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Here's How This Family Moved From Manila to Build a Beach House in Camarines Sur

Amid the pandemic, Antonette and Emmanuelle Colobong fulfilled their family's dream of seaside living.
Here's How This Family Moved From Manila to Build a Beach House in Camarines Sur
Amid the pandemic, Antonette and Emmanuelle Colobong fulfilled their family's dream of seaside living.

Just like most parents, Antonette and Emmanuelle Colobong felt the mental and emotional impact on their family when the pandemic hit. 

When the opportunity of living outside the city presented itself, they decided to pack their bags and move from Manila all the way to Camarines Sur after purchasing a 470 square meter beach property on the internet.

"This is special to us because it's a beach lot property and my family loves the beach kaya right away naging interesado kami dito sa area," Antonette tells the OG team

The Colobong's home by the beach is like a dream. On a regular day, their family—including their dog, Lizzy—enjoy frequent dips in the ocean. 

When it came to the materials for their home, Antonette and Emmanuelle were deliberate, choosing readily available materials.

"The design of the house was inspired from a trailer truck," Emmanuelle shares. "Since hindi nga namin maipasok yung trailer dito sa area, we have decided na we use concrete at tsaka hardwood 'saka bamboo kasi sila yung accessible dito sa area." 

camarines sur beach house

The result? A cozy respite for the family from the hustle and bustle of the city.

One of the most striking features of their beach home are the bi-fold walls made of wood and bamboo, that let natural light and sea breeze in.

But Emmanuelle's favorite part in their beach house is actually their main kitchen, which comes with a brick oven for pizzas and a grilling area. Consistent with the rest of the house, the kitchen's flooring and countertops are made of concrete.

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"Ito yung favorite kong part ng house namin, yung kitchen, kasi mahilig akong magluto," Emmanuelle says."

Outdoors, there's a fire pit for spontaneous barbecue and samgyupsal nights, made decorative with Emmanuelle's craft projects.

What really also makes their beach home unique are the solar panels which helped power their home and a deep well for their water supply. 

All in all, the construction of their main house cost them P1.5 to P2 million. 

camarines sur beach house

"The reason din siguro kaya gano'n yung range niya is because yung location talaga," Emmanuelle shares. "Medyo mahirap siyang pasukin. And malayo siya sa city."

Antonette notes that they also went over budget as they had the house completed in as little as three months, a lesson they impart to aspiring homeowners.

"I think majority ng mga nagpapatayo ng bahay talagang hindi naman talaga nasusunod yung budget, kaya lang once na ni-rush mo kasi yung pag-construct, medyo talaga tumataas yung cost. Tapos while you're building the house pa, minsan meron kang maiisip na additional or meron kang gustong baguhin."

"Dapat marunong kang maglaro ng mga materials na available lang sa area ninyo," Antonette adds. "Nakapag-adjust kami doon."

As much as Antonette and Emmanuelle love their home, they are ready to face a post-pandemic world and want to share their home to those interested in experiencing the same living arrangement.

"May plan kaming ipa-rent siya para ma-experience din ng ibang tao living in an off-grid location and off-grid house," Emmanuelle says. "Lalo na 'pag nagbalik na yung face-to-face classes ng mga bata, ayon, babalik na kami sa Manila."


"The first time we arrived dito sa bahay, iba yung feeling," Antonette recalls. "Parang joy na kuntento kasi kahit hindi malaki yung bahay, hindi siya extravagant kasi nga very simple yung materials namin, pero yung feeling na, 'We're home.' Yung joy yung nakikita ko sa mga face ng mga anak ko, hindi siya matutumbasan."

Get a closer look at the beach house in the video below:

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