This Idyllic Bahay Kubo in Silang, Cavite Promotes Sustainability
The Understory offers an intimate farm-to-table dining experience
Even before the pandemic, Glenn Mariano already knew that he wanted to spend his days away from the city. In 2019, he and his family decided to live the simple life in Silang, Cavite, and build a bahay kubo, which they christened The Understory.
“We decided to live here because it’s simple, it’s quiet, stress-free, walang traffic, we get fresh air, at sobrang simple ng buhay dito,” Glenn tells the OG team.
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A sustainability advocate, Glenn champions methods such as organic farming and using recycled materials. In front of their kubo, they plant different kinds of vegetables and herbs, which serve as their own source of food and a readily available offering when guests visit.
Their big move has benefitted them tremendously on a physical, mental, and financial level, as the kubo also served as a haven at the height of the global health crisis.
“Nung ang daming taong gustong lumabas, kami okay lang kasi al fresco naman at meron kaming kubo na puwedeng puntahan, pagpahingahan,” Glenn remembers.
Glenn’s kubo is a two-story structure, measuring 4x5 meters. To add to the breeziness of the area, they placed a variety of native, edible, and landscaping plants. The hut was constructed mainly with wood, a mix of recycled wood which were used for the braces and coco lumber for the frames. For the posts, they used PVC pipes with concrete, reinforced with steel.
On the ground floor is a massive dining table made of plywood. Adorning the perimeter of the area are hanging lights, which they made with jars and recycled crates. Upstairs is a bedroom which can accommodate a total of four people.
Throughout the property, various plants and trees create a lush maze of greenery, from sili, lagundi, to ferns. There’s even a fish pond surrounded by water plants. In fact, so relaxing is the place that their plantito and plantita friends like to visit. An additional hut is being constructed to entertain guests, which Glenn and his family use as a gym or meditation area.
“Nung nag-pandemic, nangolekta kami ng iba’t-ibang klaseng halaman para i-landscape dito sa aming space,” Glenn recalls. “Hindi lang siya nagbibigay ng ganda, nag-aattract din siya ng mga friends namin na mahilig sa plants para bumisita sa aming space.
Momentum, passion, and consistency
Glenn and his family spent an estimated P65,000 to build the bahay kubo, inclusive of the materials and labor, with an additional P65,000 for the landscaping work. To save on costs, they do the maintenance themselves. Gradually, they have been slowly opening the property to the public as a garden café, offering a farm-to-table dining experience.
To those who also want to build a similar home, Glenn says they should get started as early as possible, even with small savings.
“Kasi yung momentum and yung passion, puwedeng mawala ‘yon habang nag-iipon,” he explains.
Second, he cautions them to be consistent with the activities they plan to do on the property, and to constantly collect ideas.
“Kasi ‘pag hindi napupuno yung ideas, sometimes yung motivation mo to run or to start this kind of living, hindi ‘yon magpu-push through kaya be consistent.”
READ: This Boracay Bahay Kubo Is A Tropical Wonder
To those who want to visit The Understory and get a taste of their garden fresh, seasonal menu, visit their Instagram page or contact Glenn at 0915-641-0803.
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