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This Tropical-Inspired Vacation Rental Promotes Kapampangan Culture and Filipino-made Materials

Standing on a lot that used to be a carpark, Bale Salangi takes inspiration from the bahay kubo and the bahay na bato

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Photography: Bruno Tiotuico Architect: PDARC Design Studio

Food, furniture, festivals, and heritage sites—name it and Pampanga has it. Known for its rich history, culture, and mouthwatering cuisine, this province has also become a real estate hub, with many investing in properties found within its key cities.

Also taking root in Pampanga are vacation rentals that aim to encourage people to visit the province and take pleasure in what it has to offer. Bale Salangi, a short-term vacation rental in Angeles City, aims to promote not just Kapampangan cultural heritage but the abundance of locally made materials one can use in bringing dream homes to life.


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“Our advocacy is to promote Filipino-made materials and crafts in support of the local artisans and small-scale businesses from the local weavers of the Ilocos region, the raffia crafts people of Albay, and the Kapampangan manlililok, to name a few,” explains Arch. Louie Pineda, one of the chief architects of PDARC Design Studio, the firm behind the project.

Also on board to bring Bale Salangi to life is Arch. Rom Pineda of PDARC Design Studio and Arch. Louie’s client-turned-partner, Ian Tiongson. Ian acquired the lot, which was previously used as a carpark, in 2019. The general structure of the house was built by STARC1 Construction.

Take a tour of Bale Salangi below:

Property Overview


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The design concept takes inspiration from the bahay kubo and bahay na bato. According to Arch. Louie, the theme is contemporary tropical Filipino architecture. “Open space planning and natural ventilation are the key elements during the design process,” he says.

Aside from promoting materials like bamboo, rattan, and indigenous textiles, the design team also juxtaposed modern elements like concrete, glass, and metal. “This method not only preserves the historical grandeur of the native Filipino architecture but also gives the house protection while adapting to the ever-changing climate conditions caused by global warming,” shares Arch. Louie.


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The main house has a total floor area of 259sqm and features a two deluxe bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a loft area. There’s a separate toilet, bath, and wash areas integrated to the shared bedroom for simultaneous use.

Adjacent to the main house is a 25sqm compact house named “Kuna” or cradle. It can accommodate around four people.

Outdoor Area


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The design team preserved the existing trees within the property by choosing to build around it. Doing so allows the trees to provide natural shade, making nature an integral part of the house.

READ: A Look Into Pampanga's Best Furniture Stores

Façade


Unique and striking best describe Bale Salangi’s façade, with treated bamboo poles on walls making you stop and admire it. The team also used bamboo on the ceiling eaves with natural gaps to ensure ventilation.

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“Polymer-based finishes were also applied on the exterior walls to provide superior adherence and water-resistance,” explains Arch. Louie.

Pool Area


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One of the property’s interesting features is the waterfall that welcomes guests that enter. Aside from adding visual impact, the waterfall serves a function. Since dust accumulation was a concern, the water creates negative ions that neutralizes the pollutants inside the house, thereby improving indoor air quality.


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The walkway in the pool area is finished with exposed Mindoro aggregates while the pool is coated with silica sand. “The hanging ‘Manaog ka irog’ plants justify the feel of a natural waterfall,” adds the architect.

Dining and Living Areas


The common areas are reminiscent of posh resorts, with the beautiful furniture pieces taking the spotlight. Opting for an open layout and taking into consideration ventilation helped achieve a sustainable and passive design approach.

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The ceiling is finished with treated bamboo poles and detachable artificial grass matting that add to its refreshing vibe.


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Jalousie windows let in the breeze and allow air to circulate freely so there’s no need for an artificial cooling system.


Even the decor pieces showcase the beauty of local materials. The design team made sure to purchase the things on display from local artisans.

READ: This Maaliwalas Home in Pampanga Used to Be an Old Lying-In Clinic

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Kitchen


The design team completed the kitchen with pinewood cladding and marble chip countertop. “This area is mainly used for heating, minimal cooking, and food preparation since a dedicated auxiliary kitchen is located on the rear side where the heavy cooking happens,” Arch Louie explains.

Deluxe Bedroom 1


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The layout of the bedroom locates the bed beside the pool, making the overall vibe relaxing. Completing the room are Inabel pillows, a buri mat, and lovely macrame pieces.


The room also features a workspace and a seating piece. Its ceiling is cladded with grooved narra plywood.

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Staircase


At Bale Salangi, even the staircase is well-thought-out. The design team worked with bamboo shutters and breeze blocks not only to connect the first and second floors but also to serve as a vent stack where hot air passes through to keep the house cool.


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Meanwhile, the pebble-washed flooring blurs the line between the indoors and outdoors.

Deluxe Bedroom 2


The second bedroom mirrors the look and feel of the first deluxe bedroom. “A Yucca tree peeks through the corner window, giving a feel of sleeping in a tree house,” muses the architect.

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Bathroom


Wood takes center stage in this bathroom’s dry area. It’s finished with a marble chip countertop and bamboo details. “All natural, nothing contrived,” Arch. Louie says.

READ: Take a Peek Inside This Brutalist-Inspired House in San Fernando, Pampanga

Balcony


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Guests will surely appreciate sipping coffee in the morning in this spot while taking in the serenity of the place.

Third Bedroom


The third bedroom in the main house is meant for bonding with friends as it can accommodate five to eight people. Given this, it’s completed with bunkbeds and a game room at the loft area. Pinewood cladding and bare concrete walls complete the space.

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The Loft


This space features the same jalousie windows, concrete walls, and touches of wood. According to the design team, it’s dedicated for social activities that friends and families can enjoy.


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“What separates this room from all the other rooms are the views. On the right, guests will be greeted by the magnificent Mt. Arayat while on the left, a stunning view of the Zambales mountain ranges will wow them,” Arch. Louie shares.


The Kuna has its own dipping pool inside and right above the pool is a net hammock which can be accessed through the loft bedroom upstairs.

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Bale Salangi is located along Fil-Am Friendship Highway, Angeles City, Pampanga. It is pet-friendly and open for reservations. For more details, follow them on Facebook: Bale Salangi. Interested to work with PDARC Design Studio? Visit their Facebook page, PDARC Design Studio or email them at pdarcdesignstudio[at]gmail.com.

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