THE YAPPY BUNCH headed north one weekend for a family staycation at....
LAS CASAS FILIPINAS DE ACUZAR!!!!
Truth be told, this may be the first time we headed out to this direction (since we always drive South) and we're all pretty excited because this will once again be a family bonding experience where we will be going back in time!
Well... almost! He he he he he he!
Our journey started when we drove out very early in the morning. It's great that there was no traffic northbound and we were able to get to Bataan in about 3 hour's time.
We had breakfast at our favorite fast food hub, JOLLIBEE! I really love their breakfast deals, especially the burger steak with garlic rice and fried egg.
As for Andrei, he got the spaghetti and fries. I guess he really loved the fries that morning because he wrapped the leftovers with tissue paper for take out!
Ha ha ha ha! Yup! Even if it were only 3 pieces!
After getting ourselves all filled up, we immediately drove out again.
For first timers, it would be confusing to find LAS CASAS FILIPINAS because you would come upon a place that seems like a residential area.
There is another main entrance though if you missed a turn and get out to the main road. You would see a sign like the one above.
And here we are!
There was still a small drive from the sign towards the entrance.
When we got to this unfinished bridge, security verified if we made any reservations for our stay.
The entrance that we took was for the beachfront villas. Since we reserved for deluxe rooms, we were directed to drive straight on.
It was indeed hot so that calm beach look so inviting.
And finally we're here!
This house is where you check in.
Of course, we just HAD to take pictures first. Believe me, everywhere you look in LAS CASAS FILIPINAS is a photo op waiting to happen!
Check in was at 2:00pm in LAS CASAS FILIPINAS but we already registered and deposited some of our bags.
In LAS CASAS FILIPINAS, you would see the loving Filipino touch everywhere. Fancy a game of sungka while waiting for your turn?
A map of LAS CASAS FILIPINAS!
We were advised by the nice lady at the lobby that we could participate in the 11:30am Heritage Tour since it would be too hot later in the afternoon.
Since we're very obedient to have a good time, we went for it!
The white house with the gray bricks is the meeting place for the Heritage Tour.
There, we were met with our tour guide Leo for the 11:30am schedule.
The little lords waited with their stony/furry companions.
It was actually quite cool inside the stone house even if the sun was glaring.
And finally we start!
Yohoo! Over here.
Since there were foreigners who joined the Heritage Tour, our guide spoke in English.
Our guide said that LAS CASAS FILIPINAS has a total of 30 Heritage houses that were dismantled from the original location and reconstructed in its new home.
He started off with the Houses from Cagayan that were from the 1900s. These "poor man's houses" were usually built on stilts and made of wood.
Afterwards we went to the heritage house CASA LUNA which was also a museum of old Filipino household items.
CASA LUNA was considered as a mansion in its time and like in Downton Abbey, secondary servants should be invisible to the members of the house. That's why they have this very narrow walk way just for them.
Oldies but goodies galore!
You could enter these houses only during guided tours and you would have to remove your shoes.
Could you guess what this is?
How about this?
Would you believe that this was used to wash clothes in the olden times? It would normally take 3 hours to finish a complete baro't saya.
According to our guide, Filipinos before believed so much in togetherness that they would even resort to using the lavatory with each other. And take this, they didn't have indoor plumbing so human waste was dumped onto waiting pigs under this "comfort room".
Considering that this was used by Filipinos in the higher economic class, I wonder what the ordinary folks used???
And get this. The. Pigs. Ate. Their. Master's. Waste.
Then, the masters would eat the pigs????? QUE HORROR!!!!!!!!!!
Something tells me I would prefer to be a vegetarian hermit if I lived during those times.
That was certainly fun! Now onto the next house.
The next house is CASA JAEN, formerly owned by Don Hilario Esquivel that was built during the 1900s. It also won an award the House Beautiful Award in 1917.
When going on the Heritage Tour, don't forget to bring hats and umbrellas because it could get quite hot.
