Time Travel in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar did an anniversary promo for weekday stays last August 2017. Of course, we signed up! It's one thing to admire the beautiful photos online about this place to actually see how they have transformed this place to showcase the Filipino heritage. The place is absolutely wonderful. 

The room is really big, but the bathroom is something. Hey, just look at this. Ang lakas maka-travel back in time! For PhP4000, we got this room all by ourselves. Auhm, that was with the 50% discount already. :P 

They've got a bathtub! The bathroom seems to be bigger than the actual sleeping area. 
We decided to do the walking tour the following morning. The room comes with a heritage walking tour, set breakfast, hop-on hop-off jeepney ride and access to the beach area and swimming pool. Instead, we roamed around Las Casas. This place is such a visual feast. I love every nook and cranny.







I found the carabao race interesting so we decided to watch it by the beach. It was my first time to witness such.

Las Casas transforms at night. I love the picturesque of this place even at night. We had an outdoor dining at La Bella Teodora which was really very romantic considering that we were being serenaded as well. That was our best dining experience to date!
After breakfast the following morning, we joined a group of visitors for the heritage walking tour. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar restores Spanish-Filipino Houses to showcase the Filipino heritage. It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to restore a single house. They have to take the house apart and then reassemble them in Las Casas. 

We waited at Casa Mexico which also has their reception area.
One of the houses we visited is the Casa Lubao, this was owned by Arrastia Family in the early 1900s in Lubao, Pampanga. 

The Casa Quiapo Manila was the first building of the UP School of Fine Arts. 

The Casa Binan is one of the most controversial houses. According to our guide, Teodora Formosa was locked in one of the rooms after she was discovered to be having an affair with another man. Teodora Alonzo was the sister of the husband and has been accused of poisoning the sister-in-law. Thus, she was exiled. 
Oh, and the final scene from the Heneral Luna movie was filmed here. 
There are still many other restored houses in Las Casas that are rich in history. This one, Casa Byzantina, happens to be the most expensive of the lot. :P It has seven rooms and accommodates 16 people for PhP150,000. Auhm, I know right. :P

The workshop tour was not available on that day, but they said that we can go and check them if we want to. We did, and I'm glad that we checked on them because it was interesting to know how they form part of the whole restoration process. I am actually amazed at their talent.



I am pretty sure that I have not seen even half of their amazing works especially the hardwork and dedication that they've put up for Las Casas, but I am already amazed on what they have accomplished. Las Casas bridges the digital world to the Old Manila that our old generations have known. Pay this place a visit, and appreciate the Filipino heritage.

Buhay-Bukid in Costales Nature Farms

A farm is hardly in my list. But when we were in a travel fair last year, we stumbled on Costales Nature Farms. For PhP1500 (the travel fair rate), we'll have bed and breakfast already for the two of us. So, okay game. 

Costales Nature Farms is located in Majayjay, Laguna. They specialize in organic farming, and provide "buhay-bukid" experience. Not my cup of tea, definitely not my cup of tea. But we spent our first weekend of 2018 in this farm. No kidding! We left Makati early because we knew it would take at least 3-4 hours to get there. We took the bus going to SM Calamba for an hour and paid PhP79. From there, we took the van going to Costales for two hours and paid PhP120. The driver dropped us off in Costales. 
When we get to the place, we went straight to the reception to check in. We opted to take the farm tour the following day. The staff accompanied us to our accommodation, she mentioned about the unlimited salad which I fully ignored by the way. Because salad, really? But we told her that we'll avail of that on our dinner. 

The accommodation has two single beds. They provide toiletries, no aircon. The bathroom is big though. Farm life it is.


We rested for awhile and decided to roam around the farm. I wanted to practice on the camera and the vintage lens I got, hehe! 



