Bataan escapade: A blast from the past

           BATAAN is one of the famous historical provinces in Central Luzon Region.  The so-called Battle of Bataan and Bataan Death March are the famous histories which the American and Filipino Soldiers combined their forces in order to fight Japanese invasion.  Bataan is also famous for their historical sites, attractions, and places with Spanish colonial designs.  One of the places is the Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar a heritage resort with Spanish-era heritage houses located at Bagac, Bataan. These houses are transported to the resort brick by brick to restore the houses from the original locations and made it as a luxury accommodations. For these reasons, we have decided to pack up for Bataan Escapade. Just a four (4) hours travel from Manila to Bataan.

          When we got there, I was mesmerized by the ambiance of the heritage resort. It was like I was in the middle of the Spanish colonial period.

photos from: Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar website

Entrance At the Heritage Resort

How To Get There:    

Step 1. Manila to Balanga, Bataan Route (via Bataan Transit Co. Inc. or Genesis Transport Inc.)

          From Cubao Terminal bus leaves every 1 hour from 12:00 midnight to 10:00 P.M. or from Avenida Terminal bus leaves every 1 hour from 2:00 midnight to 9:00 A.M. It just takes 4 hours travel. The fare is only P200/person one way. For Cubao terminal  reservation, please contact landline no. (02) 709-4049 and for Avenida terminal reservation landline no. (02) 734-9207.

Step 2. Arrival at the Balanga, Bataan Terminal

         From the terminal of Bataan Transit walk to the Bataan Transport Terminal in Balanga. The walk is just less than 5 minutes.

Step 3. Jeep/Bus to Bagac, Bataan

         At the Bataan Transport Terminal in Balanga, jeepneys and buses line up going to Bagac. Travel Time is 45 minutes to an hour. Schedule is from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., jeep/bus leaves every 30 minutes even when it is not full. Fare is P47/person one way. Just tell the driver that you will be going to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar so that they can drop you to the nearest point to the heritage resort where tricycles can be found.

Step 4. Tricycle going to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

        Ride the tricycle at Bagac, Bataan.  Travel Time is less than 5 minutes. Tricycles are available 24 hours though there’s a possibility that prices are twice as much in the late hours of the night. The fare is only P10/person one way.

Where to stay:

       Accommodation at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is varied and wide-ranging. During our trip, we stayed in a cozy  and luxurious room at Paseo de Escolta one of the heritage houses in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar which  is a replica of a hotel in Escolta, Manila way back the 1900’s. This building now has hotel suites on the second and third floor, while the ground floor houses shops and other services. Accommodation includes set breakfast per room, coffee and tea making facilities, use of swimming pool and beach area, walking heritage tour, welcome drinks and cold towel, and vicinity guide map for a package rate of P4,050/night. For room reservation and rates please contact landline no.(02)332-5338  or website for more infos http://www.lascasasfilipinas.com/index.php/accommodation.html.

Note: You can also try to book other alternative accommodations at Travelbook.ph for affordable and discounted rates.

Studio De Luxe Room
Paseo de Escolta

What to do: (attractions and views)

          Bataan is also famous for its natural wonders and  historical places. Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar is the perfect place if you want to see what it’s like in the 1800s during the Spanish colonial period. Big, old houses from different provinces of the Philippines were moved here and were given a new life, Thanks to the owner’s passion for restoring and reliving great wonders and stories of the past.

   1. Sunset View, walk over the bridge of Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar

         A romantic set up, watching sunset while walking over the  bridge made of rock has been built over the river draining out to the West Philippine Sea.
Historical Bridge of Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
Romantic Sunset View

 2. Take a plunge in the heritage resort’s batis-pool

        Take  a dip in the resort’s batis-inspired swimming pool. It is small and is only four-feet deep.It is located next to the beach where guests can enjoy swimming. We spent most of our time swimming at the “batis” pool which is the best way to cool down.
batis-inspired pool of Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
nature trip beside the pool
the view at the pool

3. Heritage Historical Tour

          The one-hour walking historical tour with a tour guide dressed in colonial spanish costume started right away after the briefing at the reception area of Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar. we learned many untold histories from our tour guide. Each house has their own unique and intriguing stories to tell which probably you may not have heard of before nor is written in books. Kudos to the researchers!
One of the Heritage Houses
our tour guide
inspiring statutes inside the heritage resort
antiques at the heritage houses
colorful paintings at the walls and ceilings

4. Have a good time at the Beach

      After our breakfast, we spent our time experiencing the pristine waters and gray sand beach that offered an unobstructed view of spectacular sunrise.
The Bataan Beach

 5. Trek at Mt. Zamat Pilar Bataan

         Before we got home, a sidetrip at Mt. Zamat National Shrine, is a historical shrine located near the summit of Mount Samat in the town of Pilár, Province of Bataan. The memorial shrine complex was built to honor and remember the gallantry of Filipino and American soldiers who fought during World War II.
 
