Friday, February 27, 2015

Did You Know the Bahay Kubo is the Original Ecohouse?

First published on

Esteemed Filipino architect Francisco Mañosa, who designed the Coconut Palace at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex, and multi-awarded Italian architect Romolo V. Nati, CEO of Italpinas Eurasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation, so firmly believe that the bahay kubo (nipa hut), the iconic symbol of Filipino culture, is the Philippines’ original sustainable house.

“The bahay kubo is so beautiful in its simplicity and practicality. It harnesses the wind and the light coming from nature to provide its occupants basic comforts like cool air passing through its perforated walls without harming the environment,” said Nati in a statement.

Mañosa, on the other hand, even lives in his very own bahay kubo-inspired mansion that has only three posts or haligi, five one-inch coconut shell doors on the second floor, and a silong (basement), which Mañosa built in Ayala Alabang Village seven years ago.

A sustainable home design follows two essential principles: (1) Its main design ideas make use of renewable and natural materials; and (2) its structural design promotes proper air circulation, where the hot air rises and the cold air sinks, both of which the humble bahay kubo upholds.

It Reduces Carbon Footprint

Made of indigenous building materials such as bamboo and nipa, the bahay kubo produces smaller carbon footprint compared to modern building materials such as timber, steel, and concrete.

It Promotes Passive Cooling

The bahay kubo’s tall, steeply-pitched roof makes an ample room for dissipating heat inside the house. Its silong (basement) is well-ventilated (thanks to the bahay kubo’s traditional bamboo slat floors, which allow the cool air to naturally flow into the main living space from the silong below).

It Lets Sunshine In

The bahay kubo’s typical large awning windows allow natural light and the prevailing winds from the southwest to come in.

Visit, full-service property specialists. 
Like CondoAsia, HousesAsia on Facebook, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

House or Condo? Which One Should You Choose?

First published on 

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you basically have two options available for a home: a house or a condo. Bear in mind that each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. So it all boils down to the homebuyer’s preferences.

However, before you make any buying decision, consider these important factors:


If you’re single, you may want to live in a bachelor’s pad, where you can throw a party anytime. In addition, most bachelors prefer living in a condo because it gives privacy and freedom.

If you’re living a more modern lifestyle, like most bachelors, a condo is also perfect for you because most condos are located in urban areas, where many amenities and luxuries are available.

But if you’re married or planning to start a family, a house is more ideal. Even more so if you’re ready to have kids. In this case, you may want to allocate a larger space, where your kids can play around without bumping into any furniture. Most residential communities are also located in a peaceful environment, which is perfect when raising children.

Furthermore, a house is more ideal for growing families because you can easily do some home upgrades.

Cost and Other Expenses 

It’s not easy to compare the cost of owning a house to owning a condo. The reason is that there are many factors that affect the cost of living in a condo or a house. For example, if the condo building is located in an area where property taxes are high, the property can be far more expensive. The size of the property also affects the price; a larger property is definitely going to be more expensive.

Apart from the cost of the property, you also have to consider the other expenses that come with owning a home. If you’re buying a condo, there are likely more expenses that you need to pay. Though both houses and condos have annual property taxes, homeowners insurance, and mortgage insurance, a house does not charge condo fees. However, the monthly utility bills for a house would be much higher than those for a condo because the former occupies a much larger space.

Appreciation Potential 

Whether you’re thinking of a short-term or long-term investment, you also have to consider the appreciation value when buying your first home. But which one has the higher appreciation value? A house or a condo?

Most people think that condos have higher appreciation potential because they’re mostly located in urban areas. However, if you think of the annual expenses when living in a condo, it’s less likely to gain much from your home’s appreciation value. Although mostly located in rural areas, a house is likely to appreciate more than a condo. Instead of paying condo fees, you can save your money for some house improvements that will further help increase the value of your home.

Visit, full-service property specialists.

Like CondoAsia and HousesAsia on Facebook, too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top 3 Survival Tips When Living In A Small Space

First published on

Not everyone can afford a large house or condo. If you don’t have the means, you’re likely to compromise for a small space. However, living in a small space can be disheartening and sometimes annoying. Whether you’re single or living with your family, the difficulties of living in a small space are just the same. There are ways to get around with it though. Here are three survival tips when you’re living in a small space.

  • Learn How to Organize Your Home 

If there’s one thing you had to improve on, it’s your organizational skills. Unlike in a large place where you can put things wherever you want without sacrificing space, you have to make sure everything is well-organized in a small room.

If you live in a small space, your furniture choices are somewhat limited. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have the furniture you want for your home. You just have to organize them well and choose the furniture that will fit your living room, for instance; oversized furniture will only make your house look smaller.

Buy a couch that’s multi-functional. Since you don’t have enough room for guests, you can use this kind of couch that folds out into a bed, where your guests can sleep comfortably.

You can also cut the clutter and organize every last thing in your home by using different organizers. In the kitchen, you can use kitchen carts to store your utensils more efficiently. Make full use of your kitchen cabinets and drawers. In the bedroom, you can organize your clothes well by adding more vertical shelves; placing extra rods and hooks; and using shoe racks. Lastly, in the bathroom, you can hang a shower storage rack.

