I first heard about Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar some time in 2009 from my photographer friends. They took awesome photos of the place and I can’t help but feel a twinge of envy. So I’ve been wanting to travel there since then. However, I didn’t have the means to travel to Bataan during that time.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to experience Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan with my classmates from UP Diliman and some visiting students from Ehime University, Japan last January 13. Our Bataan day trip included visits to the Mt. Samat National Shrine or the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) and Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
I consider Las Casas as a theme park that showcases the Philippines during the Spanish and American colonial periods. The resort is basically a village full of heritage houses transplanted from different parts of the Philippines. Some neglected heritage houses can now be found in the resort including the controversial Alberto House.
The great thing about Las Casas is that the heritage houses found inside aren’t just for display. They are real houses that guests can rent! Some of the houses also serve as museums that house artifacts from the “old Philippines.”
Las Casas also hosts regular heritage tours of the whole resort so guests can make sense of the different houses and structures. The heritage tour lasts for around two hours. But the tour was highly interactive and entertaining. During the tour, I was able to try using different household items in old Filipino homes like the charcoal iron. Of course, I also learned about some secrets and interesting tidbits about the houses and their owners. I will never forget about the intricate alipin (slave) system that was in place in the past.
My favorite spot in the resort is the bridge leading to the beachfront. A lot of scenes from the movie El Presidente were shot on this bridge. I love walking down this bridge while feeling the cool sea breeze. I also love walking on cobblestone streets!
TIP: Wear comfortable slip-on shoes during the tour. Las Casas has cobblestone streets and you’ll be asked to remove your footwear when entering the heritage houses. Bring a hat or an umbrella, too.
There’s nothing to rave about the beach in Bagac, but you can actually see the Bataan Nuclear Powerplant from Las Casas.
I would love to go back to Las Casas and stay there for a few days! I would definitely bring period-appropriate clothes when I return!
For more photos from my Las Casas trip, follow me on Instagram.