Here Is a Filipino Home, Inside and Out

A home that stands as a reminder of a family’s Filipino roots


A home holds a special place in the Filipino dream. It is a testament of achieving a milestone—one that can be shared and passed on to the next generation. For one couple, building this Filipino home in Quezon City wasn’t only the realization of everything they worked for; it was also recognition of their simple roots.

Both husband and wife hail from Iloilo, familiar with the challenges and joys of provincial life. After paying their dues to achieve their current lifestyle, the husband felt that this home was the perfect retirement gift for his wife, and the headquarters for his three sons and only daughter.

“We wanted our house to serve as a reminder of our life before God gave us the blessings we now enjoy,” says the husband. To get the home they aspired for however, they need to demolish the existing structure on the lot. They acquired this lot more than a decade ago.

The house previously belonged to the Tuason family, and was designed with a Mediterranean style in mind by architect Celso Tuason. Since the current homeowners preferred a Filipino style home, they enlisted the services of Celso’s granddaughter, Nikkolai Tuason. Also an architect, her portfolio boasts an impressive lineup in keeping with the Filipino style the couple wanted.

Nikkolai saw the project as a challenge for two things: a tight deadline, and a surprising need of the homeowners that arose during design phase. The husband wanted a year for the design and rebuilding of his family’s new home. And as for the need, the owners required more bedrooms and larger entertaining area as they entertain and accommodate a lot of visitors because of their business. It was quite a challenge though because the additions need to be incorporated into the 1000sqm lot. Not to mention that the surrounding properties were not for sale. Nikkolai had to revise the design to make sure that clients’ needs were met.

Meanwhile, wood, stone, and other natural materials were used to great effect by Nikkolai to showcase the Filipino design of the house.  She patterned the exteriors to a tree house, complete with wood planks, beams and elevated entrance to fulfill the couple’s wishes. It resulted to a sizeable open basement that now houses the private and common quarters of the homeowners’ trusted staff.

Walking on the marble steps that lead up to a hallway, you will see a play of lines that will end in an eye-catching hardwood door, which sets tone for the entire house.  Immediately comes into view is the living area filled with Kenneth Cobonpue’s and Vito Selma’s pieces. The space is mostly used for intimate gatherings due to its limited seating but now opens up to an entertaining area. It can now accommodate a much bigger crowd. It also has a long sofa that spans the entire room and houses a number of the homeowners’ old belongings such as keepsakes, artwork, and small furniture pieces they acquired through the years.

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There is a reflective ceiling and a play of lines characterizes the hallway leading to the main entrance. The eye-catching door was originally intended to be a table, but was turned into a striking conversation piece to mark the entry to the house


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Designer pieces fill the living area that is separated from the much larger entertaining space by glass sliding doors. The separation of spaces allow for more privacy during meetings without detracting from any views in and around the house


The dining room also has a Filipino aesthetic. There is a grand narra table that seats 12 is surrounded by dining chairs inlaid with capiz. Nikkolai reveals that the pieces were made by local craftsmen from Cebu and La Union for a good price. “They know their roots and they wanted to keep it simple,” she says of her clients’ preference for locally made furniture. “They also like giving breaks to unknown craftsmen and artists, so it doesn’t matter if walang international brand name.”

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Furnishings in the dining area follow the interior’s Filipino theme. The heavy wooden chairs are inlaid with mother-of-pearl, while the large table was minimally treated to retain the beauty of its graining


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While done mostly in wood, the kitchen is quite modern with its modular cabinetry, premium appliances, and a kitchen island that also functions as a breakfast nook


The Filipino motif continues upstairs, with the left wing of the second level dedicated entirely to the master bedroom.  The couple’s spacious sleeping quarters have its living area, an en suite bathroom, and his-and-hers walk-in closets. Each of their children’s bedrooms is done in neutral palettes, with individual personalities infused by way of small trinkets, figurines, and other décor.

The owners were also adamant when it came to reusing their old cabinets. It was originally planned to customize all the children’s beds but the wife opted to just use what they already had. “She was always thinking of practicality, that sense of ‘sayang naman ito’,” says Nikkolai, referring to the lady of the house’s humble roots and her endearing way of treasuring everything they had.

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Wood was also used as the main element in the library parallel to the sons’ rooms. Nikkolai utilized the natural curves and colors of the material to create unique shelving in keeping with the house’s Filipino aesthetic


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The eldest son’s room features shades of gray and blue that give the space a masculine touch. As with the other bedrooms, furniture pieces were kept to a minimum to maintain the clean look of the spaces


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The master bedroom exudes a homey feel with its minimal furnishings, wooden ceilings, and warm cove lighting. The area is spacious enough for the couple to spend time inside with their children


Perhaps this is what truly captures the essence of this home: as the husband says, if one strips their home of its landscaping and add-ons, the house remains a testament to simplicity and timelessness. Whether due to the design of the house or its owners’ personal values, the true qualities of the Filipino spirit shines in this home.

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The demolition of the old structure on the property the homeowners acquired allowed for the rebuilding of a modern Filipino home. Stone tiles and walls lined with wood wrap around the covered saltwater pool


This story first appeared on MyHome Inspiring Interiors Vol. 3, edits have been made for