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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar: Reconstructing the Heritage of the Philippines


Wazzup Pilipinas!

While covering the grand coronation night of the Lakambini ng Las Casas beauty pageant or search for the ambassadress of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, and the following Santaruzan the next day, we got plenty of opportunities to takes photos, videos and vlogs about this magnificent collection of heritage homes and structures in Bagac, Bataan.

We also got a glimpse of Maria Theresa Ochoa Acuzar, wife of Jose Rizalino "Jerry" Larion Acuzar - owners of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, when she participated in the Santacruzan ceremonies before the three queens and the other 13 candidates walked off to start the parade around some parts of the 400 hectare property.

We rented a calesa tour but that just went around some of the places without visiting the insides of the houses, thus we also tried the walking tour which will allow us to visit around 4 to 5 houses for a closer inspection of the interiors plus well-informed stories about the history of the heritage homes from the tour guide.

Other alternatives is to rent a golf cart, either by yourselves or with a tour guide, but that would cost us more at around 1K more or less. You could check out some of the videos we would upload as one contains an interview with one of the tour guides who explained the rates.

The next alternative is via tramvia, a one coach train setup that also goes around like the path of the calesa but also restricted by its rails. But don't worry, that ride is fore free. If you like, you could also wait for their jeepneys, but the route would depend on the passengers destination. Again, that ride is for free.











We have plenty ore photos posted on our official Facebook fan page as this blog could not handle all of them in just one post. This does not even include the videos we have partially uploaded already on our social media pages including on our official YouTube channel.

The magnificence of these structures amplify the rich history and culture of our past. I do not really know what goes on within the mind of the man, but to put all of these together in one place is an awesome spectacle that not only offers us a glimpse of how it was back then, he also gave the previous owners or descendants of the owners an opportunity to preserve their possessions that may have sentimental value for those who are still living.

It makes me wonder why we did not included this attraction among the places visited by the Miss Universe 2016 candidates when the beauty pageant was held in the Philippines. Though the place may not yet be complete as they say 50% completion will just happen within the year, the sights to behold are already too amazing to miss.

I'm guessing that the organizers may have avoided the foreign candidates to be uncomfortable as the weather at Las Casas Filpinas de Acuzar was indeed humid when we visited. My colleague was sweating most of the time especially when he was chasing the ladies for photo. This is most probably caused by being near the sea. I am even thinking that is the reason why the owners decided to put up their own beauty pageant because they were not chosen as one of the venues for any activities of the Miss Universe organization or the current administration including those now running the Tourism agencies of the government.

It may also be political in nature since the owners of the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar are more inclined with the previous administration because a relative used to work for the Aquino government. Now that we have Duterte as president, he may have specifically asked to skip this Bataan attraction.








Regardless of what the reasons are, with the rumored holding of the Miss Universe again in the Philippines this November, the Las Casas Filipinas Acuzar may now be able to flaunt how wonderful the backdrops will be if the biggest beauty pageant would consider visiting them even for a just a special activity like a photo or video shoot of the candidates.

They do not need to worry as the place has many houses where they could accommodate the candidates. The rooms are spacious, has comfy bedding, nice bathroom with sink, shower and bathtub, plus good air-conditioning and a stable Internet connection at most rooms. They also have good food at their restaurants where we had a chance to dine at three different venues.

The possibilities for photo shoot are endless as you would want to pose at every corner and wide area of the property. The scenery is so breath-taking that you may want to stay for a few days just to truly appreciate Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in its entirety.

What came into mind while we were among these fine structures that were renovated to look like how it was before, is that people change throughout time, it's up to us if we would prefer to change or innovate for the better, or do we let ourselves crumble like less maintained structures that are just waiting to be demolished because of neglect or ignorance? Do we bring down everything about us and start a clean slate somewhere else since we are no longer wanted in our origin, or do we persist with our ideals and hope that maybe someday we will stood out triumphant like an iconic structure filled with a rich history so that people will appreciate us?


Photography: Collin Sarthou Yap

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