Controversial 'heritage resort' in Bagac, Bataan, leads National Arts Month celebration
Home to the famed albeit controversial heritage-themed resort of transplanted and reconstructed old houses, the town of Bagac, Bataan, becomes the center of this year’s National Arts Month celebrations in Luzon with a host of activities from visual arts to music, film, architecture.
The controversial Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a “resort” of heritage structures uprooted from their original locations all over the country and transplanted to and reconstructed in Bataan, spearheaded the celebration, supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Bataan provincial government, and local government of Bagac.
Activities include print workshop, film screening and installation art at the provincial grounds in Balanga.
The celebration likewise included mural paintings Executed by the Guhit Pinas group of visual artists. Paintings now adorn the walls of the Bataan Peninsula State University in Bagac.
Formal opening program at the Bagac municipal grounds recently saw performances from Tanghalang Tatsulok,
Koro Bangkal, Rondalla Romano and Bataan National High School Special Program for the Arts Dance Troupe.
Bagac used to be a “visita” of the nearby municipality of Morong. It was established as a separate town in 1873.
In the 19th century, the town was described as having few houses of simple construction with residents engaged in fishing and textile weaving.
Its church, now heavily intervened, dates back to the Spanish colonial period.
Las Casas de Acuzar
Bagac rose to fame in 2010 when Gerry Acuzar’s Las Casas located at Bagac’s Barangay Pag-asa opened to the public.
This seaside resort hosts a number of heritage houses from the different parts of the country such as the “torogan” of the Meranaw ethnic group and the old houses of Binondo and Tondo in Manila.
Estero de Binondo has also been reconstructed in Bagac together with Casa Ladrillo, said to be the only Spanish-era brick house along the original estero. The reconstruction utilized archival documents from the National Archives.
Las Casas is also home to at least two controversial houses —the Alberto House from Biñan and Casa Ordoveza, the second oldest house in the country, which used to be in Majayjay, Laguna.
Cutting through the property is the Umangol River, spanned by a bridge adorned with Filipino folk underworld creatures such as the “tikbalang,” “mananangggal” and “kapre.” –CONTRIBUTED