Array
Tips and Guides

Pinoy Dictionary: Parts of a Filipino Home

This handy Filipino glossary will teach you all the parts, from azotea to zaguan!

Shares
Photography: Miguel Nacianceno & Ocs Alvarez (main photos)

Aside from bahay kubo, what other terms do you know for the traditional Filipino home and its architectural elements? Did you know that the first few steps of a stair landing had a name (descanso), or that the intricate traceries above the door shared the same term for “embroidery” (calado)? Check out the terms in our Filipino glossary below, learn about the Pinoy home, and a bit of its history, as well.



Azotea. A balcony or terrace on a flat roof.


Bahay kubo. A traditional Filipino house on stilts made of indigenous materials such as bamboo, sawali, and thatched nipa.  It has swing-out windows with a tukod to hold them in place, a high-pitched, airy roof, and is raised from the ground to protect its owners from animal attacks and floods.

Bahay na bato. The usual style of home inhabited by the noble families during the Spanish colonial times. Its ground floor, which is usually empty of made as a garage for horse-drawn carriages, is made of stone walls, while the second floor is made of wood.

Batalan. The rear porch of a bahay kubo used for washing and other domestic duties.


Bulwagan. A hall, or the vestibule in a house, used formally as a room for a large gathering.


Caida. Entrance area of the upper floor of the bahay na bato.

Calado. Carved or pierced wooden panels placed between the walls and the ceiling of a bahay na bato to allow air to circulate.


Descanso. The first few steps of the landing of a flight of stairs.

Entresuelo. Literally means “intermediate floor”—this is the space underneath a bahay na bato’s main living area.

Kamalig. A grain house, warehouse, or barn-like storehouse used to store rice or grain.

Senepa. The fascia or the wooden board covering a roof’s rafters. 

Silong. The space underneath the house; or the empty space between the floor of the house and the ground.

Tukod. A long piece of wood used to hold open old, swing-out windows.


Ventanillas. Small panels beneath the main window, which can be slid open for added ventilation.

Zaguan. The space underneath a bahay na bato used to store the family’s carriages—or if the family was active in the church—processional carriages.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 

More on Realliving.com.ph

20 Common Construction Terms, Decoded

Pinoy Decor Dictionary

Modern Bayanihan: Moving a 99-Year-Old House

Shares

Latest Stories

Living In A Small Space Can Make You Happy

Take it from the hosts of Tiny House Nation

A Modern 1960s House Filled With Fun Colors And Vintage Finds

Each room is more interesting than the next in this midcentury home filled with psychedelic colors, cool art, and Scandinavian designer furniture

5 Things To Declutter This Long Weekend

How often do you clean these spots?

Duterte Complains About Funerary Malacanang Lamps

Check out our suggestions for modern and brighter lighting alternatives

Vice Ganda's Streamlined Three-Storey Home

In stark contrast to his jolly personality we see on TV, the home highlights a straightforward, modern style with no frills

7 Ways To Get Rid Of Pests Naturally

Have you tried lanzones peels as repellants? Solve your pest problem with this non-toxic arsenal from your kitchen cupboard.

Bored On A Long Weekend? Take This Quick Manila Tour

If you have an extra free day this weekend, do not waste it by sleeping at home. Hop on a bamboo bike, read a 200 year old book, visit an old house, and explore the historical-architectural side of Manila. No need to leave the city!

5 Must-Dos for Hanging Curtains

There is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to draping

An Unfinished House Gets an Extreme Makeover

Designer Aouie Lao worked with striking colors, well-chosen accessories, and time-tested small space solutions to give this three-year-old house a needed upgrade

5 More Ways To Decorate Weekend Homes

Get a well-deserved two-day break in a beautiful space

How Pinoy Homes Looked 10, 50, 80, 100 Years Ago

In these photos, see how Filipino interior styles, finishes, and furnishings evolved over the past hundred years in the ultimate Real Living throwback!

Real Property Tax Deadlines You Need to Know

Don't forget to settle your account as one of the quarterly deadlines is coming soon
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!