Dinner came, the feeling about the unli salad changed big time. We were able to finish five freaking plates of it. Huhuhu, sarap besh. The food was generally good and cheapo. During our entire stay, we only paid around PhP600 for two sumptuous meals for the two of us.
The following day, we got the unli salad again free of charge during our lunch. Hmm, we just asked if we could actually order it again, and they told us that we could. They initially said that we need to pay per plate this time, and then they later on told us that we can have the unli salad again. So happy kids. 

But farm tour came before lunch, guys. :P The staff toured us in the farm, and we found out a lot of stuff about organic farming. They encourage zero waste management. They also have organic chickens and pigs. Yups, they eat only organic feeds. Mas healthy pa sila sa akin. :P

For pasalubong, we bought the salad dressing, and I took home the Swiss Mint and Tarragon plants which are close to dying right now. Hoping that my father could salvage them. :P

The trip to Costales Nature Farms has been surprisingly enjoyable. I think it's the salad. :P Oh, and they have the nicest staff. I really want to go back and have the "buhay-bukid" experience once again. 

Places

I am not really keeping track, I've honestly visited some places more than once. But when my friend asked me how many provinces in the Philippines I've visited, I decided to check. I found out that I still have a lot of wonderful places to visit. 

I've also already backpacked some countries, but mostly in Asia. I've visited Australia a number of times for work. I'm hoping to visit countries in Europe in the near future. 
  • Cambodia
  • China (Hong Kong & Macau)
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Australia

I'm just glad I could travel. My first plane ride was in 2010, I was already working then for two years. Gosh. It was to explore Cebu and Bohol, and I had a great time. Case in point, I've been going to places since then. It doesn't matter where but exploring new places and culture just gives me a certain kind of happiness.

Source: http://nap.psa.gov.ph/activestats/psgc/listprov.asp

Express Recharge at Luljetta's Hanging Garden Spa

And it's 2018, guys! We kicked off this year with an adventure in Luljetta's Hanging Garden Spa. My cousin went here last year and enjoyed it. I thought the new year is a good time to recharge. Luljetta's Hanging Garden Spa is located in Antipolo, Rizal. This place is within the Loreland Resort premises. And what's so special about this place? You'll see, laters baby. From Ayala in Makati we took the van going to Antipolo Cathedral, and paid PhP60. From there, we took a tricycle to Luljetta's and paid PhP80.

Actually, Luljetta offers different packages to enjoy their amazing place. But for this trip, we only got the Hanging Gardens Retreat for PhP1150 per person. This includes the access to Hanging Gardens facilities for five hours, traditional bathrobe, towel and snacks (the best suman in the whole wide world!). 

We decided to eat first; recharging is a serious business. :P You know all the messy stuff we got from the previous year, well, they need to go. 
From this area, you can already take a peek on what's inside the garden spa and the surrounding area of Laguna de Bay and Metro Manila skyline. Apparently, my vintage lens did a good job. :P

We went to change and claim the traditional bathrobe. They gave us keys to our lockers where we left our bags; you can also leave your gadgets to them for safekeeping.
We roamed around first for photos, and found a lot of areas really great. It's a place where you can just lay anywhere, or sit still and enjoy the view. Trust me, the place is great. 


Yes, they do have a movie room that looks really comfy (and instagrammable *wink wink*). 

The heated jacuzzi and sauna are located in this area. We did the sauna right after we finished on the day's activities. 


The Buddha Lounge is another place where you can actually play traditional games or just laze around. We stayed here for awhile, and watched a series on his phone (always part of our dates, tbh). 
The infinity pool with the stunning view of the Lagune de Bay and Metro Manila skyline is just below this lounge, but let's not go there yet. :P So there is also a hydro pool, which we had some fun trying out. Someone obviously had more fun. :P
We also had so much fun in the infinity pool, and I think we stayed here the longest. We were lucky that there weren't much people on the day of our visit. Hurray to great photos in the infinity pool. 

We really did enjoy our day in Luljetta's Hanging Garden, it was total relaxation for the both of us. We are more than ready to face any challenges we may have this year. The favorite photo on this trip was taken by a total stranger. Thank you!