Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan has established itself as a landmark of pride for Filipino heritage and history. A consistent Traveler’s Choice awardee, the heritage resort created spaces for heritage homes and historical structures that truly gives one a Filipino sense of pride. Las Casas is championing its advocacies of initiating innovative ways to conserve and protect the legacy of heritage homes and to proudly carry on the traditions that shaped our heritage. Las Casas is staying true to its commitment of providing unique experiences for guests to appreciate the wonders of Filipino heritage.
While your eyes will feast on marvelous heritage architecture, Las Casas allows travelers to have authentic experience with the artisans whose traditional mastery creates the heritage structures. In this age where everything is mass -produced, the artisan workshops are distinctive of Las Casas. The artisan workshops boast Filipino craftsmanship of talented artists, craftsmen and women. The workshops feature the local artists of Bataan, sculptors and painters from Pampanga, Romblon and Paete, Laguna. One of the finest sculptors of Las Casas is 87-year-old Celestino Fadul or “Mang Celing” to his friends and colleagues. A seasoned sculptor, Mang Celing started sculpting at the early age of 15, Mang Celing is the first and oldest sculptor in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. An apprentice of the distinguished muralist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Celing translated the paintings of Botong Francisco into his sculptures-murals that tell stories of the rich and diverse Filipino culture and history. Las Casas proudly displays these masterpieces in the streets of the heritage-resort.
In reconstructing and rebuilding the heritage houses, the founder of Las Casas, Jerry Acuzar envisioned Las Casas to be self-sustaining. From its brick workshop, Las Casas produces all the bricks in the sprawling property. The red bricks are oven-baked, designed and molded by hand. It takes two months to produce a single brick. Las Casas has an in-house wood-fired oven that can cook up to 15,000 pieces of bricks per batch. The elegant furniture pieces are handcrafted by the in-house furniture makers of Las Casas who mostly came from Pampanga. Using only old and recycled woods the furniture pieces are befitting the character of the heritage houses. Wood marquetry is another workshop worth stopping by. In wood marquetry, each piece of wood is carefully fitted together and using the natural color of the wood, the creative craftsmen create elaborate designs. Worth noting that Las Casas gave the opportunity for women of Bagac, Bataan to be trained for wood marquetry.
The heritage resort is rich with various stained fiberglass artworks made directly from their workshops. In-house artist Toby Fabon trained the women of Bagac, Bataan in learning the craft. Stained fiberglass mosaic is a meticulous work of art. After painting a subject, the artists match the color of the subject to the fiberglass. After hours of mixing and drying, it will be cut into pieces and glued to the subject matching its color. Looking from a distance, the mosaic art looks like a painting.
A visit to the workshops of Las Casas allows the travelers to appreciate the craft of every artisan. Seeing how they put their hard work, dedication and artistic talent in every piece makes each heritage structure in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar more meaningful and bestows a sense of Filipino pride.
To learn more about Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, check their website https://www.lascasasfilipinas.com/