The traditional “bahay kubo” is made of bamboo and roofed with grass thatch or the leaves of nipa palm.  It is the house Lina grew up in.  It is made of local materials and perfectly adapted to the climate, providing a shady interior and plenty of ventilation (also mosquitoes) through the slatted walls.  The decorative work done by weaving bamboo in different patterns is beautiful.

Bamboo shutters slide back and forth on their tracks.  An inside drying rack or “banggerahan” in the local language projects from the side of the house, the water dripping through the slats and the breeze drying the kitchenware.  A “papag” serves as seating during the day and sleeping platform at night.

One of our hosts lights her house with a fluorescent bulb powered by a battery connected to the lamp with two alligator clips.  A solar lamp sits outside during the day while the sun charges its silicon cells.  Cooking is done inside on a special hearth, the coals insulated from the bamboo by a thick layer of sand and ash.  Kindling from bamboo and other trees is stored outside, then over the hearth.  Charcoal is also used as fuel.

Water is poured through a cloth strainer into the water jar at the sink and drawn from a spigot.  A ladle made of coconut shell and bamboo is a piece of functional beauty.

An outdoor drying rack holds pots and pans and two upturned boots.  Next to it stands the water pump, from which bamboo tubing leads water to other parts of the homestead.

Some of the bahay kubo we visited are hybrid.  The bamboo sits on cinder block walls, and the roof may be corrugated metal rather than thatch.  One family is building a new cement house, as typhoons, common in the Visayan Islands at the center of the Philippine archipelago, are frequent visitors.

Bahay kubo

Bahay kubo

Shutters

Shutters

The drying rack or "banggerahan"

The drying rack or “banggerahan”

Banggerahan from outside

Banggerahan from outside

The sleeping platform or "papag"

The sleeping platform or “papag”

Papag from outside

Papag from outside

Battery and solar lamp

Battery and solar lamp

The hearth

The hearth

Fuel

Fuel

Water jar

Water jar

Ladle

Ladle

Pots and boots drying outside

Pots and boots drying outside

Water pump with bamboo "hose"

Water pump with bamboo “hose”

A new house being built next to the old bahay kubo

A new house being built next to the old bahay kubo

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