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BALBONA, DENMAR B.

FEBRUARY
7,2019
ASPECN1-ARC 152
AR. AURORA B. PANOPIO

Reaction Paper : Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar: Restoring the lost glory of old
Filipino houses
Jose Rizalino Acuzar was a Filipino Architect and Millionaire who salvage
dilapidated old buildings from its original location and transfer it to Bagac, Bataan in a
400 hectres seaside lot. His development, Las Casas Filipinas is a collection of
heritage houses that are salvage and transported from their original location and
assembled piece by piece in this heritage park. According to Edgardo Tugade, the
houses of Las Casas Filipinas are not only a collection of restored houses but also a
collection of different tales that surmount the history of each houses. The houses that
are restored and built by Jerry Acuzar was not just built for business but also to
showcase his love for collecting arts.
Upon reading the article, I realize that Las Casas may be a planned
development for the sole purpose of heritage but the issue of the spirit and values of
the site may be an underlying approach of Architectural Conservation may be missing.
According to Aylin Orbasli, the place of historic is one of the defining Value that is
missing in Las Casas. It is the reason why even if the tour guide can exactly tell the
different former location of the houses, the context of the original place is still missing
in the experience of the house. This missing link to it’s past could devalue the cultural
significance of the structure. These ideas are also supported from what I’ve learned
from my Urban Planning subjects. I’ve learned that in order for the people to develop
a sense of place, he/she must also experience the place. With this input, the Las
Casas Filipinas may achieve their goal because the users were able to experience
what was the life before in the Philippines. In this input also, the Las Casas de Filipinas
may achieve the Age and Rarity, the Cultural Value which includes using original
materials in re-building the house and the Architectural value of the heritage of each
house.
One of the values approach that Las Casas may failed to
discuss was the Associate and the Historic Value of the Heritage of each house. In the
article, the author was able to talk about the past of the buildings associated by the
tales that encompasses the history of the building. This tales could define the heritage
of the buildings but what I think was missing is the context of place taken to this tales.
Even other authors could talk about these tales but these tales are only stories of the
building if the listeners of these stories did not experience being in the same house.
This is why the place is significantly important to the Historic and the Associate value
of each house. Another value that is missing in these structures are the Landscape
Value. In these approach, I’ve learned that the structures are important in shaping the
landscape in the site of the building. I have learned this during my Planning subjects
and even in earlier Design subjects, I have learned these concepts that rules the
practice of Architecture. I think that it is easier to say that the landscapes in the former
sites of the building may
BALBONA, DENMAR B. FEBRUARY
7,2019
ASPECN1-ARC 152
AR. AURORA B. PANOPIO

change and modernize will also devalue the cultural significance of the building but I
think that the landscape value will remain the same even the nearby buildings is
modernize. The fact that these heritage building are part of the Urban Fabric which
according to Wikipedia is the physical aspect or the form of the city Through these
heritage buildings, we were able to analyze how the city evolve into something that
makes it today.
The article the I’ve read also includes some Maranao Torogan house that
are also part of the attraction of Las Casas Filipinas. These structures in a foreign land
reminds me of the missing value in the heritage of the site. I call it foreign land because
I think that the Architectural distinction is not in the context of the site. These Maranao
Torogan are originally built in Mindanao which makes it foreign to the land. In the Local
Distinctiveness Value of these structures, the Las Casas may miss this approach in
heritage because of the native people who build these structures. I remember that in
my History classes, we are taught that there were artisans in different part of the
country. For example, the Pampanga have their own artisans, Laguna has their wood
crafting artisans and Cebu are known for their craftsmanship of wood guitars. These
facts supplements my thought that the Maranao Torogan in the site may be missing
the Local Distinctiveness value of it Heritage. The Maranao Torogan is built by
Maranaos and likewise, it should also be re-build by a true blooded Maranao.
Las Casas Acuzar may failed some values of the heritage but it will never fail to amaze
us the Architectural wonders of our country. I hope that these buildings will not just be
a unifying symbols in times of conflict but also an imbued identity for us Filipinos. I also
hope that in the future, these buildings may be the inspiration for the next Golden
Years of Philippine Architecture.

Sources

 http://www.traveltrilogy.com/2016/01/las-casas-filipinas-de-acuzar-the-two-sides-
of-controversy.html
 https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/480157/in-the-know-ochoa-brod-in-law-jose-jerry-
acuzar
 http://www.lougopal.com/manila/?p=535
 https://www.lakadpilipinas.com/2016/02/las-casas-filipinas-de-acuzar-bataan.html
 https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/urban_fabric