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The Broken Marriage Vow’s Ilustre Home Highlights All Things Local

“Our Philippine adaptation was really meant to be very Filipino in color, vibe, and texture,” director of The Broken Marriage Vow Connie Macatuno shares


The Broken Marriage Vow (Dreamscape, 2022) has been highly anticipated since its announcement. Now, weeks since its pilot release and we’re all agape in amazement with everything the show has to offer. Apart from a great cast and storyline, we’ve expected to see how the drama will highlight Filipino elements, as its promise prior to its launch last January. Much to our delight, they didn’t scrimp on the details—and we’re all privileged to see local artistry in every frame, swelling our hearts with so much pride.


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The set of The Broken Marriage Vow is carefully curated—with its director Connie Macatuno sharing with Metro.Style how they planned every detail of the look. “My vision for all the homes in the TBMV series is to have a distinct Filipino Baguio feel where the fireplace is also a focal point, the wood-cabin feel and the pine trees are seen from almost every angle,” she explains. “The Filipino elements will bring in another layer of story about our Filipino roots as well as illuminate the characters by what you see on the frame.”


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Dir. Connie Macatuno in the set of The Broken Marriage Vow. | Courtesy of Dir. Connie Macatuno


This is most especially emphasized in the Ilustre home, humble abode of Dr. Jill, Arch. David, and their son Gio. The director describes their house as an eclectic space with contemporary Filipino elements and bright vivid colors to bring in the warmth of a Filipino home. Their team also intended for this vibe to show the contrast to the brutal revelations that will transpire in the series.


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The overall interior is influenced by the main character as well. Jill, a modern Filipina who knows what she wants, shaped every nook and cranny of the Ilustre home. “Building the look for Ilustre home is centered on the woman or the mother who tends hands on to her home, while honoring each member of the family with their distinct interests and love. Topping it off with contemporary very Filipino elements that can raise interest or awareness to our Filipino identity on a global scale,” the director points out.


Connie also recalls the process of selecting the actual home to film the series in—a modern 1950s home. It fits well with the Ilustre couple’s characters while accentuating very Filipino details, from the intricate metal design on the doors, the veranda with the pine trees, the quaintness of the rooms and hallways, and the bounty of plants growing in the house. She also adds how they built an open kitchen in honor of Filipino homes’ dirty kitchen.



In terms of furnishings, the director is very particular in what she wanted to convey. “My criteria for selection is the distinct unique style, handmade, hand loomed, or hand painted, use of local materials and upcycling, and supports artisans and cultural communities,” she told Metro.Style. Thus, they scoured for brands that meet all their qualifications and ended up using elements from Zarah Juan Tahanan who works with Paete artisans and Cavite cane weavers, Abelph who supports Ilocos weavers, and Lokal Home+Art+Fashion who collaborates with Abra and Sagada weavers.


She breaks down the elements further. “For Zarah Juan Tahanan, I picked the candelabra as a representation of the Nanay and Tatay of the home. That opening scene in the house, where Jill fixes a skewed couple Candelabra hand painted by Paete artisans, is a foretelling that something is amiss in the marriage of David and Jill.”


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“Colorful Pinilian and Insukit pillows with pineapple and double headed eagle embroidery by Abelph fill up the tan couch. The unique plant and wicker baskets such as the Hantik fruit basket and Lagadera wicker pot by Zara Juan bring in the whimsy yet function into the Illustre dining area. A hand painted Sampaguita lamp on Inabel by Lokal Home+Art+Fashion near the window brings a pop of color to the window table in the dining area scenes,” she details. “As a woman, Jill loves flowers. And as a doctor, she supports communities and artisans. The table is filled with Zarah Juan raffia placemats handwoven in Camarines, Abelph Inabel hand towels, and a borrowed set of handmade pottery mugs and water jar by Siegrid Anne Bangyay of Sagada.”



And another tip she spilled is Jill’s boudoir, where they recreated a three-mirrored vanity table, “because I wanted to use that area as a place where Jill will always face her true self, the three reflections of herself to mirror her vulnerability or her plans of revenge,” Connie discloses. 


Here, more local pieces abound—a hand painted Tiffany Gumamela lampstand by Lokal Home+Art+Fashion and a Zara Juan Manika Bag tag in the vanity table, both representing her traditional side. “I wanted that Manika in baro at saya to represent the dalagang Filipina inside Jill, the one who believes in the sanctity of marriage in the Philippines.” Meanwhile, the hand loomed Abelph trambia blankets in the bedroom adorn the bed of the couple with a wicker headboard piece.


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There are a lot more design lessons we can take from the Ilustre home, but for Connie, there are only a few things to remember if you want to incorporate this Filipino-ness inside your own abode. “Know what you want. Pick elements that represent you or colors that perk you up. Knowing the purpose of the designated spaces also matters. Then, select objects that bring joy or highlight good memories from a trip, or a statement piece that will break the monotony. Maybe a pop of color or a piece that creates a conversation in your space. You can use local weaves as curtains or reupholstery. Also, try to repurpose old pieces and make your own version of it instead of getting store bought items,” she advises.


And more importantly, the director urges people to support local. “Bring in items that are made in the Philippines!” she ends.

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