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A Colorful And Charming Family Home In Palawan

A forgotten, mid-century provincial house is transformed into a whimsical vacation abode

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Original Article: Arlene Maslog Photography: Ocs Alvarez Pictorial Direction: Carlo Vergara Styling: Gwyn Guanzon

Architect Arlene Maslog remembers the first time she stepped into her father-in-law’s 1960s bungalow in Puerto Princesa: it seemed lost in time, with the wall calendar turned to the year 1988, the paint faded and peeling, and the furniture battered. “Nonetheless, I was warmly welcomed here and introduced to the enchantment that is Palawan, and there began my life as an adopted daughter of this beautiful island province,” she reminisces.

Arlene and her husband then rolled up their sleeves and got to work on fixing the home, calling on their trusty foreman from Manila. What followed were a series of renovations, replacing termite-eaten timber, raising the ceiling height, and installing new plumbing. After that, they divested the home of previous clutter, and refurbished the remaining furniture pieces. “After three months of demolition and construction work, five garage sales, and much peso-pinching, we finally completed the project,” the architect says proudly.

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The end result is an airy and colorful family home filled with up-cycled finds, children’s artwork, and beautiful memories. “Behind all the work, my husband and I want this home to reflect the simplicity of life here in Palawan, stripped of frills and unnecessary wants,” Arlene enthuses. “Life here constantly makes you think of the mere essentials. Living here part of the year uplifts and revives our spirits and bonds my family deeper.”

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