Modern Tropical Elegance in the Philippines

by Steve Van Derodar

| Photo : 25 Tropical Houses in the Philippines (provided by the author)

I came across an online book about tropical houses in the Philippines and was impressed with modern tropical houses. I thought this is the best time to feature the topic here; after all, it’s about time to put a focus on what is distinctly our own.

The Philippines is a tropical country with 7,107 islands, and with the beauty it possesses, a modern tropical house is a great characterization of its people.

Many of us yearn for either a vacation house, rental property, or a permanent residential acquisition yet are unsure what architectural style or interior design to choose from the myriad of choices to choose from. Especially if you have been away from the Philippines, some of us can’t think of what to do for such an interest.

The book has inspired readers to go for the modernist approach to the featured homes’ tropical centerpiece. Paulo Alcazaren aptly describes it that Philippine “tropical modern” homes are “characterized by residential designs that are distinctive in their use of mutable space local materials, and functional accommodation of hybrid East-West lifestyles. Echoing a pan-Asian trend and a larger trajectory for architectural development in tropical-belt countries, these homes’ spaces show creative configurations of often-minimal spaces. Filipino architects and designers are also offering fresh approaches in the use of materials and architectural elements that cater to both the changing cosmopolitan tastes of an ever more discerning Filipino elite and the aspirations of a progressive, budget-conscious middle class. Tropical modern design is affordably “cool.”

Further, the book may have featured some of the Philippines’ elites; it leaves us with the desire for comfort for Philippine tropical modernism. The idea of the tropical house is very inviting and influences our way of living. It is natural for the tropical Philippines to go for wood, pitched roof, high ceilings, open floor plans, wide openings, indigenous materials, and various elements in construction.

A house and lot structure can be expensive, but it is not impossible to have your modern tropical house, whatever your budget is. And if a house is not for you, consider owning a condominium property with tropical themes and offerings.

Buying a condo property with tropical themes is very in demand, especially in locations close to the beach, bay areas, or thematic estates like Amara in Cebu, Anvaya Cove in Morong, Bataan. In Cebu alone, several resorts-themed developments are competing for their market share, including hotel residences, serviced apartments, and residential condominium buildings.

“Foreigners cannot buy a house with the land; however, they can buy villas with Condominium Certificate Title (CCT).”

Foreigners cannot buy a house with the land; however, they can buy villas with Condominium Certificate Title (CCT). If they own a company, they may consider leasing the lot property while building the tropical modern house.

Interestingly, some residential developments do have tropical themes for their developments requiring homeowners to comply with specifications. The use of materials is subject to approval, so it meets the standards set by the developers. These obviously are on the high-end markets requiring the need to complement the project development.

Interestingly, some residential developments do have tropical themes for their developments requiring homeowners to comply with specifications. The use of materials is subject to approval, so it meets the standards set by the developers.”

I remember Tim Street-Porter’s line in his book about tropical houses stating, “The ambient warmth of the tropics causes architectural distinctions between indoors and out to evaporate, along with the walls that divide them. Houses expand into the landscape while the sights, sounds, and scents of nature waft through living spaces. Indeed, one of the pleasures of living in the tropics is an awakening of the senses that brings us closer to nature.”

You could not go wrong living in the tropics like the Philippines, and whose embrace for culture, the design is as warm, beguiling, and irresistible as the Filipino tropical home.

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(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation, and commercial properties. He has worked as an International Property Specialist to markets in Asia, Europe, and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land, and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a key focus on Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit www.philhousehunters.com. Email at derodarsales@gmail.com.)

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