As for THE YAPPY BUNCH, we still wore our jackets and long sleeved shirts so as not to burn our delicate and pristine skin. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
From where we were standing we could see the Hotel De Oriente.
It was a magnificent hotel that used to be in Binondo before. They had it moved to LAS CASAS FILIPINAS and turned it into another museum.
At that time I noticed that Andrei was getting bored with the tour. But rather than throwing a hissy fit, he just took out his Monster Truck and played quietly everytime we stopped walking.
In front of that majestic hotel is the CASA LUBAO.
Beneath the mansion (where normally the carriages or other supplies are kept) LAS CASAS FILIPINAS had a play room.
Hmmm... I wonder if this is authentic???
The second floor had a balcony which I imagine to be a very relaxing place to be in during the day and night time.
When you go to Heritage Houses in LAS CASAS FILIPINAS, you are required to remove your all shoes and slippers.
Isn't the view beautiful?
The house originated in Lubao, Pampanga and had a total of 3 rooms, plus spacious dining and living areas.
"Ako si Donya Carmela. Maari kayong pumasok sa aming tahanan kung ika'y nasa tamang dignidad at ugali."
I wonder how this room looked like before?
"Ako si Donya Carmela. Hindi maaring pumasok ang mga hampaslupa sa mansyon na ito!!!!!!!!"
The living room!
I wonder if they really had a toilet system in the 1920s?
Or THIS? He he he he he!
Familia La Carmela Y Yapina.....
He he he he he!
And then we started walking again.
We then arrived at the CASA BINAN where the stone pillars added extra mystery to the place.
Does this place look familiar?
Yup! This is where they filmed one of the most crucial scenes in HENERAL LUNA!
When we entered the house of Teodora Alonzo (mother of Jose Rizal), we got a little bit of trivia from our guide.
The characters of that story.
If you want to know what scandal we were talking about here, then go to the tour! He he he he he!
The Chinese Adonis and I really enjoyed the tour. Even if the sun joined our walking party by shining on us, there was a cool breeze that made the walk a relaxing activity.
Our guide Leo really knew a lot about the history of the houses and was able to answer all of our kulit questions. Yep! He would even share a tale or two on some ghost stories and scandals. Ha ha ha ha ha!
I'm sure Andrei enjoyed it too especially that he was able to play with his Monster Truck on different "land terrains". He he he he he!
Behind Mati is the CASA BALIUAG which was built in 1898 and owned by the Vergel de Dios family.
The house across that is CASA QUIAPO!
CASA QUIAPO used to be in the University of the Philippines as it's first campus and now it's in LAS CASAS FILIPINAS.
It was built in 1867 and owned by the University's first director.
The vibe inside was quiet, serene, and ancient.
I wonder if the ghosts of former students and teachers roamed these halls?
In the middle of those two houses is CASA BINONDO.
And the last house for the tour is CASA TONDO!
After our super fun Heritage Tour, we freshened up a bit in the same house that we met a while ago.
We got some cold wet towels from Leo.
And delicious sago gulaman with pandan! Awesome!
And Andrei was still not finished playing with his Monster Trucks. Ha ha ha!
We were getting hungry so we rode a jeep for our lunch.
Jeeps are free of charge within LAS CASAS FILIPINAS because the walks may be far. But believe me, when you're there you would prefer to hike it out and enjoy the lovely surroundings.
That's what we did after this!
We had lunch amidst more greens, lovely houses with that old Manila touch, and perfect weather!
Here's THE YAPPY BUNCH having lunch at CAFE DEL RIO . You'd have to agree that lunch is more perfect when you have a famous mountain behind you. Tee hee!
Part Two coming soon!!!!
If you want to take a trip and experience old Manila, check out LAS CASAS FILIPINAS DE ACUZAR. If you're not available for a weekend staycation, you may still opt for a day tour which is just as enjoyable.
LAS CASAS FILIPINAS DE ACUZAR
89 Brgy. Pag-asa, Bagac, 2107
(63-2) 3325338 or (63-2) 3325286