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Labor Of Love! Senior Couple, Both 67, Build Two-Story House By Themselves
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat
  • They say age is just a number. After all, there’s no limit to what we can do as long as we put our minds and hearts into it.

    In a post on Facebook group Home Buddies, Junnel Gurrobat couldn't help but “flex” his parents, Noel and Estrella Gurrobat. Both 67 years old, the couple built a two-story house in Muntinlupa City, an amazing feat they were able to achieve with minimal help.

    Tatay Noel and Nanay Estrella during a trip in Doha to visit Junnel.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat

    “Sa totoo lang po, hindi ko expected nung una na may balak pala silang gawin na personal project ‘yung bahay. Never kasi silang nag open up sa akin about their plans and sa gagawing design. Gusto din siguro nila akong sorpresahin,” shares Junnel who works as a front desk officer in Doha, Qatar. Unbeknown to Junnel, his parents have been saving up the money he’s been sending from abroad for their project.


    Building a mini two-storey house

    According to Junnel, his parents originally planned to extend their bungalow by adding another floor so they can rent out the lower floor. “Sabi noong nag-check, very risky na daw dugtungan ng extension ang bahay na tinayo pa noong '90s kasi mahina na ang pundasyon,” he shares with SmartParenting.com.ph.

    Junnel with his parents.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat

    Determined to have a rental space, Junnel’s parents decided to build a new house in the area occupied by the garden. The only child was surprised by this move since his mother loves gardening.

    “I was surprised when I saw the photo na nag-start na maghukay sa area na ‘yun. Favorite kasi ni Nanay at doon nya nilaan ang oras nya sa paghahalaman. Simula noong bata pa ako at lahat na yata ng uri ng plants ay andoon na yata,” he muses.

    The two-story house Tatay Noel and Nanay Estrella accomplished has impressed even their neighbors.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat
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    The couple decided to do everything themselves, from securing the building permit to finishing their home. Tatay Noel was in charge of building the house, except for the groundbreaking and concrete pouring for the foundation. Junnel said that aside from saving on costs, going this route gave his father peace of mind that each aspect will be done correctly.

    “Noong nag-suggest ako kay Tatay na pwede kami mag-hire ng tutulong, sabi nya, mas okay daw na siya na lang kaysa makita ‘yung gawa ng iba na bara-bara tsaka hindi naman daw minamadali,” Junnel shares.

    It helped that Tatay Noel has a background on construction, having worked abroad as a mason and construction worker since the '80s. “He worked in Saudi, Palau, and Dubai for more than a decade. Early 2000s lang siya nag-stay sa Pilipinas for good,” Junnel explains.

    Since it’s only the couple who’s working on the project, it took them two years to finally finish the house. To say that it’s worth the wait would be an understatement as working on the house also served as a distraction from the pandemic.

    As seniors, they weren’t allowed to go out of the house to unwind. “Naging libangan nilang dalawa ang pagbuo nito kaya happy pa rin sila kahit hindi sila makalabas ng bahay,” says Junnel.

    Gardening is Nanay Estrella’s favorite hobby so they made sure she still has a space for caring for her plants.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat

    In finalizing the interiors of the house, it was a family effort — with Junnel and his parents sharing ideas. They went with a cozy minimalist-inspired aesthetic that’s welcoming and easy on the eyes, making the home even more relaxing.

    As for Nanay Estrella’s plants? They made sure to decorate the home with a few potted plants as well as maximize the remaining outdoor area by creating a smaller but well-maintained garden.

    This two-story house accomplished by Tatay Noel and Nanay Estrella proves that there’s no limit to what we can do as long as we’re determined to see it through. “Sobrang proud po ako sa kanilang dalawa at hindi ako makapaniwala na nakabuo sila ng ganitong bahay kahit malayo ako sa kanila.

    “Ang sarap din pakinggan ‘yung saya na nararamdaman nila sa tuwing kinukwento nila ‘yung natatanggap nilang compliments from our neighbors. Nakakataba ng puso na marinig na masaya ‘yung magulang natin,” Junnel shares.

    The family decided to work on a cozy minimalist look to keep the home bright and inviting. Potted plants are also added in the living area since Nanay Estrella loves plants.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat


    The ground floor follows an open layout, with the kitchen and dining area easily accessible from the living area.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat
    Mirrors help make the space look and feel bigger. According to Junnel, his parents purchased mirrors which were able for buy one, take one at SM.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat
    In finishing the house, Junnel said that Tatay Noel was very particular with the details which is why he’d rather work on it alone than tap workers.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Junnel Gurrobat

    The couple plans to move and live in the newly finished house so they can turn the bungalow into a rental unit after renovating it. Of course, it will be another labor of love by Tatay Noel and Nanay Estrella, plus, Junnel is looking forward to it, too.

    Since his father works abroad, they weren’t able to spend much time together growing up. “One of the best things na nangyari habang ginagawa ang bahay eh ‘yung lalong naging matibay ang bonding at communication between me and my parents, lalo na po sa tatay ko,” he says.

    There’s nothing like an exciting home-related project that brings the family closer, don’t you agree?

    Want to share your home makeover and get featured? Email us at smartparentingsubmissions@gmail.com and tell us about your project. For more home improvement and renovation ideas, click here.

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