This Ancestral Home Tucked Away In a Quiet Part of the City Never Gets Old

Photography by Gia Mayola

In the breezy sala with the old rectangular narra table, the usual suspects are there. “This is where my in-laws usually stays when they are here,” says the owner while we started the tour around their ancestral house. The in-laws whose now away living in their hometown outside Cebu, were not there—just good enough to have a little view inside.

Right before we entered, the pair of heavy-looking wooden doors is the first thing to come in full sight—complex pattern into the dark wood imitating its own version of serpentine coils.

As part of its vibe, an elegant white grand piano comes in full glance with seemingly British bespoke vases in its complete floral sculpture on top is a stark contrast to the dark furniture found inside the house.

The inside, is dimly lit, with the source of light being the afternoon sun that filters in through the lattice windows that separate the house from the newly renovated pool and garden. Its interiors are in complete neutral color tones along with its classic floral-printed pillowcases and table runners.

The house where the in-laws stay must have been little more than a glorified shed and more likely impossible to reach its hayday. Now, it looked for all the world crying for memories with picture frames hanging on the walls with some scattered across different flat surfaces—each frame containing a faded photo of the people who have lived in this home. In this section, photos become a memorabilia mosaic that has come in life recollecting a series of flashbacks.

On the left side of the living room is what we thought the most beautiful part of the house, its grand staircase spirals perfectly upward. From the house’s second tier, is the more than sixteen-step ascending stairs completely made of narra wood. This wooden piece does look intimidating.

Below are sets of heirloom jars adorned to complete a sophisticated look of the house’s somewhat like a five-star hotel grand lobby. All these beloved-but-dated furniture the owners have inherited can’t fit, but as an interior designer herself—where there’s a will, there’s usually a way.

So not so surprisingly, is to see a grandfather clock standing in one corner. Its tale as old as time continues to tell a story with hands still ticking as it has been for the past few years. By the doors, a contemporary elevator to the second floor can be found. “It’s for my in laws,” says the owner. “So that they won’t have a hard time going up the stairs.” The home’s classic chandelier looks polished and still in full functionality along with it is a musical harp waiting to be strummed by a good musician.

Peeking from the lush garden area, is set to be the dining room—where the house patrons celebrates supper. The dining set complements well with the what we used to expect a place for special occasions.

Though still undergoing renovations, it is evident how the house’s shows time through its antique aesthetics. It added some additional little of displays acquired from Thailand and some in Indonesia.

The in-laws home was a living museum. The designer-owner had never bought anything more modern, as she is always fascinated with anything but antique. Everything was original or refurbished retro, to say the least, like the house itself. It was as if the old spirit of the house envelopes but some of these furniture were only empty shells of the former owner—out of every inch poured the memories of their childhood story.

Adjacent to the the old-fashioned house is where the owner stays, where she proudly says, as well, she designed and conceptualized it. As it look like a miniature fairy book castle, its wood works are generous. Against the light, the living room’s house looked like in an old Spanish era in colorful bright days.

Walking across the house stands firmly an humble edifice that still undergoes consistent renovations, but as we get in everything was just so right. The entrance hall was roomy  and airy giving enough a nice background for an Instagrammable photo. The sliding door facing the garden had been left ajar, allowing glorious amber glow to meander a pastel colors inside the simple living room complete with a tropical throw pillows.

Besides what is to be a complete first floor, a tree is tucked a little of a center inside—allowing it to add beauty to what is a modern wooden house. The house was long and narrow, perhaps wide at front but it streched sideward and felt back like a giant box. It was two stories high in a complete impressive woodworks.

Designed by the owner herself with two identical volumes that separate spaces, this modern house defies traditional and conventional architecture. While its cladding helps to blend in the environment the house itself is a structure that standouts naturally in well-manicured landscape.

As we trip along inside the house, we found small corner dedicated for the owner’s favorite part. Her altar where the family and her say altogether their prayers is patterned like a belfry with a very high ceiling. The saints displayed are brought from the owners travel expeditions along with the century-old mother and child sculpture that dangles perfectly as the altar’s centerpiece. Like her beliefs, the altar stood faithfully.

Looking from the outside, the exterior of the modern wood houses boasts a minimal raw palette. Its doors displays an amazing wood craftsmanship, along with the side is another wood sculpture art of the Mother Mary and the Child Jesus.

The windows in complete wood pattern in squares reflects on time traveling when houses like this scattered along the busy metro. These large windows closed skylight flood the rooms with natural light while also encouraging the inhabitants to gaze outside and admire the panoramic view of the mural-like vista.

A little peek to it is a plunge pool in its cool blue waters that augment the lush grasses lined in the perfect lawn. On the side was a small pond with potted green plants around is where the image of Our Lady of Fatima is sacredly adorned. Part of its renovation is a plant garden that is soon to stretched up and crawls in the wall to cover the whole set of landscape from the nearby neighborhood. “I’ve also had some changes done in the garden,” she says. “It’s nice to see a lot of greens outside.”

Set feasibly on a basement of a rusticated stone floors, both houses stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the village. It stood on its own and looked over a broad of an ongoing building construction in the area. A remarkable house by any means—it was for many years, that this house proportionally become a home to some is more exactly never failed to please and through times never gets old.

Carlo Rivera
Carlo Rivera

Carlo Rivera is the Managing Editor of Zee Lifestyle Directory. He loves to eat, and travel more of Cebu. Follow his adventures and morbid #1amthoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @carlotherivera

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