Bataan heritage park to stage first ever Lakambini ng Las Casas pageant

BAGAC, Bataan – Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is scheduled to stage their first ever Lakambini ng Las Casas Pageant this month.

Erwin Dona, the resort’s brand and marketing director, said the pageant aims to pay homage to the Manila Carnival Queens who are the first beauty queens of the country. Las Casas will celebrate their iconic reigns that have paved the way to how modern-day beauty pageants in the Philippines are held.

A photo exhibit will also be staged to pay tribute to the Manila Carnival Queens and an exhibit of ternos which were made by notable local designers. The exhibit will open at 5 p.m. and will be held on May 30, 2017 at our resort in Bagac, Bataan.

It will then be followed by the pageant called Lakambini ng Las Casas at 8p.m. The pageant will feature 18 local Bataan lakambinis (young pretty ladies) who will compete for the crown.

The Manila Carnival was an annual carnival festival held in Manila during the early American colonial period up to the time before the World War II.

It was organized by the American colonial administration to celebrate harmonious US and Philippine relations. The Carnival also showcased the commercial, industrial and agricultural progress of the Philippines. The highlight of the event is the crowning of the Carnival Queens.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is an open-air museum and heritage park located in this municipality José “Gerry” Acuzar, owner of New San Jose Builders started to rebuild Spanish mansions here ay back in 2003. Each was dismantled brick by brick, numbered, transported to his property in Bagac, reassembled in the same order, and restored. Houses were chosen based on their historical, cultural and architectural value. Acuzar bought houses that were in a state of neglect, from the owners, and in some cases also purchased the lot where the mansions stood.

The bahay na bato (Tagalog, literally meaning stone houses) which have stone foundations on the first floor and are made of wood on the second floor (constructed to withstand earthquakes), were transplanted from Manila (Tondo, Binondo and Quiapo), Quezon City, Bulacan, Pampanga, La Union, and the Ilocos and Cagayan provinces.

In 2010, the heritage park was opened to public. — MHIKE R. CIGARAL