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Casa Jaen

Among the Spanish mansions reconstructed in Bataan’s Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is Casa Jaen. The house was once home to the first mayor of the Neuva Ecija town of Jaen. (Photo by Rolen Facundo)

Time travel: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

You don’t need a time machine to get a feel of how the so-called principalia, or the noble class, lived during the Spanish era. In fact, you can live the way they did for a weekend. A two-and-a-half-hour drive from Manila could take one to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (The Philippine Houses of Acuzar), a sprawling resort in Bagac, Bataan, filled with restored Spanish mansions.

The 400-hectare park was built starting 2003 by property developer New San Jose Builders owned by Jose “Gerry” Acuzar. Acuzar himself chose some 30 old houses and colonial buildings based on their historical, cultural and architectural value from various areas in the Philippines which were transplanted into the Bagac development. It was opened to the public in 2010.

(Photos by Rolen Facundo; text by Kim Arveen Patria)