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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
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
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
“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.”