the ocean of Bataan. I felt overwhelmed.
After seeing the cross, we went down to the stairs that took us to the Museum. But we didn’t go inside. We just explore and took some photos for souvenirs.
CONTACT + GUIDE
Contact Person: Kuya Sammy (+63 999 440 6340)
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac, Bataan, Philippines, 2107
Landline: (+632) 332-5286 (+632) 877-4501 (+632) 332-5338 (+632) 355-3032
Front Desk Mobile: 0917-537-8418 (Sundays & Holidays only)