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Mukhang Munisipyo: Check Out This Family's Uniquely Pinoy Home
PHOTO BY YOUTUBE / REAL LIVING, Dr. John Paul and Dr. Elvie Razon-Gonzalez
  • A municipal hall or munisipyo is rarely one's peg for a family home, but for Dr. Elvie Razon-Gonzalez and her family, it's the perfect inspiration for theirs.

    The old Jaro Municipal Hall
    PHOTO BY Dr. John Paul and Dr. Elvie Razon-Gonzalez

    Immersed in Iloilo's rich architecture, Dr. Elvie decided that their home would reflect the city’s old-world beauty. "My husband is also very patriotic and loves history. We wanted to breathe Filipino culture into our own house."

    READ ALSO: LOOK: This Dad Started Building His Retirement Home In His 40s

    PHOTO BY YOUTUBE / REAL LIVING
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    "We wanted to merge Filipino heritage and our personal family history," she says to Real Living. "We wanted every piece of our house to have a story of its own."

    "She liked the old Jaro Municipal Station," her husband Dr. John Paul adds. "I just wanted a home that is functional [and] quiet, and [has] good ventilation." They achieved the latter by using autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) blocks instead of hollow blocks for the walls. AAC blocks also help sound-proof rooms.

    PHOTO BY YOUTUBE / REAL LIVING

    Blending the past and the present

    From its high-ceilinged entrance to its long hallway where works of Ilonggo artists are displayed, the Gonzalez home is like a living museum. The couple wants to showcase their art collection to their four kids.

    READ ALSO: Mom Of 2 Boys Rica Peralejo Gives A No-Filter Home Tour: 'Ito Talaga Ang Totoong Buhay'

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    Their home brings together the past and the present. You can see that in the 1920s Singer sewing machine that used to belong to Dr. Elvie's great grandparents. Now, it's being used by her own family as a table. "The theme or the story of our house is 'bringing the 1920s to the 2020s,'" says Dr. Elvie.

    PHOTO BY YOUTUBE / REAL LIVING

    Most of the pieces their our house are mostly made of materials from the Philippines. These include the machuca tiles and the wooden chandeliers that you see when you enter the house.

    READ ALSO: 'I Was Able To Fulfill ‘Yong Wish Ng Nanay Ko': Son Used Airfare Refund To Buy A House

    PHOTO BY YOUTUBE / REAL LIVING
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    PHOTO BY YOUTUBE / REAL LIVING

    Favorite spaces

    Also a writer and a poet, Dr. Elvie says every part of their house is her favorite, but her non-negotiable is having her personal space. Her personal library is her "own breathing space," where she's surrounded by art and books.

    PHOTO BY YOUTUBE / REAL LIVING
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    Dr. John Paul's favorite space, on the other hand, is the family room, where he watches movies and exercises daily. His second favorite is the garage, which is home to his "toys" or bikes.

    PHOTO BY YOUTUBE / REAL LIVING

    A sense of gratitude

    "When I [first] entered the big doors," Dr. Elvie recalls, "there was a rush of gratitude [for] God's faithfulness in my life." They moved into their current home in the middle of the pandemic, and they were more than happy to be stuck at home.

    PHOTO BY Dr. John Paul and Dr. Elvie Razon-Gonzalez
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    "[For me, there's also] the realization that if you work hard, it's worth the hard work." Dr. John Paul adds. "You can see the fruits of your labor."

    "Maybe it would be a heritage house in the next few years or few decades," Dr. Elvie says. "I think it would stand the test of time."

    What other parents are reading

    Watch the house tour:

    This article is originally published in Real Living as part of its KakaiBahay series, with revisions by the Smart Parenting team.

    Featuring unique homes with unique stories, KakaiBahay goes beyond design and highlights the personal histories of those who live in them. In KakaiBahay, homeowners take us through their spaces, going down memory lane as we get to know their favorite corners, interesting furniture, and sentimental pieces.

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