Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, part 1

My parents had grand plans about this year's vacation: walking down colonial era memory lane, digging one's toes into the sand, and lounging beside crystal clear waters. 

My plan was way simpler: I wanted to swim and get a tan caused by spending time in the water. It's been too long since I was in a beach last. The tan I had before my parents' visit was all courtesy of my time basking in the sunshine as a Rice Survivor last year. Yes, that is NOT a joke.

So after a bit of planning, we ended up taking the 250ish-km drive to Bagac, Bataan. This is officially the first road trip of the Civic and I had my mom, dad, and sister with me for a change! The Jazz's first road trip? I was alone when I went to a friend's wedding in Lucena. But that's a story for another post.

Anyway, back to Bagac...

It was evening by the time we reached Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, a resort reknowned for featuring and restoring Spanish era houses and traditional Filipino homes. I dreaded the real possibility that my mom would decide she didn't like to stay in the place; she was laughing when I sighed in relief because she decided that we're staying there overnight. I mean who wouldn't be frustrated after driving for five hours with only two short stops, right?! To go on a return trip on the same night would be torture!

After checking in, we dropped our bags in one of the coolest houses in the Philippines I've ever slept in. Cool, as in malamig. Cool, as in amazing. Cool, as in I-want-to-live-in-a-house-like-this! It's a house from the 19th century, I think, and was transported from Jaen, Nueva Ecija. 

If the house was cool, I was wowed by the rest of the resort that was illuminated that evening. I must have entered a time machine because I felt like I've been teleported to the time of the Noli Me Tangere. This is how I imagine Intramuros to must have looked like back in its heyday... Well, except that the guardia civil here were smiley, friendly folk rather than the cruel soldiers portrayed in the book. Oh, and I couldn't figure out where the center of town was because the church was missing.

Without further ado, photos of my family's night out in the pueblo

(a duet serenading the audience with a medley of kundiman)

(this is one of the houses from Jaen, but not the one my family stayed in)

(the pièce de résistance: a mansion from Binondo, Manila)

(inside the Jaen house we checked into, with Mommy, Daddy, and Anna)

(Anna and Daddy walking along the plaza ahead of Mommy and me)

Walking down colonial era memory lane. Check!