Having been an avid antique and arts collector, Jose L. Acuzar grew a particular liking to local art works and pieces. He would collect old antiques from old houses or pieces of old houses that have been sold for parts.
Growing up in the region of Bataan, Acuzar felt a deep connection to the place and had come back for vacations to his hometown of Balanga frequently. He found land located in the fishing village of Bagac, Bataan, only an hour away from Balanga.
The 400-hectare estate overlooking a river was albeit ramshackle and mostly grassland. With a beachfront and surrounding mountainous views, Acuzar grew very fond of the property. He purchased the estate and built a country home with three bedrooms. The estate became a private vacation property for the family with horse stables and small modern cottages.
In 2008, Acuzar was offered parts of an old home in Cagayan Valley. It sparked an idea to him to purchase the entire house that was being dismantled, transferred, and rebuilt piece-by-piece in his estate in Bagac, Bataan. It simply began with the houses on stilts – Casas Cagayan.
In no time, he was offered heritage homes that were being sold. Using the same method of dismantle, relocate, and rebuild, Acuzar brought the heritage homes to his estate.
While the estate remained private, more and more people heard about what he was doing and the interest to see the heritage houses grew by the number. Acuzar saw an opportunity to make the property accessible to the public. To continue financing his work in restoring the heritage houses with costly repairs and refurbishments, the once private estate transformed into a resort business.
In 2010, Las Casas opened its doors to the public as a beach resort. As Acuzar grew his team of artisans, craftsmen, and craftswomen, the property grew and expanded into 63 heritage homes and 34 structures built in the style of old houses or buildings.
Today, Las Casas is a renowned resort and heritage destination that has garnered several awards and accolades throughout the past decade. The business is guided by its advocacies to initiate innovative ways to conserve the legacy of the heritage houses and to inspire pride in the traditions that shaped Filipino heritage.