I’ve previously featured two sights in Bagac, Bataan and these are the Friendship Tower and Montemar Beach Resort. I’m now going to feature another sight from this town and this is the popular Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (official website, Wikipedia).
Named after José “Gerry” Acuzar, owner and chair of the real estate firm New San Jose Builders, Las Casas is a heritage park featuring authentic and replica Spanish-era architecture arranged to emulate a typical Spanish town in the Philippines. Many of the houses were bought and then painstakingly dismantled “brick by brick”, transported to Bagac, and then rebuilt in Las Casas. The site opened to the public in 2010 and currently has 27 structures. The plan is to continue erecting more buildings until there are around 50 of them.
Among the houses in Las Casas is Casa Baliuag I, once the town hall of Baliuag in Bulacan; Casa Biñan, a replica of the house of José Rizal’s mother, Teodora Alonzo; and Casa Hidalgo, which used to house the Schools of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines in Quiapo. Across Umagol River stands a replica of the cathedral in Calatagan, Batangas, and further north are Maranao houses.
Aside from being a private collection of houses (or maybe a Spanish-era-themed theme park ), Las Casas also serves as a resort of sorts, featuring a hotel, a convention center, a swimming pool, and several restaurants serving Spanish-Filipino cuisine. As you can imagine, the site is a popular place for weddings and their receptions, as well as a shooting location for historical films and TV shows.
Some people decry how these ancestral houses and heritage buildings have been brought to Bagac. But given the choice of these buildings suffering neglect, decay, and even demolition in their original locations versus being preserved and appreciated far away, I think the latter is the better option. I haven’t been to Las Casas, but I’m certainly interested in visiting the place.