Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar: A Beautiful Filipino Place

My family spent the last two days in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Heritage Resort in Bagac, Bataan. It differentiates itself from other beach resorts in the Philippines with its heritage houses, that is, old houses uprooted and transferred to the resort, with matching cobblestones for pathways.

The houses in the resort are mostly Spanish era architecture (the Philippines was colonized by the Spanish conquistadors from 1521 to 1898) and its plaza actually has the same vibe as Brussel’s Grote Markt.  The plaza is a big open space of cobble stones surrounded by old houses which are truly beautiful at night when lit up. There is also a beautiful bridge crossing a man-made river towards the beach. Several statues and fountains can also be found all over the resort.

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The resort is a perfect place for the family, as the kids can learn a little about Philippine history and culture. The kids can even ride a calesa. The staff also wear Spanish era costumes.

Kids can also swim in the various swimming pools or play on the various grass lawns.

But of course, the main attraction of the resort is the beach.

It took us around fours by car from Quezon City to reach the resort. Upon arrival, we were treated to a cold glass of sago’t gulaman. We then had lunch of traditional Filipino cuisine with lechon as one of the main dishes.

Afterwards, we checked in and went to the beach. On our way to the beach, we marveled at the old Filipino houses and various sculptures, such as statues depicting Filipino pastimes of past generations, such as kids playing sipa, palosebo and luksong baka. It felt very nostalgic, as I did play luksong baka when I was younger. Traditional Filipino folk songs were also being played all over the resort.

The sand of the beach, although not white, was very fine. The waves were also strong and  we had fun swimming and wading the whole afternoon. There were very few tourists and I think we were only around ten on the beach at that time. Jet skis and ocean kayaks were also available for rent, but we didn’t avail of them, since we had a toddler in tow.

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After swimming and wading, we again had traditional Filipino cuisine for dinner, this time with lechon baka and pork sisig as the main dishes. We were also treated to a show of Filipino folk dances, which although it failed to awe us, provided good ambiance while we ate.

The following day, we mainly relaxed and spent quality time inside the room. The interiors of the room were equipped with Spanish era furniture and interior design, but it also had modern amenities such as cable TV, hot shower and air conditioning. In some of the buildings, the walls and ceilings are decorated with large Spanish era style paintings.

With this experience in Bagac, Bataan, I can truly say it’s really more fun in the Philippines.

Please leave your comments and thank you for reading this space!

The Perfect Beater Watch

To complete the trifecta of the ultimate three watch collection, composed of a daily wearer, a dress watch, and a go-to tool watch, with an earth, sky, and sea theme, a tool/diver watch is necessary to complement the daily wearer Rolex Explorer and the pilot dress watch Cartier Santos-Dumont.

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In this connection, few watches can claim to be as more iconic as the Seiko Sports Dive Watch H558-5009, more popularly known as the Seiko Arnie. It is the first dive watch to feature a digital alarm chronograph with analog display. It is also a favorite watch of Arnold Schwarzenneger (hence, the nickname). He wore the Seiko Sports Dive Watch H558-5009 in the movies Commando and Predator, among other movies.

Like most dive watches, it has a unidirectional bezel and a pre-select marker to mark a specific minute marking. It is also massive with a diameter of 46 millimeters and is rugged enough to withstand almost everything.

It was also used on adventures to the North and South Poles as well as by an international team of explorers that climbed Everest in 1988. It also has other features such as three time zones, chronograph, alarm and backlight, thus, making it an ideal tool watch also. Truly iconic!

Moreover, it has a rubber strap, a quartz movement, and a Japanese brand, making it very different from the Rolex Explorer and the Cartier Santos-Dumont.

Going back to reality, however, the earth, sky, and sea collection appears to be impractical for myself. First, I don’t dive, so getting a dive watch feels artificial. Second, and more importantly, I already have a beater watch, the Polar FS2C Heart Rate Monitor. It was a gift from my wife, when we were still boyfriend and girlfriend, and the watch has been with me for more than a decade already.

It is a robust running watch with a basic heart rate monitor and a stop watch, which can measure total exercise time, average heart rate, and maximum heart rate. It is great for running, as the heart rate monitor help determines if the intensity or exertion level of the running is enough. It features extra-large digits for easy readability, and one-button functionality making it easy to use. There is also a visual and audible alarm when the target heart rate zones are reached.

I have used in several races already and is still perfectly working up to this day. It also has a convenient backlight and is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters. It is really an awesome tool watch.

As I really do run and the features of the watch are really usable, it is really appropriate for me. Together with my Rolex Explorer, they compose my current collection.

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As a complement to my Rolex Explorer, it is also very ideal. It has a quartz movement, while the Rolex Explorer has a mechanical movement. Its strap is rubber, while the Rolex Explorer’s strap is steel. It has a digital display, while the Rolex Explorer has an analog display. I use the Rolex Explorer as a daily wearer and in formal occasions, while I use Polar FS2C Heart Rate Monitor when running and when I need a beater watch. They truly male a well-balanced pair. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a great time!