Enrique Gil's Batangas Property Is The Beach House Of Your Dreams
Enrique (Quen) Gil and his family have a sprawling beach house in Anilao, Batangas. The 700-square meter four-storey house is Quen’s ultimate private sanctuary.
“I love the beach and the marine life. I grew up in Cebu kasi. Every time we’d be there, usually Holy Week, I would always spend my birthday at the beach, at laging may lechon. It’s always a good feeling whenever I’m at the beach. It’s an adventure. It’s like venturing out into the unknown,” he excitedly explains.
His mom first spotted the property ten years ago, during a company outing.
“Isinama kami ni mommy sa outing. It’s the place where our house is now built. Super ganda ng tubig—clear and aquamarine blue! May marine sanctuary pa na malapit. My mom never forgot about that place. She kept the number of the bangkero, pero ten long years kaming hindi nagpakita. And then when I started earning money, we thought of always wanting to invest in a beach house. We finally got it,” he narrates.
The house is located at a secluded cove which affords them the privacy and serenity they need—away from the spotlight. It is accessible only by motorboat or banca, which heightens the excitement as one approaches the property. Once the motorboat approaches the shore, the drama begins.
“The beach home’s design and style, I would say, is very natural, and composed mostly of earth tones. We made use of ocean-themed items to decorate the house. May furniture na gawa ni Mama using shells. We used sea urchin skeletons as designs for the light. Iyong mga display, lumang paddles at salbabida from old boats and shipwrecks. Pati ilaw ng ship. It looks so nice,” he says.
Bambi, Quen's mom, with her tasteful choices in furnishings, began decorating the house once it was up (the whole house was constructed in less than two years).
Clearly, Quen takes pride in this particular investment. It’s truly close to his heart because of the sea.
“The beach house makes me feel at home. It’s most relaxing kapag umaga, and then you hear the waves outside. Parang lalayag. Hindi pa maingay, so it’s like paradise. There’s something about the beach. When I wake up in the morning, I go for a swim and eat fresh seafood. Healthy, ‘di ba? Then tulog,” he shares, smiling.
Among his favorite spots at his Batangas home are the outdoor jacuzzi (“Sa gabi, ang sarap na after swimming the whole day, relax ka lang doon with the stars”), the rooftop which is perfect for lounging and taking things very slowly (“Kaya pinataas namin para ma-enjoy ‘yung view. We can see everything from there, and malamig,”), and his cozy room.
He then proceeded to regale the shoot team with stories about diving in the area, and how diving is always a new experience for him.
“It’s never the same thing. You always see new fish and new marine life. We saw turtles, giant clams and clownfish,” he shares, his eyes beaming as he also taught the various gestures and signs you have to make when scuba diving.
Quen says he built the Batangas beach house for his mom.
“My mom kasi…dream niya talaga! She would say na magre-rent daw kami ng beach house sa Moalboal sa Cebu. When she gets old, gusto daw niya ng bahay doon eh it’s so far. Dito na lang. At least, malapit,” he explains. The house is only a 3-4 hour drive from Manila.
It was this experience of building a beach house that taught Quen a lot. He even learned to make a blueprint, so he could show the architect his dream house which he also intends to do in the near future.
Speaking like a businessman, he shifts his tone and stresses a point: “Here’s a really big tip for everybody who wants to build their own house: Always, if you’re going to buy a property, kung gusto mo ng bahay, magpatayo ka ng bahay na sarili mo. Never buy a lot na may bahay na. The price is always going to be higher. If you get somebody who’s going to build it for you, 'Itong pera ko, ikaw na bahala basta, ito 'yung gusto ko, ganyan,' you’re always going to spend more,” Quen shares, saying that he’s thankful he has his mom to oversee the construction of the beach house.
It was a tough call for Bambi to source every piece of construction material herself—but she wanted to do it, and the outcome was perfect.
“My mom talaga tumutok sa materials, at siya ang bumili straight from the bagsakan, so we really saved a lot. My mom’s friend, our architect, also has a glass and metal business, so we got it at the lowest price na walang patong. If you can always get somebody to do something for you, they jack up the price. Kapag pinagawa mo sa iba na hindi ka nakatutok, gagastos ka ng extra. We saved a lot. Take it from me. Always build it yourself. It will take time and hard work but you’re going to save more money."
This story was originally published in StarStudio March 2017 issue
Photographs by Paul del Rosario