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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Las Casas Staycation birthday treat

With a grand Baguio and Sinagtala tour as birthday treat for the past 2 weeks
the next trip for this week before my birthday should be unique, I was told, 
since I love heritage houses, this is the perfect treat.
we head a little north 2 hrs away from Manila to a land nestled in the waters 
of the South China Sea and Manila Bay, the breathtaking Bataan. 

the experience was unforgettable. It was a breather from the stressful city life.
(The Philippine Houses of Acuzar)  filled with restored Spanish mansions
Acuzar himself chose some 30 old houses and colonial buildings based on 
their historical, cultural and architectural value from various areas in the 
Philippines which were transplanted into the Bagac development.opened in 
2010, and this is my first time to visit this.

It’s easy to take for granted the history all around us. To walk past old buildings
oblivious to the life they once knew. You need a kind of special lens to see it
but when you do, it’s like a magical experience. probably the closest thing
to time travel you’ll ever know.

LAS CASAS DE ACUZAR is a good place to start to get you in the mood and
soak up the atmosphere of a by-gone era, there are heaps of treasures tucked
away in the streets that show glimpses of life in Spanish Philippines.

Almost every aspect of life is represented here with mansions, big and small
houses, shops, cottages, a church, and grandest hotel called HOTEL DE ORIENTE
most houses are restored, some converted to galleries, to shops, but all retaining
their character. It’s a special thing that these buildings were saved.


Its really the Pride in the past, Spanish colonial days. the owner has a large collection
of  heritage houses in his 400 hectare property around 40 houses were restored, this
resort located near a seaside lot has its own natural river, theres only one church  in
this heritage community, a replica of the Balanga church(1838-1845)

this is hotel de oriente, an 8 hour rental cost 1Million, and another Million if you
want to extend for another 8 hours. entrance is 150 per head. truly one luxurious
hotel every detail crafted by hand

The park was opened to the public around 2010.  if you love old houses up
to the crispy details, this resort is for you, you are instantly bought a hundred
yrs back to where your great great grandfather's era. how the rich lived.

theres a Heritage Tour for 1500 + meals entrance fee of 850 per adult,
and 450 per child (no meals.)
we stayed here.
image by:Allan Martinez

Accommodation in Studio Deluxe Room for 2 adults / 2 kids costs 4k,
Studio Deluxe for 4 adult is around 6k, Executive for 6 adult goes for 9k

This lovely resort was built in  2003 by one man, Arch. Gerry Acuzar, and his
passion to collect and rebuild Spanish mansions, bought heritage houses in state
of neglect when heirs of the owners can no longer attend to its restoration, they
sell it. so after the transaction a heritage house is numbered labeled and dismantled

brick by brick, tagged, and transported here in this resort,  reassembled in the
same order, and then restored, if the part is damaged, missing, they  were
replicated to original form. this resort employs a workforce of architects, artist,
wood and metal sculptors, craftsmen and several construction workers
aside from the hotel staffs, cooks, restaurant management, tourist guides and
security in gwardya civil uniform.

For big families or groups, casas can be rented from as low as 16k to 50k a night,
depending on the number of bedrooms and type of Casa. casa byzantina (Binondo3)
cost 52k a night.

we choosed the 14k a night with balcony overlooking other heritage houses.
I was so amazed by the details.

The resort also has 3 restaurants, calesa and golf cart rides,(all for rent per hour)
theres a swimming pool, and a beach.

Stores, souvenir items, photography shop, internet connections are available at the
first level of Paseo de Escolta fronting Plaza Belmonte, near Casa Mexico
(Reception and Business center).

here are some more pictures of what you can see inside

once a casa is occupied, you will see a signage outside announcing that
there are families there.

a casa , depends upon the number of family rooms, can range from 18k
to as much as 150k per night, so unless you are a supermodel or  the wife
of a rich businessman.choose the cheaper ones instead starting at 14k a night
why command such high price you may say? look at the details and the
amount of man hours they put to make each house look almost the same as
the original. and look at your mansion? try to compare.

this is one of their balconies by the river

its a great DIY walking tour experience as you marvel each house
along this river bank, before you see Hotel de Oriente.

here are some of the image by my  pretty photog Jen. these images are taken by the

this is their beach

and when you thought this resort is only beautiful in the morning
wait when it lights up at night. here is one video of their amazing sunset

and marvel upon the hotel oriente at night shot by Allan Martinez

one of the hardest house to restore
image by:Allan Martinez

going around the resort at night, you will also see a mini museum

later that night we went to this filipino food restaurant for our dinner
we almost met the owner because we were the last ones to dine there
shyness overtook us all, and we never tried to ask for a photo op.
I regret it, I should have tried. even if the waitress told us its prohibited.

the next day we went to FOTOGRAPHIA ESCOLTA for some souvenir shots

indeed its a big experience and its a big birthday treat for me. this concludes
the 3 part birthday celebration ending  at Mt. Samat for a historical tour
at the museum

thanks to my pretty photog Jenny and my heritage lover friend Allan
for accompanying me and having this advance birthday celebration
with a 2 day staycation at Las Casas and in Mt Samat, Bataan.

my blog ends here. and this will be the last tour for this month
next month will be TOYCON 2017
This is your LOVERBOY Dennis signing off.

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