Las Casas would always be a happy place for me. I’ve been here three times already, and I am more than happy to visit again any day. (Oh god, I would even live there if I could.) Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a heritage resort in Bagac, Bataan and was my first long scenic drive early last year which makes it more memorable. This was on our 2nd visit to the place. I could still hear my mom trying to calm herself down in the backseat whenever there’s an inclined or curved road.
Upon entering their gates, I felt like a giddy little girl in a giant movie set. I would have wandered off right away if not for my brother teasing me and not giving me my camera. Either I was sent back to another century or I’m in some part of old Europe; but then, the concierge started talking in Tagalog and I’m letting the “You’re still in the Philippines” thing sink in.
Accommodations were in old houses and we stayed in a room overlooking the plaza. Architectural pieces have already been altered/restored to fit the 21st century, but you could sense that they preserved even the smallest details. How they managed to transport majestic mansions from all over the Philippines into one place, I’m still wondering.
Lately, the place has been getting attention. But do visit on low seasons. We were almost the only guests during our stay and even though it rained the night of our visit, waking up and walking around alone was my favorite part of the trip. (I just sounded like someone who would grow old with cats.) I shamelessly went out in my jammies, and strolled and took pictures, and I this place was just like an extra huge museum. And that it was closed privately just for me. #dreams
Food was semi-expensive but I think they are reasonably priced comparing them to that in hotels or resorts. No restaurants are nearby so one is inclined to really eat in their restos and cafes. Service is good, though. Also the ambiance. The first time we visited, we did a group day tour which included a buffet lunch and it introduced me to gabi flavored ice cream. I never knew taro was just gabi, and it became my favorite ever since. (Now I want taro milk tea.) I think me and my cousin alone finished a whole bucket of the ice cream. I have no regrets.
My university has an old building there as well. Which apparently used to be a birthing clinic. Haha.
On our last visit, there’s a new area being remodeled. After crossing the brick-stone bridge, a wide beach and pool area awaits. Now there’s a hotel building almost finished (I think it’s actually finished now) and a new set of heritage houses are being remodeled as well. And you can rent bikes for those who rather not walk a lot. (Or for those who just want to Instagram themselves riding on a pastel colored bike on a very Instagrammable road.)
Cobblestone streets + brick everything + bougainvillea + the sea + staff in traditional clothing. It was just beautiful and I may be forever in awe.
You can check more about Las Casas Filipinas’ over at their website: lascasasfilipinas.com and booking can be done there as well.