Dambana ng Kagitingan, Memorial cross

 6. Zipline at Mt. Zamat, Pilar Bataan

          After taking pics at the shrine, we headed to Mt. Zamat Zipline for an adrenaline rush with 154 meters above sea level at launch pad and 540 meters length. Located at Mt. Samat, Diwa, Pilar, Bataan is Luzon’s longest zip line . Zipline Fee P350, Environmental fee P20, shuttle trip from parking lot to launch area P30, shuttle trip from landing area to parking lot P50.
Mt. Zamat Zipline

   7. Take pictures at Dunsulan falls

        At the launch pad of zipline, located at the foot of Mt. Zamat is the Dunsulan Falls. The plunge pool is 40ft deep with a cone shape hard rock formation.

Dunsulan Falls
The View

   8. Visit and pray at the Balanga, Bataan Cathedral

          Balanga Cathedral, formally known as St. Joseph Cathedral. During the Japanese invasion the cathedral was used as an artillery emplacement to bombard Mt. Samat, where the Filipino-American troops made their last stand. It was later renovated by the first bishop of the Diocese, Celso Guevarra.
 
St. Joseph Church

   9. Take a shot at the Bagac Friendship-Tower

           The monument, symbolizing the renewed friendship between Japan and the Philippines after the events of World War II. The tower was inaugurated on April 8, 1975 and is located about 200 m (660 ft) from where the Bataan Death March started.  The 27-metre (89 ft) hight tower is compose of three pillars interconnected by several multi-layer rings. It located at the junction of the Gov. Linao National Road and the road to the Bagac town proper.

Bagac Friendship Tower

Where to eat:

          We spent most of our stay at Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar. There are actually four restaurants in the compound to choose from namely: La Bella Teodora, Cafe Marivent, Panaderia de la Escolta , and Comida de la Calle.
1. Cafe Marivent
       
       We ate our hearty breakfast at Cafe Marivent which caters Filipino-Spanish cuisine. Since our breakfast was included in our package accommodations, we opted for Filipino cuisine.
        It is set in Casa Unisan which was transferred to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar year 2007 and was originally built year 1839 as the very first bahay na bato in Unisan Quezon under the ownership of the Maxino family.
Tocilog and longsilog with dessert, juice and coffee

2. La Bella Teodora

         The last tour we had in the afternoon ended just in time for dinner. Dinner was served at La Bella Teodora which offers authentic Italian cuisine. They gave us ice-cold towelettes to cool us down. The service was wonderful here.
         The Italian restaurant is also known as the Alberto Alonzo house or the Casa Biñan for it was originally owned by the family of Teodora Alonzo. It was originally located in front of the town plaza in Biñan, Laguna but was transferred in Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar.
Italian Lasagna And Bread

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar Tour guide:

          The walking Heritage Tour is an hour tour around the heritage resort where different heritage houses are located. It is already included in the package accommodations. Here’s the map as a guide inside the resort.
tour guide map

 BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES

  • Transportation:
         Cubao – Balanga, Bataan (bus)                         = P200 x 2 =  P400/pax  back & forth
          Balanga, Bataan – Bagac, Bataan (jeepney)    =  P47 x 2 =   P 94/pax back & forth
          Bagac – Las Casas Resort (tricycle)                 = P 10 x 2 =   P  20/pax back & forth

TOTAL  =  P514/pax back and forth

  • Accommodation:
                Paseo De Escolta (Las Casas)  = P4,050/night wih set breakfast, tour and drinks
                                                                      (with private bathrooms)
  • Foods = it depends on your budget..
  • Tours = see above rates..
 Note: Sidetrip to Mt. Zamat
                Bagac – Pilar, Bataan  (jeepney)                  = P 20/pax one way
                Tricycles to Mt. Zamat               = P 50 x 2 = P100/pax back and forth
                 Zipline Fee                                                  = P350/pax
                 Environmental fee                                       = P 20/pax
                 shuttle trip from parking lot to launch area = P30/pax
                 Entrance fee at the shrine                            = P20/pax
                                                                         TOTAL= P540/pax

“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything… at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.”

 
Enjoy and God Bless fellow Adventurist.. =)

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