How to go to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar by Public Transportation
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a unique Philippine-Spanish heritage site composed of old Spanish houses built between the 17th and 19th centuries. These houses were collected from various towns in the country and were carefully dismantled, transported, and reassembled at the town of Bagac, Bataan.
Bagac is a remote coastal town so getting there by public transportation at some point, can feel like an amazing race challenge. It involves hopping from bus-jeep-tricycle, as well as some guess work on when the next bus or jeepney will arrive – or if it will ever arrive. Although commuting there is an experience itself, it’s not advisable for groups with very young children or seniors.
FIRST LEG – METRO MANILA TO BALANGA
From Metro Manila you can take a bus bound for Balanga City at either Bataan or Genesis Bus Lines in Cubao, Edsa. There are trips as early as 4 a.m. with hourly intervals up to 11 p.m.
Ideally you should take an early morning trip to avoid traffic and so you can spend more time at the site. My best friend and I took the 4 a.m. trip sleep deprived, but happy to start out early. We arrived at Balanga terminal around 5:30 a.m.
SECOND LEG – BALANGA TO BAGAC
At Balanga terminal you can take a non-air-conditioned, mini-bus to Bagac for ₱35 or you can opt to take a Tamaraw shuttle for ₱47.00. The trip takes 45 minutes. On our first trip to Las Casas Filipinas, we took the mini-bus since it was the first one to arrive. On our second trip two months later, we rode the tamaraw shuttle. The fare was slightly higher but you won’t have to ride a tricycle anymore. The shuttle will drop you off about 300 meters from the resort’s gate and you can walk the distance. However, a short walk of 300 meters can seem much longer with heavy baggage. So personally I recommend taking the mini-bus instead which I’ll discuss in detail below.
On our two trips to Las Casas Filipinas we rode the Genesis bus from Cubao to Balanga. When you arrive at Balanga terminal you’ll normally want to just get on the next available transportation that leaves for the town of Bagac. So, on our first trip, we were lucky to ride the mini-bus. It’s not air-conditioned but the windows are wide and the seats are comfortable. On the way from Balanga to Bagac Town, you’ll enjoy refreshing rural landscapes of vast rice fields and mighty-looking mountains looming in the background. You’ll also notice a drop in temperature because of the thick vegetation in the area. Don’t get too engrossed in the surroundings though because you might miss the bus stop to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
Paseo de Escolta is reminiscent of Intramuros with its paved streets lined with shops.
THIRD LEG – BAGAC BUS STOP TO LAS CASAS FILIPINAS
When you arrive at Bagac, take a tricycle to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. There are many tricycles on stand-by that can take you to the resort. The trip takes around 5 minutes. You’ll ride through a small town with narrow roads and once at the gates of the resort you’ll be asked to present your reservation vouchers.
If you don’t have a private vehicle the going-home trip can be slightly tougher than the going-there trip. Hence, you’d need to manage your time well so you won’t miss the last bus bound for Balanga. As you exit the gate of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar the security personnel can radio-in a tricycle for you. That alone can take 10 to 15 minutes.
The tricycle will take you back to the main road where you can catch the next mini-bus, shuttle, or jeepney to Balanga City whichever arrives first. According to bystanders, the last bus comes along around 7 p.m. The interval between buses is around 20 to 30 minutes.
When you arrive at Balanga City you can take either Genesis or Bataan Bus lines back to Metro Manila. There are trips to Cubao and Pasay, Taft stations. According to workers at the Balanga bus terminal, the last bus leaves at 9 p.m., so if you aren’t able to make it to Balanga by 9 p.m. you will likely have to spend the night there.
OTHER TIPS FOR A MORE COMFORTABLE JOURNEY
- If you have some time before the bus leaves Balanga, grab some take-out food at Jollibee just across the street to ease your hunger after a whole day of adventuring. You can also have breakfast there before you head off to the resort in the morning.
- It can get cold on the bus so bring a shawl or anything to keep you warm.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Wear light and comfortable clothes. A pair of shades and a summer hat will also come in handy.
- Even if you don’t intend to swim put on a thin layer of sunblock to avoid getting sunburned.
- If you’re just going there for a day tour, pack light.
Bus from Cubao to Balanga, Bataan – ₱200
Mini-bus from Balanga to Bagac – ₱35
Shuttle or jeepney from Balanga to Bagac – ₱47
Tricycle from main road to Las Casas Filipinas – ₱20 per person (If you take the mini-bus)
Total cost roundtrip – ₱490
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