October 18, 2009

Ciudad Real de Acuzar

There was Intramuros.
There was Vigan.
And now, Ciudad Real de Acuzar.

On the shores of Bagac, Bataan, lies a quaint and lovely Spanish colonial village called Ciudad Real de Acuzar.

The village is composed of several ancestral houses, heritage homes and bahay na bato, which the owner Gerry Acuzar acquired all over the Philippines, and reconstructed to its original structure and grandeur. The houses aren’t replicas but the original structures, painstakingly built, brick by brick, plank by plank, tile by tile.

Among the famous houses include Taberna del Señor Pepe with beautiful interior murals, Escolta Hotel adorned with sculptures of Greek women garbed in flowing robes, homes of the Novicios and Equivels, and the imposing University of the Philippines’ first Fine Arts school building.

October 12, 2009

Kuwebang Lampas

I hated the day because of lack of sleep from travel. I hated the dozen dogs scattered all over the beach… at first. I hated the day because I wanted to swim and discovered that there is no potable water or tubig-poso where I could take a bath after dipping from the saltwater.

Nonetheless, the beauty, serenity and the rejuvenating wind of the place blew all my odium away. Not to mention the hike going to the beach where you will pass by the Team Energy Power Plant, a mini-forest and bakhawan, and encounter friendly goats along the way.

A small strip of private white-sand beach with beautiful rock formations and a cave, Kuwebang Lampas in Ibabang Polo, Pagbilao, Quezon is a secret weekend getaway not too far from Manila, just awaiting to be discovered.