Travel Diaries: Let’s Go to Bataan!

Our family loves to go out of town/country every summer and Christmas break. For the past two summers, we all had our own trips around the world especially the summer of 2012 so we were really thankful that we finally had the chance to go on vacation last December with everyone present.

Mommy, my lola, usually plans our trips and last December 2012, we went to Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar in Bataan. It’s a resort with a twist — all accommodations are heritage houses from around the Philippines and moved to the resort. It actually started as a collection of houses by the owner, which he eventually opened to the public. Some people might disagree that heritage houses should not be moved from its original place but most of the houses in the resort were bought and moved there because they were not taken care of. Since many of the houses are around a hundred years old, maintaining and restoring these houses become too expensive for the original owners so having the chance to be rebuilt and kept in good condition in the resort is a perfect way to preserve this, at the same time educating people about Philippine history and culture.

Before we went to the resort, we stopped by Mount Samat to check out Dambana ng KagitinganThis shrine was created to honor the soldiers that died during WWII. Bataan holds an important place in Philippine history especially during that time because it was where American and Filipino soldiers retreated to from Manila. This was also the place where they surrendered to the Japanese and where they started the Death March to Tarlac.

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I start this post with my youngest sibling, Lance!

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Around the whole monument, it depicted important parts of Philippine history: GomBurZa, KKK, Aguinaldo as our first president, Rizal’s death, creation of the Philippine flag.. so many more! I wish this was easier to visit though.

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We went to the resort right after, settled and rested until the cultural show started at 6:30PM at the plaza. They showcased Filipino folk dances and kundiman songs. I just loved the atmosphere — it felt like we were transported back to the Spanish era (just the culture, not the politics). The next artsy pictures were taken by my dad/my sister, Gaby 🙂

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Guests were invited to dance the tinkling with the performers and my brother, Fonso, and Gaby volunteered!

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The next morning, we had breakfast – sinangag with longganisa or tocino + egg. Yum!

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After breakfast, we hired a bangka and went to a private beach for an afternoon of relaxation.

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View from the beach. Isn’t it so perfect?! I wanna go back!!

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Low-tide so we reached so far!

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Our lunch was freshly caught fish – grilled, Mommy’s adobo, grilled fresh octopus, buko juice, and bananas on banana leaves. Perfect lunch 🙂

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My brothers, Rafy and Lance, posing for the camera.

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On our way back to Las Casas, we saw a small cave and we wanted to check it out because the water was so clear.

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There was a rock formation high enough to jump off of so the 6 of us tried it. I’m proud to say I was the only one who jumped off the first time I went forward HAHA

It was a great 3-day trip with the fambam. With so many of us, there’s never a dull moment. Can’t wait for our next one in Hong Kong! 🙂

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