By keeping things well-organized, you’re not just making your house look clean and free of clutter, but you’re also maximizing space to make your small place look more spacious.

  • Make Good Use of Spaces 

Another thing to consider is making good use of spaces.

If you’re a bookworm but there’s not enough space to create a library, you can just place a tall bookshelf or a few bookcases in your bedroom or in the kitchen if you’re fond of cookbooks.

If you’re wondering where to put those extra pillows and mattresses, all you have to do is to get those underbed storage boxes. For easier access, choose storage bins with wheels.

And if you have kids who are staying in one room, choose a fold away bunk bed. You may also opt for a trundle or loft bed, which is more comfortable.

  • Decorate to Make the Room Look Bigger 

You can make your place look bigger with the right decorations. To start with, you have to use the right paint color for the interior. Essentially, you have to keep the color light as it will make the entire space appear larger. You may apply gray paint on the wall but make sure your furniture are light in color.

You can also use floor-to-ceiling window treatments to make your living room look more spacious. According to celebrity interior designer Lori Dennis, extra-high ceilings will draw people’s eyes upwards, which make a room feel bigger.

Lastly, you can add wall mirrors to your room as they work wonders with making a small space look larger, too.

Follow CondoAsia on Twitter: @condoasiaph 
Like CondoAsia, HousesAsia on Facebook:,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

PHOTO CONTEST: Win Post-Valentine Dinner For Two, Tickets to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ By Sharing Your Most Romantic Valentine Arrangements At Home, your full-service property specialists, and California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), which recently reopened at Shangri-La Plaza, are holding an online photo contest among couples, aged 21 and above, who reside in Metro Manila, to share a photo or photos of their “Most Romantic Valentine Arrangements at Home.”

The winner—one couple only—will win a Post-Valentine full-course dinner for two at CPK, plus two tickets to see the most anticipated book-to-film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, at Shang Cineplex.

Photo Contest Mechanics: 

• Take a photo or photos of your most romantic Valentine arrangement/s at home. i.e. romantic dinner table setting, rose petals on the bed. Make sure you submit photos that you own.*

• Email photo entries to or send a private message at on or before Monday, February 16, 2015. Include your names, age, where you took the photo, and a short description of each photo. will post finalists at facebook/condoasiaph on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Most number of likes (1 point per like) and most number of shares (2 points per share) will win the contest.

• Facebook voting—liking and sharing—will run from Wednesday, February 18 until Sunday, February 22, 2015.

• The winner—one couple only—will be announced on Monday, February 23, 2015.

• Post-Valentine dinner date at CPK, movie date at Shang Cineplex will be scheduled later that week.

* will not be liable for any third party claims on the photos.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Five Practical Ways To Find Your Ideal Neighborhood

First published on 

Checking out the neighborhood is one of the must-do items before buying a home. Instead of hiring a private inspector, we suggest that you study the neighborhood yourself.

To aid you through the process, we’ve listed below five important factors to consider when selecting the ideal neighborhood:

Crime Statistics and Safety 

Peace and safety should be at the top of your list. Who wants to live in a crime-prone neighborhood anyway?

To begin with, google how high or low the crime rate is in the neighborhood you’re investigating; if you want more information or to explore further, call the local police station.

Availability of Basic Amenities

Make a checklist of the amenities you think are most important to you. If you have children, make sure there are good schools in the area. Check out ratings and reviews of various local public and private elementary schools, high schools, even day care centers.

You may also need to consider the proximity of your prospective house to the schools and your office. If you’re going to commute, find out how long it will take you to reach your regular destinations. If you’re driving a car, it’s wise that you also identify other transportation alternatives. If there are buses and trains, check out their schedules.

Besides schools and transportation, other important amenities to consider are hospitals, malls, supermarkets, churches, parks, and entertainment centers.

First Impression 

Your first impression of a prospective home or neighborhood is crucial. Can you imagine yourself and your family living in that house or neighborhood? Do they fit your lifestyle?

To make a fair judgement, visit the place at different times of the day; drive through the area to capture a snapshot of life in the neighborhood. While looking for nice spaces, also spot for unpleasant sights such as abandoned buildings and graffiti on the walls. If you found too much disgusting surroundings, you would probably think it’s not safe to live in that neighborhood.

Talk to your future neighbors as well; ask them what they like and don’t like in the area.


Match your personality to your prospective neighborhood.

If you’re single and looking for a mate, you’re more likely to pick a neighborhood full of single people.

If you’re a parent, choose a neighborhood where there are businesses catering to children.

If you’re a professional, choose a neighborhood where other professionals live. If you’re surrounded by other professionals, who share a similar schedule as yours, you could save yourself from late night noise, and some of them could even form a good support group.

Property Value and Neighborhood Improvements

Most homeowners consider the potential value of their properties, which increases over time.

Your prospective home is a very good investment whether or not you sell it in the future. If the value of your property is high and its neighborhood is set for future improvements, such investment can be deemed as a good addition to your current inventory of assets.

Follow CondoAsia on Twitter: @condoasiaph
Like CondoAsia on Facebook: