A 200sqm Weekend Home in Batangas

This escape takes the word open very seriously

Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Pictorial Direction: Tala Singson and Paula de Guzman Architect: Joey Manalad

With a house that belongs in a community surrounded by greens, one can say that architect and homeowner Joey Manalad, together with his wife Carina and their two sons Mio and Javier, have awesome weekends to look forward to.

The house was designed without having to cut trees or make drastic changes to the surroundings, and is easily accessible from the subdivision’s road. It also features an open layout, where one can move around the house with ease, perfect for when relatives and guests drop by. There is nothing that will limit them in terms of movement; even the doors are barely noticeable!

Joey also designed the furniture and had his contractor accomplish each, making everything in the house customized for the family’s needs and preferences. Other interesting additions in this house include a massage area and an indoor rock-climbing wall. In the future, they also intend to convert the roof into a “green roof” where they can plant grass and grow other greens. As an architect, Joey also stressed how it’s possible to build and style a home without having to spend a lot. For him, it’s all about creativity.

Read the original article ("Out in the Open") in the August 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.


The no-gate façade makes the home all the more inviting. The gravel steps connect the house to the subdivision’s main road.

Living Area

All the furniture pieces are DIY, according to Joey. “The furniture are basically minimalist-type of furniture. We did not have to go to home depots or display stores to get our own furniture. We built them ourselves. Everything is conceptualized according to how we want everything composed for our house,” he adds.

Living Area

On one corner of the living area is a swing seat, which they sourced from Pampanga.

Dining Area

With the benches flanking the long dining table, 10 diners can seat at a given time. The tall wooden cabinet on one side is where plates, glasses, cutlery, and other dinnerware are stored.


The compact kitchen is spacious enough for food preparation. On one side of the kitchen are louvered doors which, when opened, reveal the refrigerator.

Massage Area

Located below the main floor of their dwelling is the massage area. To be able to de-stress, the family hires a therapist on long weekends.

Master Bedroom

Even the master bedroom follows the “open” theme of the entire home with large windows that allow both light and air to pass through. The light color palette also adds to the calming feel.


Jalousie windows allow cool breeze to ventilate the space, eliminating the need to install an air-conditioner.

Design Detail

Since Joey's son loves rock climbing, he added this indoor rock-climbing wall that leads to a loft in the sleeping space. It also has a safety bar for kids to hold on to as they ascend.

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