Ancestral Homes at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
How do I even begin to describe this trip to the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, “A Genesis Heritage Resort”? Perhaps the best way to explain to go about it is to say that this museum/resort is owned by a family that actually rescued so many ancestral homes and replanted/rebuilt them brick by brick in Bataan.
Perhaps I should tell this story through photos instead. Warning: there are LOTS!
Casa Mexico serves as the reception area and information center. Waiting guests can play sungka.
I stayed in Paseo de Escolta, which is a replica of old Escolta inns where the first floor is occupied by bakeries and other shops while the rest of the floors are for inn visitors. The cheapest rooms are here (at P3,825/night), but don’t worry. They’re very spacious. (I’ve uploaded photos of the room and bathroom on my FB page.)
Casa Unisan: where I dined. Breakfast came free, by the way. There’s a tragic story behind this restaurant, which was war-related, but I don’t want to spoil it because I want people to come here and let the tour guide do her job.
My typical breakfast. That’s fish, scrambled egg, fried rice, watermelon. Breakfast meals come with free coffee and iced tea/orange juice.
Lunch. This meal is actually good for two. I forgot how much it costs exactly, but I remember it was rather reasonably priced. Also, if you can’t finish this, they will offer to keep it and reheat it for you come dinner time.
Dessert: Turon with ice cream.
Dessert: Classic leche flan.
My breakfast on the second day. I’m not sure what kind of longganisa this was again. I don’t normally eat pork but for the sake of this trip, I tried it. (Just so I would not have to eat the same breakfast I had the day before.)
Las Casas constantly expands, by the way, as new ancestral homes are transferred all year long. Here’s the seaside.
Here’s Casa Bizantina. Rich in history as it had become so many things: school, house, museum artifact, hotel. Oh yeah, it also happens to be the most expensive among the hotels in the vicinity.
Old school bath tub. Casa Bizantina has its own butler service and exceeds all other amenities usually found in top hotels. That’s why a night here ranges from PhP16,00 to PhP150,000.
Oh and one other thing: All the toiletries here — soaps, shampoos, etc. — are Hermes. Hence the rates.
Lovely old phone. It still works.
Here’s one of the reasons why I wanted to see this place. Las Casas is also home to the very first UP Fine Arts building, named Casa Hidalgo in honor of its owner Rafael Hidalgo. Again, relocated from its original home in Quiapo.
Still not spoiling the entire story for you people who plan to tour the place. Suffice to say that these are stables. There’s also an area right beside it where people heard mass. Tragic things have happened here, too.
I find this portion of the floor highly amusing. It was said that whenever the owner had callers, he would peep into this hole on the floor. He would come down if he liked his guests but he’d throw…something disgusting through it when the guests were unwanted.
Second floor of Casa Hidalgo. It is well-preserved, though some of the pillars (not shown here) were already new.
Casa Baliuag, one of the houses lining the sides.
One of the houses here is owned by Rizal’s relative. Find out who. 😉 Gotta love this door frame!
And when you peep out, the view is breathtaking!
Casa Maranao. This is a new addition and it was a datu’s home. It was said that his wives are separated by curtains…so that he can easily roll over into whichever sections he wanted to visit at night.
The symbolic tikbalang under the bridge.
One of the beautiful ceilings. I believe this is Casa Lubao. There’s another touching story about this that happened during World War II, of a Japanese spy who went undercover as the family’s driver.
You have got to love those ceiling ornaments. They don’t make ceilings like that anymore.
These used to be considered “poor” houses. Now they cost a lot to rent for the night. Heh. There was a video shoot going on when I visited, so these houses were full of showbiz staff and crew.
Now this is the museum, Casa Luna. It’s amusing how I was asked to remember the difference between the aliping namamahay (slaves inside the house) and the aliping sagigilid (slaves on the sides of the house).
To view the entire collection of antiques, we had to go the route of the aliping sagigilid.
This was how people ironed their clothes in ancient times. Just put the clothes in between those pieces of wood and act like a surfer/wakeboarder.
I’m sorry that I had to include this (and it’s upside down, lol). These are two ancient toilet bowls. Apparently, when pre-iPad/Android people did their thing in the morning, they would chat with their buddies so as not to get bored. Since plumbing wasn’t invented yet…well, let’s just say kaning baboy (pig food) was a totally different concept during those days. (Now, I understand why I dislike the taste of pigs. Must have avoided them in my past life, too. Hahaha!)
I had photos taken in this beautiful gazebo. I wore a Filipiniana dress. Forgot to scan them. That’s Paseo de Escolta right behind it.
During the last night of my stay, diners were serenaded at Casa Unisa. True to the resort/museum’s theme, they played kundiman.
For more photos, you can view the album at my FB page. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a 4-6 hour drive from Manila.
Manila Sales Office:
Mezzanine Floor Victoria Towers
Timog Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Las Casas Sales & Reservations Office:
Telephone Nos.: (+63 2) 332.5338, (+632) 355.3032
Fax No.: (+63 2) 332.5286
You can also visit their website for more details at: http://www.lascasasfilipinas.com/
Ching MeranoApril 30, 2013 at 8:31 am
Did you go to the nearby beach?
Gosh! I so wanted to go there!!!
skysenshiApril 30, 2013 at 8:35 am
What nearby beach? The seaside? I just walked alongside it but a lot of things were under construction eh. So I didn't get to hang out in the area much.
MrsMartinezApril 30, 2013 at 9:46 am
So expensive naman! I like the second photo, galing ng pagkakuha ; )
Raffy CasesApril 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm
These are from what I observe…
The Good: It preserves built heritage, even if reconstructed. In this way, history is not entirely lost.
The Flimsy: The houses were taken away from their original site, affecting the way the windows, eaves and building materials deal with the climate of the place.
skysenshiMay 1, 2013 at 3:08 am
Haha ang crappy ng camera ko at that time. I was using my tab. Yung place where I stayed 3+K/night lang. Yung Bizantina kasi puro Hermes kaya siguro ganun kamahal.
skysenshiMay 1, 2013 at 3:10 am
I was also thinking of the climate. Lapit kasi sa seaside so they have to really do something about that. Well-maintained naman and most of the time, some members of the original owners' families are consulted for the reconstruction.
If they weren't taken from their original locations, they would have been destroyed by our idea of “progress”.
PalengkequeenMay 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm
Sayang ang hermes, we have a lot of organic high quality toiletries of our own. Why opt for a french brand on a Filipino inspired hotel. Yuck!
skysenshiMay 1, 2013 at 11:34 pm
I'm thinking mas bagay nga Spanish brand for that particular hotel, if they really want to go for all-out expensive.
Dun naman where I stayed, I think bagay mag-tie up with Human Nature and other high quality toiletries kasi mas affordable naman.