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Houses

An Old, Pinoy House in Manila Filled With Art And Vintage Pieces

This post-war Pinoy house in Manila serves as a choreographer's stage for expression

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Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Vincent Coscolluela Styling: Gwyn Guanzon

Homes aren’t only reflections of their owners’ personalities. They are also venues for practicing one’s craft and passion, be it a home-based business or an artistic endeavor. Such is the home of Denisa Reyes, choreographer and former artistic director of Ballet Philippines.

This beautiful old home, which she has been renting for several years, used to be the home of the late, great fashion designer Ernest Santiago. When he decided to leave the house, he asked Denisa if she wanted to occupy it, knowing that she liked old houses. “I grew up in one,” Denisa shares. “This is exactly like the house that we all grew up in as children in Sampaloc, Manila, with trees, large windows, and calado.”

The house needed a lot of work, though. “The bathrooms needed repair. We made our own kitchen, bedroom, sala.” The result is a Pinoy-style space that Denisa also describes as eclectic. “I inherited the chairs, I inherited that wonderful table,” she says. “I mix them up with interesting new things, eclectic, what I pick up from my travels. I like to be unconventional. If the furniture is out of place, I like that better.”

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But whenever Denisa is in Manila, she comes back to this house, and feels a bit of nostalgia. “I have this sense of sadness that I’ve abandoned it in a way. When you leave your home, you appreciate it more,” she says.

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