For 37-year-old Johanna "Hannie" Oco, the bahay kubo has a special place in her heart. That's because she grew up with cherished memories of her family in the hut that her grandfather built.
"We spent most of our time there na naglalaro lang kami tapos nando'n yung family bonding namin sa kubo na 'yon," she tells Summit Media's OG team. "Although meron kaming bahay na concrete, mas naalala ko na meron kaming bahay kubo."
When Annie and her husband, 41-year-old Alexis, bought a farm lot in Batangas in October 2020, they were inspired by Annie's experience living in a bahay kubo. They realized it would be the perfect structure to build on their land.
A labor of love
In February, Alexis and Annie were ready to start on the construction of their bahay kubo concept, which involves a mix of classic and contemporary elements. Since they love doing DIY projects, they didn't seek any professional help for the construction. In fact, they sanded the floor and varnished the walls themselves.
Alexis and Annie initially thought the construction would only cost them P500,000, but with additional plans, they spent more or less 1 million pesos. One of the priciest materials was mahogany, which they used for the house's overall structure."Medyo pricey siya, pero worth it naman in the long run," Annie says. "Nag-splurge talaga kami do'n sa mahogany."
Tiny farmhouse living made cozy
The kubo, which they named Rancho Oco, was built by the first week of May. It measures approximately 5.5 by 6 meters and includes a deck, a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and two bedrooms. The second bedroom is loft-type, with a balcony to let the breeze in.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the tiny house is the mini-pool on the deck, something Alexis and Annie specifically built for their two daughters.
"Kung gusto nilang mag-swimming with a mountain view, stargazing while swimming, dito sila pumupunta," Alexis says.
Sharing the Rancho Oco experience
With so many of their friends interested in staying at Rancho Oco, the couple have put it up for lease on Airbnb. They also built another hut on the property so they can assist guests.
"Gusto rin namin na ma-share yung experience namin na living in our bahay kubo," Alexis notes. "Isa pa, siyempre, additional income din para sa amin."
With rural living becoming a trend, Alexis reminds home-seekers to think things through before making the big move from the city.
"It doesn't mean na may nakikita tayo na nagmo-move out sa Manila, tumitira sa province, nagpapatayo do'n, that we [can] be impulsive," Alexis cautions. "We have to be prepared emotionally, financially, and we have to know when to jump. We have to test the waters first para hindi naman tayo magsisi. So when you decide that you're going to do it, do it wholeheartedly."
"Trust the process," Annie adds. "Kasi along the way, merong doubts, e."
"If you want something, you have to work on it so that you will achieve it," Alexis emphasizes. "Teamwork din between sa aming dalawa, like with this wonderful resort."
Watch: A Dreamy Modern Bahay Kubo in Batangas
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