It’s unbelievable how long it took for me to visit Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar considering how much I’ve wanted to for so long. The photos I’ve seen were lovely and the place is just full of history.
I would have to say that Jerry Acuzar, the owner of Las Casas, has done something quite remarkable. He has built a place that is saturated with architectural history. After wars and calamities, maintaining an ancestral home is no easy feat. And finding them all over the country? That’s just awesome.
Entry and Transportation
Getting to Las Casas is actually easy and affordable. First you will need to take a bus to Balanga (Genesis and Bataan Transit have daily trips from 3AM to 10PM) and from there you can take a non-aircon mini-bus or van to Bagac. The bus to Balanga takes three hours and costs 200 php while the Bagac trip takes an hour and a half and costs 47 php.
You can get a tricycle to take you straight to the concierge. Walking from the sign post all the way to the concierge can be done but not practical because you have to walk with no shade available.
The entrance is not very affordable I would have to say but I think it’s worth it. Your 1,500 php will get you in the grounds, plus a bottle of water and a cold towel. The tours are free and they have one every hour.
Pro Tip: if you know a member of Las Casas, they can get you in for a cheaper rate. In our case, the people running the resort where we stayed at knew a member who helped get us in. It pays to get a little chatty!
Tours and Activities
The tour is actually pretty fun and educational. It gave us a peek of how Filipinos lived in the past. I really want to tell you about everything but I also don’t want to spoil anything for you. The tours are lovely! Watch out for Casa Byzantina, Casa Hagonoy, and the whole stretch of Estero de Binondo.
The tours go by each house really quickly but if you want to spend more time in a house, you can go back and wait for another tour group to go in. Unfortunately since some of the houses are rented (pretty much like a hotel), you have to depend on the guides to tell you if you can enter a specific house or not.
They have a short show in one of the houses and one at Plaza Marcelino on weekends. They have a small pool that guests can use. There’s also a spa (which I didn’t get to try, unfortunately) and a hotel.
Dining and Accomodations
Las Casas has plenty of dining options. There’s Cafe Malivent at the grand Hotel del Oriente, Cafe del Rio which (you guessed it) is right next to the river, and smaller establishments that offer snacks and drinks. It is pricey though, in my opinion, compared to the quality of the food. It’s not bad food. I just think they could do better.
You can rent all sorts of stuff – from the rooms to the houses – in varying amounts. For example, you can rent the whole island of Plaza Maria, Casa Irosin, Casa Balanga, and Casa Gapan for 250,000 php. A wedding location perhaps? Room rates range from 10,000 to 17,000 php and can accomodate from two to six people while the houses can be rented from 22,000 to 150,000 php. I’m looking at you Casa Byzantina, you fancy little bird.
A Unique Experience
There’s nothing like a visit to Las Casas Filipinas. The collection appeals to so many interests: history, architecture, art. It’s a feast for both your eyes and your brain. If you want to know more about the place, just visit their website.
Have you been to Las Casa Filipinas de Acuzar? How was your experience?