Recycled Materials Form a Creative Hub for an Artist's Rest House

This bahay na bato is the perfect setting for nurturing environment for a multitalented artist

Original Article: Amillah Rodil Photography: Dakila Angeles Pictorial Direction: Gwyn GS Guanzon

Who says an artist needs a lot of space to nurture creativity? The Fernando-Amilbangsa’s Antipolo rest house may not be big, but it definitely allows infinite space for creative growth and inspiration. The home dubbed “Casa Fausta” by the homeowner's grandmother sits amidst a lush garden at the foot of Antipolo hills. The homeowner’s primary intention was to create a home that reminded her of old houses she grew up in. Built from adobe and natural wood and recycled materials such as wrought iron, capiz, and machuka tiles, this home evokes the mood and vibe of eras past.

Despite its size, the home is a painting and costume design workshop, a writer’s nook, a gardener’s paradise, and a dance studio. The multipurpose home’s main draw is its location, perfectly complemented by structural and design elements that are down to earth, rustic, and very Filipino.

Original article by Amillah Rodil. Pictorial Direction by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Dakila Angeles.

Read the original article (“Creative Retreat”) in the Jan-Feb 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Facade Ligaya’s rest house lies at the foot of Antipolo hills, an idyllic environment for nurturing this dynamic woman’s many artistic interests. Her home stands out for its adobe structure adorned with wood details that have been stripped to its natural finish which the homeowner loves.
Entrance The home’s entrance was barely touched to keep its rustic look, yet holds an interesting story for the homeowner. The porch roof’s metal canopy holds odd objects with sentimental value for the homeowner, tucked between the rafters such as the branch of a guava tree that grew in her backyard that was felled by a typhoon. The guava tree grew from a seedling that was given to Ligaya by her brother in law.
Living Area The old “bahay na bato” feel was achieved by the use of adobe in the house’s main structure, complemented by the red brick tiles from Rosario, Pasig which were used on the floor and walls of the living room. The red brick tiles are handmade with the help of carabaos and then baked, while the adobe was sourced from Bulacan. A wooden sofa bench from her great-grandmother, her mother’s aparador as a young child, and her mother’s piano are the living room’s main pieces. The piano’s chair was carved by Sulu artisans in the local ukkli wood carving pattern.
Living Area Detail Wooden pieces abound in the home. The couch in one corner is perfect for quiet afternoons. The capiz windows work well with pieces while the vintage chandelier provides light during evenings.
Sitting Area Classic pieces are found in the sitting area where various works of art are on display.
Dining Area Ligaya prefers to work at the dining room to avoid distractions and to enjoy the cooler air downstairs. Her watercolor paintings made during her stay in Tawi-Tawi from 1969 to 1987 adorn the walls of the room.
Workshop Ligaya transformed one of her rooms into a workshop where she can paint and sew the costumes she designs. This room is adorned with oil paintings of costumes and crafts of the people of Sulu, while her sewing machine sits by the window where she can maximize the natural light that streams through.
Staircase The kamagong stairs were purchased from a relative who lived in Marikina in an old dilapidated house. She was fascinated by it because it did not use any nails, just like how old houses were built in the olden times.
Staircase Landing More works of art, photographs, a vintage lampshade, and a couple of ceramic jars are on display on the landing.

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