When the pandemic hit in 2020, Ricca Del Rosario and her husband had to wait until restrictions were eased before they could bond with their three kids outdoors. "Maliliit pa sila, nakakatakot, and wala pa ring vaccine during that time," she tells Summit Media's OG Channel team.
Thankfully, the Del Rosarios had purchased a lot years back in Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT), Bulacan, where their family could freely spend time in nature without any worries.
"'Di namin siya napupuntahan," Ricca recalls. "Ito yung naisip namin na pasyalan. Kasi bundok siya, probinsyang-probinsya, walang tao, so puwede magtanggal ng mask kasi kami lang naman yung nando'n."
Ricca's family enjoyed hanging out at the lot so much that their monthly trips soon became weekly ones. That's when they decided to add a bamboo fence around the property and named it "Bakuran."
To make the space more comfortable for their children, they built a cabin complete with plumbing and electricity. Taking inspiration from their kids, they named the first structure, "Balai Ate.”
Realizing the potential of their personal vacation home to be a place where other families can enjoy, they decided to build more cabins on the property. Because Ricca's husband is an engineer and their family owns a construction company, she was able to ask their firm's architects to help her with the design of the additional cabins, aptly named "Balai Kuya" after their only son, and "Balai Bunso". Ricca jokes that she and her husband can no longer have more kids because they no longer have space in Bakuran to build more cabins.
Bakuran officially opened in January 2022. Guests don't need to hike to get there and there are no rough roads leading to the property, making it accessible even to small cars. It's also pet-friendly.
Ricca says Bakuran is also perfect for small groups as it spans only 1,300 square meters. Cabins measure between 20 to 25 square meters each and are primarily made with wood materials and metal framings to evoke a modern and "mountain vibe". Common areas include an outdoor swimming pool and a kitchen.
"Each cabin is around P1.5M because every part is detailed," she explains. "Itong units namin, lahat ng makikita mo, may detalye. May table na naka-attach na, may mga cabinets, para wala siyang plain na parts."
Ricca has this advice for anyone who wants to put up a vacation home business: "If you're planning to build your own place na bahay or ganito na open din for other people, I think the best advice is to not rush and to take your time kasi may mga bagay na kailangan mo munang pag-isipan para hindi ka magsisi sa huli. Kung hindi, lalo kang mapapamahal, 'di ka masa-satisfy sa kinalabasan."
In the future, she and her husband hope to replicate the Bakuran experience outside of Bulacan. "Maybe we can put up Bakuran somewhere else. Maybe may Bakuran Tagaytay or Bakuran Baguio, mga ganyan, pero matagal pa 'yan. Wishful thinking lang, but hopefully."
WATCH: How This Couple Turned Their Vacation Home into a Business
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