June 09, 2023

Birthday Staycation at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar tagline is “Pride in the past, hope for the future”. It is the home of the heritage houses of the owner Jose Acuzar. These houses have been rescued, renovated, and rebuilt.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a beach resort, convention center, and heritage destination rolled into one. Indeed this is a unique destination for every traveler because there are so many things that you can experience in this resort so it is not surprising that they received a lot of awards for over a decade. 

I’ve visited open-air museums in Norway and Sweden where I was able to see old houses too but our very own Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is much better because you can stay in the heritage houses and experience what is like to live in old houses. 

I mentioned in my previous post that it’s been almost a decade since our last visit and I am glad that we were able to go back and this time, hindi na Day Trip lang, nakapag-overnight na kami. We were supposed to go back here last December when my mom was here but we were still in Da Nang, Vietnam so hindi kami nakasama sa family outing. 

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar has special offers or special promos so you can visit their website for the latest offerings. So depende na lang sa budget niyo, we did not avail any promos since our budget is limited. Hehehe! My husband just book a room accommodation on their website, full payment is required and will be charged after booking. 

We are a group of 5 people so our initial plan is to book a room for 4 people and additional payment for an extra person but we changed our mind when we learned that the extra person is PHP3200 and no extra bed. We realized that it is practical to book a room for six people and because of that, naging six na kami sa lakad namin. 

We booked the standard room for 6 people for PHP16,000 and the package includes: 

Room Accommodation 
Breakfast at Binondo Hall 
Heritage Walking Guided Tour for 30 mins to 1 hour 
Complimentary Tramvia Ride 
Complimentary Hop On and Hop Off Jeepney Ride Within the Resort 
Use of Beach and Batis-Inspired Swimming Pool 

We live in the South Luzon area so we left as early as 6AM and nagdrive thru na lang kami ng breakfast on our way to the resort. Surprisingly, our travel time is less than four hours so we were really early, check-in time is still 3PM. 

Upon arrival, the security guard gave us an “Entry Pass Check List” and instructed us to go to the reception area. It is not yet check-in time so the staff, get our luggage and store them in the luggage area. At the reception, we fill-out a form, konting orientation, and the staff gave us a map. I hope ibalik nila yung welcome drinks, iba pa rin nagagawa nito after ng mahabang biyahe. 

Anyway, from there, we rode a jeep and the driver dropped us at Casa Biňan for our 10:30AM Heritage Tour. The staff informed us na meron Mass at the La Bella Teodora but we chose the tour kasi mainit na kung sa hapon pa kami magtour. 

Heritage Tour 

We already experienced Heritage Tour during our first visit pero sa tagal na, limot ko na yung ibang information so it is nice to refresh my memory. In addition, okay din yung una naming experience kasi mas marami kami nabisita unlike ngayon na limited na and may off limits na rin sa part ng house.

At the time of our tour, we are only two groups and more than an hour din so sakto sa lunch ang tapos. For lunch, we ate at Kusina ni Maria

Hotel de Oriente 

After eating our lunch, we went to Hotel de Oriente as per the advice of our tour guide, we had no idea na may bayad pala which is PHP200 per head so ending hanggang entrance lang kami. Hehehe!

Tramvia Ride 

We just availed our complimentary tramvia ride from Plaza Mayor de Tobias to Dewey Blvd and vice versa. The ride is only less than 10 minutes back and forth. 

Standard Room for 6 People 

During our tramvia ride, my husband received a text that our room is ready so we are glad that we were able to check in as early as 2PM. Our room is already old, ito pa yung mga nauna na rooms so you can see signs of wear and tear but my husband still chose this room since mas malapit kami sa lahat and hindi mahihirapan yung mother-in-law ko na nakawheelchair. Other room options yung bandang beach area. 

The room is big. We have a living room and bathroom on the first floor, one bed and bathroom on the second floor, and 2 beds in the loft area. The downside of this room, madilim kahit nakabukas ang ilaw.

Cultural Show 

After taking a nap, we watched the Cultural Show at the Paseo de Escolta, the show is less than an hour din. I think sa Villa Escudero pa yung last panood ko ng Cultural Show. It was a good show so we finished it even though we knew na late kami makakapagdinner. We had dinner at La Bella Teodora

Swimming Pool 

The following day, after our Buffet Breakfast at Binondo Hall. we spent our remaining time in touring the other part of the resort pero hindi pa rin namin naikot lahat. We had a quick deep at the Batis Inspired Swimming Pool pero hindi kami tumagal kasi nangangati kami. I hope they won’t forget to clean and maintain the pool. 

There are more activities that you can do so bitin talaga kung overnight lang but we still enjoyed our trip kasi ang tagal din nung last na alis namin which reminded me na hindi ko pa naiblog yung La Chevrerie. Check out is 12PM but we left as early as 10AM para sa labas na kami maglunch. 

Lola Basyang Storytelling 2:30PM at Casa Lubao 
Freedomland Show AM/PM 
Cultural Show 6PM 
Film Showing at 7PM at Casa Lubao 
Arts and Crafts Workshop PHP1,000/head 
Balsa and Gondola Tours PHP600/head 
Balsa Breakfast PHP3500 for 5 pax PHP1,000 for additional person 
Balsa with Meal PHP5,000 for 5 pax 
Hotel de Oriente Viewing PHP200/head 
Kalesa Ride PHP75 per head 
Golf Cart PHP750/per hour

June 08, 2023

Food Trip at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

It’s been almost a decade since our last visit to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar and as far as I can remember, there is only one restaurant during our first visit but now, they have six restaurants and bars. So even though food and beverage are not allowed inside the resort, you will not go hungry or thirsty. In addition, they offer different cuisines like Filipino, Italian, and Spanish. 

Binondo Hall - Breakfast Buffet 
Cafe Del Rio - Spanish Tapas Bar 
Dapitan Bar - Beach Bar 
Kusina ni Nanay Maria - Filipino Cuisine 
La Bella Teodora - Italian Cuisine 
La Parilla and Pica - Filipino Delicacies Snack bar 

Since we only stayed for 2 days and 1 night we only tried 3 restaurants for our lunch, dinner, and breakfast. 

Lunch at Kusina ni Nanay Maria 

After our Heritage Tour, we immediately went to Kusina ni Nanay Maria for our lunch. This is where we ate our lunch too when we had our Day Trip at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar but now, they have a separate venue for day-trippers. 

I was a little bit sad because the menu has changed already, akala ko kasi maoorder ko yung dating kinain namin. Hehehe! Kusina ni Nanay Maria offers Filipino dishes that are good for singles and families. For family combos, they offer 4 sets that are good for 4 persons but we are a group of 6 so we decided to order, a la carte na lang. 

There are only few options, we ordered Lechon Carajay PHP710, Kare-Kare PHP780, Pinakbet PHP490, Laing PHP380, Rice PHP75 per cup, and Softdrink in Can PHP125

We waited for more than 30 minutes before our food was served and I was surprised when I saw the serving, konti lang pala so I was thinking kung kakasya ba sa amin. Buti nagkasya naman. We were satisfied with the taste of the food but we were shocked that their version of Laing is different, walang gata? 

Dinner at La Bella Teodora 

For our dinner, we are choosing between Cafe del Rio or La Bella Teodora but we chose the latter because it is near. We just finished watching the Cultural Show at Paseo de Escolta, so malayo ang Cafe del Rio. 

La Bella Teodora is named after Teodora Alonzo because it is beside Casa Biňan. This restaurant serves Italian food like brick-oven pizzas, pasta, grilled meat, and seafood. There is also an acoustic band here where you can also request a song.

Browsing the menu is hard, madilim kasi yung restaurant so we need to use our phone flashlight pa para lang makita namin. The rate of the food is more expensive compared to Kusina ni Maria, good thing na mahina kami kumain kapag dinner. Just like the quote “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” 

We ordered Margherita Pizza PHP630, Insalata Mista PHP450, Carbonara PHP695, Braciola Di Maiale PHP850, and Azimut Sparkling Wine PHP965. While waiting for our food, they served complimentary bread. 

It was already past seven so I really appreciate their fast service, mas mabilis ang serving ng food dito.

