Bahay Kubo: From Traditional to Modern
Most homeowners in the Philippines make their houses out of concrete. However, there are those who still use natural materials—at least, for homes that they want to use only occasionally. Bahay kubo, the traditional Filipino house that used to dot the provinces, have become more of a luxury that is popular in beach resorts and guest houses. Find out how the modern bahay kubo introduced a unique way of designing houses without losing its traditional feature.
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Traditional vs. Modern Bahay Kubo
Of course, the modern bahay kubo is not a nipa hut at all, but something that is inspired from it. Today’s version comes in different designs that make it a relaxing space to go to, instead of a cramped house where families live.
There are benefits to having a bahay kubo. First, it uses light materials, making it suitable for the country’s warm weather. Its structure is also often airy, so the bamboo walls can provide a cooling comfort for the hot and humid days.
Second, because it uses indigenous materials such as bamboo, coconut lumber, and rattan, it is cheaper to build, which is why it is very common in rural areas where these materials can be found within a coin’s toss from each other.
For those living nearer the cities, there are also suppliers around the country who sell these materials at relatively cheap costs—with bamboo poles ranging between PhP150 and PhP300, depending on the size and location.
The traditional bahay kubo has roof made of nipa, and while this gives an authentic Pinoy look to these homes, the nipa is easily damaged by wind and rain—not to mention the fact that it is highly flammable, so most homeowners still stick with GI sheet roofing.
Overall, these modern bahay kubo are made of a combination of materials like concrete, bamboo, and sawali to make it more dependable against the country’s weather. Summer in the Philippines may be hot and humid, but the monsoon seasons bring with them rains and typhoons.
If you are looking forward to having your own modern bahay kubo, there are contractors with years of experience who are still building them. However, it might not look like the simple homes you see in books and drawings. Today, these houses are becoming more and more grand as times start to catch up with Philippine architecture.
Houses can be expensive, but modest-sized, beautiful nipa houses are considerably cheaper. Each kubo can cost about PhP250,000 to PhP350,000 per 50 square meters, which is reasonable if you compare it to the typical concrete houses that are seen in suburban areas and cities nowadays.
Either way, building the tatak Pinoy bahay kubo is never easy, regardless of what they are made of, but you can trust that an abode like this will give you the level of comfort you need.