This Tiny, Breezy Farmhouse Is The Perfect Haven For Provincial Living
Ruth and Ian Manatad's cozy, light-flooded home in Leyte is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
If your family had a sprawling piece of available land, wouldn’t you want to make use of it for your future home? Before Ruth Manatad, an architect, tied the knot with her now-husband, electrical engineer Ian Manatad, she wanted to have their prenuptial photo shoot taken at her parent’s farm, Meyoy’s Farm, in Leyte. Upon visiting the property for the first time, they fell in love with it and instantly knew they wanted to build their dream house there. “I was born and raised in Cebu City and my husband is born and raised in Maramag, Bukidnon,” Ruth tells the OG team.
Dream tiny home
“Growing up, yung dream house ko—actually, the same kami ng husband ko—we both wanted a simple tiny house physically located sa province,” she adds. “Yung walang traffic, yung tahimik lang, and para stress-free.” Although Meyoy’s Farm measures a massive 2.8 hectares, Ruth and Ian only used 35 square meters for their home. Small as it may be, it’s a breezy, cozy abode that has the perfect balance of indoor and outdoor living spaces. The structure is built on a concrete foundation with gmelina and santol wood accents repurposed from debris following the aftermath of Typhoon Odette in 2021.
Outside, their home features a porch with prominent wood elements and breeze blocks creating not just a homey aesthetic but also creating natural ventilation. “I really wanted to use [a] PVC wall panel, kaya lang it’s very out of the budget namin,” Ruth explains. “So I looked for cheaper ways to achieve the look that I wanted and we used 1x1 S4S wood and nailed it to the concrete wall.”
Small but stylish and functional
Stepping inside, one is greeted by the dining area with a table made of molave and chairs from a secondhand item store in Cebu.
Moving on to the living area, Ruth designed it to be sunken to add a sense of height. The kitchen, meanwhile, has staple appliances such as a fridge, stove, and sink, while a display shelf and mini workstation table were made using the gmelina wood. Floor-to-ceiling jalousie windows were a key component throughout the Manatad home, letting lots of air and natural light in, even in the bathroom. “This is for us to maximize the wind coming inside, natural ventilation, and natural lighting as well,” Ruth says.
To make the most of the available space, the size of Ruth and Ian’s bedroom is just enough for their king-size bed and a small working table by bay windows. The space underneath the bed serves as their storage area for clothes and other items. There’s even additional storage space under a section of the floorboards, a clever idea from their foreman.
Lastly, Ruth and Ian’s home has a deck which they use as their chill spot for stargazing, relaxing, and simply enjoying the scenic farm vista.
Home is where family is
All in all, the house is priced at around P1.1 million, excluding the wood sourced from Typhoon Odette’s wake. Construction lasted for six months, starting from February to September 2022. “What makes this farmhouse a home is actually the people around us, especially our parents who live nearby,” Ruth says. “And on weekdays, we have people coming in and help us with the farm, and on weekends we have our family who visits us.”
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