Rey Mendoza had always dreamt of living in an old-style house. As luck would have it, he and his wife Ludette would chance upon a beautiful property in Calatagan, Batangas, back in 2016.
“Wala naman kaming naging choices where to retire, but when the opportunity to get this property came, nagustuhan namin siya because of the beach atsaka wala masyadong tao,” Ludette tells the OG team.
Welcome to Casa Mendoza
Today, the couple is happily spending their retirement years on the 2,000 square meter property which they named Casa Mendoza—a fitting moniker for its antique elements. All in all, they spent around P7 million for the lot along with its improvements.
“Casa Mendoza is really more of my husband’s dream or vision and ito yung naisip niya or winish niya na maging retirement home namin,” Ludette explains. “Gusto naming dalawa ‘yon, mga old-style, antigong style na mga bahay.”
There are three houses in Casa Mendoza: a guesthouse, treehouse, and a main house. The treehouse was requested by their youngest daughter when she was 12 years old. “Tambayan niya ‘to together with her friends,” Rey notes. Today, the tree house serves as a chill spot for their other children where they can appreciate the sprawling view.
Mix of old and new
The guest house, which is the only airconditioned house on the property, has two single beds and a window with a view of the garden and almost all of Casa Mendoza. It overflows with a love for olden times and was made using antique types of wood from old houses in Laguna.
A nearby bahay kubo, the first house built on the property, was once destroyed by a storm, but now serves as a storage area. There’s also a gazebo which the Mendozas use as an area for family gatherings.
One area in Casa Mendoza took on a more modern feel: the pool area, which was Ludette’s project. At the poolside area are two cabanas perfect for lazing around after swimming or for stargazing.“We added the cabana that is suitable na parang old-style din ‘yan, so naging a little mixture of modern and antigo when it comes to that area,” Ludette explains.
Peace and tranquility
Lastly, there is the main house, which also uses recovered kinds of wood. The tiny and cozy home comes with a mini kitchen, mini fridge, and an old-style bangerahan, a storage for kitchen utensils and cooking essentials. In the living room are an ambassador sala set, mini altar, as well as a capiz chandelier, which matches the capiz windows.
A restroom has two doors to give shared access to two rooms: one of which has a bunk bed and a master bedroom which features an antique four-poster bed. “Ito yung sabi ko na dream ko magkaro’n and natupad yung pangarap ko kasi old talaga siya,” Ludette says of the ornate bed frame.
To those planning their retirement home, Ludette and Rey advise that it should be a place that both husband and wife love.“Choose your retirement home based on yung sa lifestyle niyo at kung ano yung mag-eenjoy kayo ng husband mo,” Ludette says. According to Ray, "it doesn't have to be so grand." He, however, emphasizes the importance of finding “a place where you can feel that you will have peace and tranquility."
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