But I was a little bit disappointed with the Braciola Di Maiale because according to the menu “Grilled Pork Chops with Italian Herbs and homemade Mashed Potatoes”. So in my mind, 2 pieces of pork chops just like the pork chops that I ordered at Apartment 1B, 2 pieces of porkchops na magkapatong. But I was wrong because there is only one pork chop so the PHP850 is good for one person lang pala. 

Buffet Breakfast at Binondo Hall 

The buffet breakfast starts at 7AM pero wala pa 7AM ang dami ng tao sa labas ng Binondo Hall. I overheard other guests na sobrang late daw ng 7AM breakfast, hindi sanay ang mga working people and senior citizens. I am not surprised because the breakfast time was also too late for us na sanay sa 5:30AM breakfast especially since I have a student na maaga pumapasok. 

Anyway, the door was opened at exactly 7AM so the guests were all happy. I was excited about the buffet breakfast but unfortunately, the options are very limited. Imagine for the main viands, tuyo and sweet longganisa lang ang options. 

Enumerating the buffet spread during our trip. 

Homemade Potatoes 
Plain Rice 
Pansit Bihon 
Sweet Longganisa 
Lomi Soup 
Scrambled Egg 
Sunny Side Up Egg 
Boiled Egg 
Lansong Mais 
Puto Cheese 
Melon Juice 
Watermelon Juice 

I am thankful for the scrambled egg and sunny side up egg, may naulam ako. So if you plan to go here, don’t expect too much sa buffet breakfast. Nabusog naman ako sa kakanin. 

Read: Day Trip at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar 
Birthday Staycation at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Breakfast at Binondo Hall - 7 - 10AM
Day Tour Binondo Hall (Set Lunch) 12 - 4PM
La Bella Teodora  and Kusina ni Maria
12 - 4PM Lunch
6-10PM Dinner
Cafe Del Rio 3-10PM

June 07, 2023

Birthday Craft Projects

June is my husband’s birthday month so I made some birthday cards and cake topper. For the birthday card, I used my “Happy Birthday” metal craft dies. I made two cards, one for me and one for my son. 

For the birthday cake topper, I used the Happy Birthday Template of Craft with Sarah. I changed the size and colors. Just when I thought I was already finished with my craft projects, out of the blue, my husband said “gusto ko ng explosion box”. What!?! 

I don’t know if he was joking or not but I still created one for him but because of limited time, I repurposed the Crafting Wishlist Explosion Box that I did last month. Hehehe! Good thing that he was not working at home so I have the freedom to craft and may element of surprise pa kasi hindi niya nakikita.

Even though I did not make everything from scratch, it took me a few days to finish this one because I have to tweak the design. Instead of the crafting gnomes, I replaced it with Birthday Truck which is designed by Craft with Sarah too. 

It took me a long time to choose photos too because I unearth my husband's photos since his childhood days. I also made some photo puzzles so I have something to put inside the box. The birthday gift that I ordered for my husband is still on its way so thanks to this birthday explosion box; he has something to open on his birthday.

June 06, 2023

Lunch at Banapple

A week had passed of no blog post because I got preoccupied with my husband’s birthday celebration, akala mo naman bongga. Hehehe! I just made birthday cards, an explosion box, and a cake topper. I will share that in my next post. 

Anyhow, last week we went to the hospital for my blood test and after that, we went to SM Sta Rosa to buy some stuff for our Staycation at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. After finishing our errands we had early lunch at Banapple. 

Banapple is one of our go-to restaurants whenever we are in Alabang Town Center so I am glad that they already have a branch in SM Sta Rosa because we rarely visit ATC. At least dito sa Sta Rosa, pwede kami magdrop by after my check-up or procedure. 

During our first visit, we bought Supercaramel Fudge Cake and Pesto Bread only so last week was our first time to eat at the restaurant. We were the first diners. We are creatures of habit so most of the time we order the same meal; we ordered Hickory Smoked Barbecued Country Ribs PHP539, Lasagna Roll-ups PHP469, Banoffee Pie PHP215, Pesto Bread PHP135, and Soda in Can PHP80

I only ordered dessert because, at that time, I am not hungry yet. Banapple has big serving so nakitikim na lang ko sa Lasagna Roll-Ups ni hubby. In addition, I learned that “Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie”- David Mamet. Baka mawala stress ko sa Banoffee pie. :)