Buhay Probinsiya: This Traditional Bahay Kubo Has A Jacuzzi!Originally the property of the late senator Blas Ople, Susan recalls how he "sold" it to her for just P30,000.
When columnist Susan "Toots" Ople and her long-time partner, Fort Jose, decided to build their new home in Dasmariñas, Cavite, they knew that a bahay kubo would be perfect for their love for the simple life.
"'Yong idea for the kubo [ay] parang tribute din sa kultura natin. At the same time, feeling ko very refreshing siya, relaxing siya," Susan tells the OG team. "'Yong bahay-kubo life talaga, tribute 'yon sa simple joys of the past."
Simple yet functional
Their bahay kubo, which measures 7.5 by 4.5 square meters, has all the essentials for daily living—plus a Jacuzzi.
The materials used were bamboo for the overall structure and amakan (a type of bamboo construction material, also called sawali) for the ceiling.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Taking into consideration the damage that typhoons could bring, Susan specifically chose a long-span roof.
At the front area of the kubo is a porch that serves mostly as Susan's working area.
Upon entering, one is immediately greeted by the house's contents: a sleeping area with queen- and double-size beds, a living area, a kitchen, and a bathroom.
Mounted on the wall is a smart television, and behind it is a mural featuring their dog.CONTINUE READING BELOWRecommended Videos
For their hot-beverage needs, Susan and Fort set up a coffee and tea corner, while their batalan-style kitchen has a small sink and a two-burner stove.
A gift passed down through generations
There's a charming story behind the 750-square-meter lot on which Susan and Fort's bahay kubo stands.
Originally the property of her father, the late senator Blas Ople, Susan recalls how he "sold" it to her for just P30,000.
"Minsan tinawag niya 'ko, sabi niya, 'Ibebenta ko sa 'yo [ang lupang] binili ko noon-noon pa for the same price [as when I acquired it],'" Susan recalls. Mr. Ople had just one request: that Susan indicate the name of her daughter Estelle in the land title.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
"Sabi ko, 'Wow. Humingi lang siya ng bayad, pero actually, it's a gift talaga from him.'"
The kubo was built in the early part of 2021, during which issues such as limited space came to light.
"Nag-struggle din kami—hanggang ngayon—sa pag-aircon ng bahay kasi siyempre may mga spaces in between the bamboo slats, lalo na sa flooring and sa sides, na minsan nag-e-escape 'yong cool air from the aircon.
"Siguro, lesson learned, maganda rin na merong professional [guidance]. Pero ang maganda lang dito, 'yong vision na nasa isip ko na-carry out din namin."
A place of healing and gratitude
All in all, Susan says they spent around P400,000, including the appliances and the mural design.
More than a house, they consider it a place of healing and gratitude. "It's a place na parang titingala ka lang and sabihin mo, 'What a wonderful world talaga and what a wonderful God we have.'"
For those planning a simple home just like theirs, Susan recommends the bahay kubo. "Kung hindi kaya ng magarang bahay, ipagmalaki natin ang nipa hut naman, [kasi] ang bahay kubo talagang part ng kultura natin," she says. "Ang importante lang dapat 'yong structure [ay] maayos.
"It's really not the size of the house. The size of the house is secondary only to the love that is within the walls of the house."
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