EXCLUSIVE: Check Out Marc Nelson's Laidback Urban Oasis That Is Home To Many Keepsakes From His Travels All Over The World
Marc Nelson’s place is home to many keepsakes from his visits all over the world. What makes his place so special, though, is how it is a favorite spot to many of his friends.
Marc Nelson, international television host and travel enthusiast, is known for hosting some of the best parties, whether or not he’s home. “My friends have a saying for over a decade now: the best parties happen when Marc is not at home!” He shares. It’s no wonder the Metro Channel host’s Manila residence is a popular spot for his friends to have parties: It’s very relaxed, casual. The place is filled with souvenirs from Marc’s many travels all over the world such as a door from Zanzibar, photos taken in many exotic places, and other colorful artifacts from friends’ travels. It also has enough cozy lounging spaces for his guests. Marc’s home also has a minimalist pool for those who wants to take a quick dive when the weather gets a bit to warm. Lastly, it has a well-kept garden with a soothing array of foliage. This space is also where Marc’s cat, Nala, regularly goes on her playful prowls.
Despite all these, there’s nothing intimidating about Marc’s space. In fact, it feels very harmonious, thanks to a nice balance of simple lines, neutral colors, and interesting details. The house is just brimming with good vibes and this makes a lot of his guests want to hang around. “My house is very casual. Normally, everyone just lounges around, and they help themselves. It’s always the barkada that’s here. Well, half of my barkada live in this village. It makes things very easy. Victor and Maggie Consunji, Rovilson Fernandez, Joey Mead and Angie Mead King, Gino Rufino and his girlfriend Shaun Yao, Tim Yap, Marco de Guzman. It’s always a nice mix.”
For someone who loves to entertain at home, Marc’s place is designed very thoughtfully for socials. The spaces in the house flow very naturally, making it easy for everyone to interact. “Everything usually centers on the kitchen. Which is why I love having an open kitchen. When I designed the house, I wanted to have a big kitchen, so that I can be sociable. See, the hall is actually facing the dining room and I could actually face the people while I cook. That’s really, really important to me. So I’ve got a nice living room, a den, but all the action is in the kitchen and the dining room.”
Marc’s home has a very organic flow, making it easy for him and his visitors to interact or chill whenever they please.
The kitchen and dining room are both very inviting spaces. In the kitchen, there’s enough space for a few guests to move around and help Marc with the cooking. The dining area has leather and wood design elements that make it a warm, cozy space to be.
Marc also adds that when he hosts parties, which usually happens at least once a month if his schedule allows it, they’re usually barbecues. This, in a way, reflects his laidback nature. According to the TV host, it’s normally nothing fancy. It’s a way for him to connect with his good friends. “When I am in Manila, it’s usually Sunday barbecues. I’ll get some steaks and sausages and maybe marinade some chicken. Other times, I might have a specific dish that I’ll be doing, whether it be spaghetti or lasagna. We also usually have potato salad—very simple. For drinks, a lot of the girls like wine, so I have those here. A couple of the guys might have beers. If you look in my kitchen, I have a whole lot of bottles of liquors, so everyone just helps themselves, whether to vodka, gin, cocktails. Rovilson usually brings Fireball, which is a cinnamon whiskey. It doesn’t taste that great, but it gets the party started.”
When his schedule gets a bit tight and he still wants to make it a point to see his barkada, the Beached host would opt for something even more relaxed and informal. “Sometimes I do a potluck if I’ve just flown in from somewhere and I usually have someone else bring dessert because I am hopeless in making dessert!”
1. Metro Channel's Beached host Marc Nelson. 2. His kitchen faces his dining area, which showcases photographs he took from the many places he has visited. 3. Being able to interact with guests is important for Marc, that’s why he made sure to have an open kitchen. Aside from preparing meals for his friends, he’s also known to make a mean cocktail. 4. Marc’s home garden is also very relaxing. Aside from having spaces to lounge, it faces a pool and some well-maintained foliage. 5. Aside from purchasing souvenirs himself, Marc also decorated his home with gifts from his friends’ travels. 6. His living room flows into his dining area. 7. It’s all about balance. Marc balances minimalist aesthetics with interesting pieces from his trips abroad to give his home a light, casual feel.
While Marc may not be an expert when it comes to preparing desserts, he has his own culinary arsenal for the parties he throws: Marc used to bartend and has put this to good use. Every now and then, his cousin, a chef who has worked in a few Michelin-star restaurants would prepare some meals. His mom would sometimes fly in from overseas. “She’d make a traditional and quite special Burmese lahksa. That’s when the house gets really full!” His mom’s cooking, Marc adds, is always the highlight of the party.
When hosting parties in his home, Marc welcomes having other things—and of course—people become the “life of the party.” “It lessens the pressure on me and just helps everyone have a good time. People just usually chill and talk.” He adds that good conversation is very important in each of the gatherings, so it never gets too loud. “But then as the day progresses into the evening, sometimes we might pull out some board games like Cards Against Humanity, Head’s Up—which is so much fun. Once in a while, we play Pusoy Dos, we went through a Pusoy Dos phase, so much fun. Mainly trash talking, never gambling for money, it’s just gambling for bragging rights.”
Marc doesn’t at all seem bothered about how his friends would have the best parties in his own home without it. In fact, he doesn’t mind. He shares that he thinks he’s fortunate to have a kind and fun group of people as his friends. “Up until recently, I’ve always had friends living with me in my spare room whether it be in this house or my apartments before. And so yeah… sometimes I have to fly out of town last minute so I miss a lot of the big parties. I’ve also had friends stay here from overseas.” In a way, Marc’s home has become some sort of modern-day tree house or a place where a group of really close friends would convene and have some lighthearted fun. “I have no relatives here, so my family in the Philippines are my friends,” Marc shares. It’s no wonder, then, that Marc Nelson really loves making everyone—most especially those he considers kin—feel very much at home.
* This article was originally published in Metro Society's June 2018 issue.
Photography by Paola Aseron
Grooming by Claire Diokno
Hairstyling by Ricky Diokno