After living in his Calamba home for so many years, 49-year-old quality control inspector Alvin Mamalayan realized that it might not be ideal for his retirement years.
"Yung place namin d'on medyo masikip," Alvin tells Summit Media's OG team. "Sabi ko, hindi ko ma-imagine yung sarili ko kapag edad ko, doon ako tatanda. Wala akong gagawin d'on kundi manood ng TV."
It was in 2012 when he and his wife purchased a 600 square meter lot in Laiya, Batangas. At first, people close to them were skeptical of their decision. "Nung kami ay bumili ng lote dito, nagtaasan sila ng kilay," Alvin recalls. "Sabi, 'Ba't ka bibili diyan, ang layo-layo? Wala pang bahay 'yan, ang dami pang aayusin."
Despite other people's doubts, Alvin and his wife started developing the property, putting a nipa hut in place. In 2021, after having tightened their purse strings and saved up for years, they decided it was time to finally start building their future retirement home.
"Marami akong mga na-encounter na kung kailan talaga nag-retire, 'saka lang magsisimula, e sabi ko, 'Habang bata pa, mag-start na tayo ng savings. Para 'pag nakaipon tayo, puwede tayong magpasimula.'"
Alvin and his wife drew inspiration for the tiny house's design from YouTube videos and Pinterest. They decided that a 7x7-meter home would not just be more affordable to maintain, but cozier, too. The construction took only three months, from July to October 2021.
"'Ka ko, siyempre habang lumalaki yung bahay, lumalaki rin yung gastos," Alvin shares. "E sa 'min namin, kahit hindi masyado detalyado ang bahay, 'di ga'no kalaki, basta kumportable."
Alvin refers to their home as "Mamay Bino", as he's proud to already be a grandfather. "Kung tawagin dito sa Batangas 'yan, ang 'Mamay', ang kahulugan ay 'lolo.' Ang tawag sa 'kin ng mga bata dito, lahat, 'Mamay Bino.'"
The house features a living room, dining area, kitchen, and a bedroom. They also set up a dirty kitchen and a nipa hut outside for entertaining guests. Visitors can also pitch tents on the lot. In the future, they plan on building a small pool at the back as well as setting up a rain catcher to reuse the water for plants and bathing pets.
"Ang uniqueness naman ng bahay namin compare natin sa iba, talagang tiny lang siya. Very functional, walang nasayang na space. Pagpasok mo, nandiyan na yung salas, nandiyan na yung kusina, yung CR, kuwarto."
To save further on expenses, Alvin reused whatever he could from their home in Calamba. They spent a total of P900,000 on materials, labor, and furnishings.
"Yung mga dating nagko-comment ng 'malayo', 'nakaka-ano sa biyahe', ay pumupunta po sila dito at gustong-gusto nila mag-stay," Alvin notes.
To those who would like to build their retirement home, Alvin says they must do sufficient research and be prudent with their spending. "Kung tayo ay malaki gumastos, kaunting tipid, pagkatapos ay kaunting diskarte, sideline tayo para hindi tayo masyado mahirapan after retirement," he advises.
"Siyempre habang lumalaki ang bahay, lumalaki yung gastos. Kung kaya, ngayon pa lang ay magpalit tayo ng lifestyle, mag-tipid tayo, para pagdating ng future, less gastos na lang tayo."
WATCH: Why Moving Into a Tiny House Might Be a Good Retirement Plan
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