Saturday, June 22, 2013

a crash course on traditional Filipino houses

On Dr Jose Rizal's birthday this year, I was back in historic Manila with Ate Bing, Ate Mary, and Manuel. But instead of visiting him, we opted to soak up on Philippine culture. Our first stop: the Cultural Center of the Philippines' (CCP) Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino

Aside from the musical instruments, I noticed the dioramas about Filipino homes. Filipinos living by the sea (the 'sea gypsies', Sama Dilaut or Badjao) have boathouses; those who live in the mountains, like the Bagobos, have developed interconnected houses in the trees; Filipinos who live along the path of the strongest typhoon winds, such as the Ivatans, have developed houses of thick limestone walls; and people who live in calmer conditions used bamboo and nipa to construct their houses, like the lowlanders and the Agtas.

Sama Dilaut 'lepa' and houses on stilts (in the background)

Ivatan limestone house

nipa hut

Ifugao 'fale'

Maranao 'torogan'

Bagobo tree houses

Agta lean-to

It's so amazing to see that houses Filipinos live in are as different as their environment! These houses are just an indicator of the diversity of culture in the Philippines.