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These Cabanas Are A Visual Summary Of Philippine Indigenous Architecture

Internationally-acclaimed architect, Deo Alam authors a proudly Filipino creation in The Good Food Farm, Sta. Magdalena


Embracing local designs, materials, and culture has been prevalent more recently than ever—there’s an abundance of things that showcase our Filipino-ness, and now’s not the time to stop. Putting it to greater heights are spaces that not only acknowledges our roots, but also makes the most out of the available resources we have in our country.


Such is the work of internationally acclaimed architect Deo Alam for the Good Food Farm’s Luzviminda Cabanas. Located on a vast farm in Magdalena, Laguna, these accommodations go back to our grassroots—but elevated with more local flavor.






The designer reinterpreted our bahay kubo and took inspiration from the different indigenous cultures of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in putting together the project. It is part of the “Rise Against Hunger” foundation project, which nudged the makers to be mindful of everything that will be used in its construction. “The client had a simple bahay kubo design in mind and we worked together to make their vision come to life,” the architect tells Metro.Style.

"The bahay kubo idea is perfect for the farm setting as well. I call it ‘architectural sincerity,'" he further states.


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But simple is an understatement, as the completed project shines in distinct beauty. It is reminiscent of laidback moments in the countryside, stripped off and equipped only with the basic everyday necessities. However, the Filipino character daintily dressed this one-of-a-kind lodging.



Deo describes it as a short visual summary of traditional Filipino indigenous architecture. Using as much ingenuity as they can, the details tell it all—with the huts shaped the Ifugao way, the use of amakan weaves, and even the standout palong from a Vinta sail that’s native to Zamboanga. “The strings installation on the roof was inspired by the palong of a rooster, you know the cockscomb? It was exciting to see how simple strings can dramatically change the look of the kubo. It was initially meant to be used as a platform to raise vine-type vegetables,” Deo shares.


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Even the traditional colors are followed, which mainly consists of what you would see in a nipa hut. And as it’s a modern reinterpretation, it’s equipped with modern conveniences as well, which merges the down-to-earth details of a humble hut and the comforts of living in the new era.


This includes the airy modern toilet and a bath, the use of glass windows, and some appliances like fans and television. It puts guests at ease without taking the spotlight away from the concept of back to basics. 


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“Imagine wide open spaces. Light. A countryside breeze. A bahay kubo not only provides shelter against nature’s elements but drives in a way that makes the sun, the wind, and even the coolness of the night work with it. That’s what we tried to achieve anyway,” Deo says.


The architect advises people who feel inspired to take this design in their own spaces, even with just the littlest details, to simply make the most out of local materials available. “Research and learn what an actual farmer or bahay kubo dweller might use when constructing his own bahay kubo. Try to make the elements work for you and not against you. But of course, intersperse it with the much needed comforts of a modern home,” he adds.


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If you ever get lost along the way, the architect points to minimalism as key. “Keep it as simple as possible. Strip everything down to the basic needs. A traditional bahay kubo needs no bells and whistles, nothing fancy,” Deo ends.


For more information on The Good Food Farm, visit their Facebook page or visit Rise Against Hunger Philippines.

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