June 5, 2018

Lost in Las Casas

A popular poem once professed that time is the enemy of love, but the opposite remains true in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a collection of restored Spanish-Filipino houses and structures located in Bagac, Bataan.  The sweeping heritage and convention center uniquely offers a slice of life during the heydays of Old Manila, drawing in locals and tourists alike yearly. The decadent Colonial Spanish décor inside stately manors with courtyards and cobblestone streets amidst the rustic landscape is a perfect dichotomy of classic and modern.

Drawing inspiration from this nostalgic period, events stylist Badang Rueda wanted to enhance Las Casa’s majestic backdrop by using elements of Spanish Filipiniana but with a modern twist. Utilizing the outdoors’ inherent bucolic charm, Rueda created a festive setting that is reminiscent of Old Manila’s opulence.

Guest tables are covered in embroidered lace tablecloths with scalloped trim, accented with duck egg blue fabric. The centerpiece is a glass bowl brimming with white and peach blooms that are garnished with sprigs of Baby’s Breath.  Scattered around the bowl are copper tea lights and white candles in smaller glass bowls. The rest of the elegant table setting is completed by standard silver cutlery and white ceramic plates but with traditional touches, such as abaniko-textured plate chargers and emerald napkins tied in a delicate lace ribbon tucked with peach roses, as well as capiz ornaments.

The VIP table echoes the same emerald, white and gold color palette, but is draped with a jade fabric and garbed with several gold candelabras instead. Meanwhile, the gold wrought iron chairs are swathed in sheer white fabric that is knotted with a jade ribbon and a string of pearls.

Rounding out the rest of Rueda’s modern vintage design are capiz lanterns dotting the trees with a saffron glow, while sheer white fabrics billow sparsely on some branches, casting a soft and intimate effect.

Massive bouquets of pink, white and peach flowers placed as topiaries complete the idyllic scene, while the wedding cake, courtesy of Caking Giant, sits atop a lone table bedecked with wreaths of white and peach flowers.

Caking Giant’s pastry chef was inspired by traditional Filipino wedding dresses in creating the 4-tiered confection for the occasion. For the bottom layer, the chef emulated the traditional pleated skirts found in terno gowns made of piña fabric, while the top two layers are adorned in embroidered detail, similarly found in bodices of wedding gowns. He decided on a cream and white color combination to give the cake an elegant look and used traditional elements like pearls, white rosals and sampaguita flowers for accents.

The seamless fusion of tradition and modernity also extended to the wedding feast, courtesy of Las Casas’ in-house chef. Catering to an international palette while showcasing the best of local flavors, Las Casas typically works its menu around available sourced products, due to its remote location. As a result, Las Casas currently operates four restaurants (La Bella Teodora, New Manila, Cusina Ni Nanay Maria and Café del Rio) that each offers an eclectic mix of both local and foreign cuisine with a contemporary twist.

Text by Shaharaine P. Abdullah
Photography by Paolo Feliciano
Event Styling Michael “Badang” Rueda
Cake Caking Giant
Stationery Ooops Invites by Karen
Food and Venue Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
Special thanks to Erwin Dona

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