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A Relaxing Tropical-Asian Home In Zambales

Much like a resort, the 3,000sqm Zambales compound has a main house, three gazebos, a patio, and a swimming pool

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Original Article: Katherine Lopez & Paula de Guzman Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Tala Singson

Who wouldn’t want to rest in a quiet place after a busy week or after years and years of working? Homeowner Mina has found her sanctuary in Botolan, Zambales, a quiet town that is around four hours away from Manila. Her husband is from Botolan, and they have stayed in the town for three years when they got married in the ‘80s before moving to Manila.

“It’s considered our probinsiya, and then, when we had the chance, we thought that a retirement house would be nice to have in Zambales,” says Mina. Although there are plenty of beaches in Zambales, Mina did not want a vacation house on the beach because it is hard to maintain. When Mina and her husband saw the potential of this property, they bought it in 2003. “It’s his gift for our 20th wedding anniversary,” says Mina.  

Each area in the house reflects Mina’s love of decorating and her preference for Asian style. “The whole property is a personal expression. It’s all about me,” she says.Mina was very much involved throughout the whole decorating process–from choosing the big-ticket items up to fixing up the smallest details. She furnished it with bespoke furniture by Cainta-based furniture maker Focolare, while old pieces were given new life.

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Mina says this house is a nice place to go home to. “I like that it’s quiet. You get to enjoy the mountain breeze. It’s relaxing. Time is slow,” she says. “It’s very rural to me.” And she likes it that way. For her, having a vacation home in the province is something to look forward to. “It is to provide an alternative to your kids, that life isn’t all about the city. I think it’s very important to have that.” 

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