A Mix of Different Cultures in an Artist’s Home

A well-traveled portrait artist and painter makes a souvenir out of his home by introducing the beauties of his most beloved countries

Original Article: Sunshine Selga Funa Photography: Jun Pinzon Pictorial Direction: Dagny Madamba

Fluent in Kapampangan, English, Tagalog, and Italian, homeowner Tom embodies a person of multicultural experiences—having traveled Europe and finally settling in Italy 23 years prior to returning to the Philippines. Other than establishing himself as a portrait painter, Tom studied Language and Culture in Siena and even ceramics making in Rome—filling his years with incomparable and irreplaceable memories.

Similar to his mix of interesting stories, his Makati home exhibits a life of travel and global experiences. Furniture and souvenirs from different continental origins adorn his humble home—mostly Italian and Japanese (due to a two-month trip to Japan). Despite embracing the cultures of others, Tom never placed any above his very own. A number of Filipino decorative pieces dot his eccentric space—creating an interesting eclectic mix that works together beautifully. Although Tom is keen towards the aesthetic of other countries, he still returned home to the one he cherishes the most.

Original Text by Sunshine Selga Funa. Pictorial Direction by Dagny Madamba. Photographed by Jun Pinzon.

Read the original article ("Ciao, Japan!") in the March 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Foyer With an eye for design, Tom’s home is also dotted with artisanal pieces he created himself. The frame of the large white mirror in the foyer he fashioned out of upcycled driftwood he collected from Typhoon Ondoy’s destruction.
Foyer Detail More of Tom’s souvenirs decorate the division between the living room and bedroom.
Living Area This leather sofa was one of the furniture pieces Tom brought home from Italy.
Living Area Detail The mix of cultures are most prominent in Tom’s living room. Wooden furniture from the Philippines and Italy are mixed with decorative pieces from Japan.
Bedroom After his trip to Japan, Tom fell in love with Japan’s simplistic design aesthetic. When he returned, he did a complete makeover of his bedroom and created a Japanese-style sanctuary with hanging kimonos and lanterns.
Decor Detail Tom’s portraits of friends and family line the walls of his home.
Bedroom Detail Although completely different in looks, the mix of Japanese, Italian, and Filipino look seamless in his home.
Work Area A small area in the apartment was dedicated for Tom’s desk; adorned with paintings, souvenirs, and photos.
Work Area Detail Tom’s work area acts as a personal gallery for his paintings and favorite photographs. Photos of his parents, loved ones, and classmates are mixed in with artwork like the ceramic mask that Tom made himself.
Balcony Tom looks out from his favorite hangout spot, his balcony.

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