Archive for August, 2012

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
…a New San Jose Builders project

A living museum of Philippine customs and traditions are re-born in a community typical of the 18th to early 20th century Philippines.    Historical Principalia  or noble class mansions, House of Stone  or Bahay na Bato and Wooden Stilt  houses that once, were  old and decaying architectural  pieces of a  bygone era  and slowly fading into the background of modern urban life are now,  restored  in a picturesque setting reminiscent of a Juan Luna or Amorsolo paintings.  These architectural treasures that have been carefully and painstakingly reconstructed from different parts of the country and rebuilt, “brick by brick” and  “plank by plank”  now ,  stand resplendent with pride  against a backdrop of majestic mountains, expansive rice fields and   a running river that flows to the sea.

Currently, there are twenty seven  heritage architectures, each full  with memories and history.

Walking along village cobblestone streets or riding one of the caruajes (horse-drawn carriages) commands a feeling of nostalgia and wonder, romance and appreciation  of simple living  at its best.

At Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, the legacy of our forefathers and the beautiful Filipino traditions live on. It is a step back into the past, reliving the age- old traditions and practices distinct to our culture, without leaving the luxury and comforts of the modern world.

A showcase of Filipino talent, ingenuity and craftsmanship, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar takes pride in the past… And keeps its hope for the future.
[taken from]

My friend Dennis Morada told me about this place.

He works for the New San Jose Builders and he told me about the concept of this place. Demolishing and moving an old, “historical” structure from its original location to Las Casas located in Bagac, Bataan? My question is WHY?.

Doesn’t a structure lose its “historical” value when moved from its “original” location?

Confused, I have to search for enlightenment. I packed my backpack and headed to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan.

I have to admit it, I’m traveling on 4 wheels for now because the rain ain’t stopping.
It took us 3.5 hours from Marikina to Bagac with stop-overs.

Las Casas is a big place, 400 hectares big. With rice fields and lots of open spaces.

A photographer’s haven. Lot’s of subjects.

Horse-drawn carriage, check.

Old houses with giant stone-block walls, check.

Stone carvings and flower-design metal grills, check.

Oh, there is a pool and a beach. Cool!

Still,… the question is…Why?.

There is a guided walking tour every hour. It’s 1:30 PM. The rain stopped.

Blah, blah, blah, the tour guide told stuff about the houses, who owned it and where it is from.

I kept clicking my camera while still lingering on the  question “WHY?” in my head.

My friend and I headed to the pool and then, the beach which is just a short walk from the pool. Giant waves pounded on us. The sand is black but fine. You will be excited and afraid at the same time. Nice.

Night time. A person from the resto took our advance orders and informed us that there is a Filipino cultural show of songs and dances while we are having dinner. Cool.

The show was very informative as it showcased Filipino songs and dances from every region.
This is my first time to see and hear the songs and dances.

We stayed in Casa Binondo 1. There are 26 other Casas. Our Casa [or all] has the modern amenities like a modern bathroom, AC and lighting. It is like a hotel. Even the doors are card-activated.

WHY? WHY? WHY? [in my head…]

The next day, my buddy Dennis showed me a photo of Casa Vizantina or Byzantine Googled from the internet.
This is Casa Vizantina in its near-death stage. Neglected and abandoned.
[photo courtesy of]

This is Casa Byzantine now at its lovingly-restored state in Las Casas.

This photo comparison will surely summon a WOW!

Casa Byzantine is one of the biggest,luxurious and expensive casas you can rent here.

I searched for this article and followed it to another blog THE PINOY ADVENTURE BLOG [] – The entry was in 2008 before the Casa Byzantine was demolished.


“Probably one of the most beautiful houses in San Nicolas is the Casa Vizantina or the Byzantine House. Casa Vizantina is an embodiment of what we call Turn of the Century Grandeur.

The 3-storey house has floral motifs and arches which are common characteristics in Byzantine Architecture. This Manila’s jewel is definitely one of a kind. For one, there are only a few structures in the country that uses the Byzantine Architecture design. Most of the structures in the country has either Baroque, Gothic or Renaissance design.

I was so thankful to actually been to the Casa Vizantina. This house has already been condemned by the Manila City Hall. The house has been declared as a safety hazard and is scheduled to be demolished sooner that you can even say the word “Heritage Conservation.”

Well I cannot blame anybody here. The house is indeed in its near-death stage. It is just so sad to think that all these years the owner never even card to maintain this house…”

From there, I got my answer.

There is something good in what’s happening in Las Casas.

Visit the place. See for yourself and your adventure will be unique!

Their website is http://

This is PINOY ADVENTURE RIDER. Thanks for reading!

photo by Dennis Morada

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