Tips and Guides

8 Things You Need to Know About Bahay Pangarap

A quiet star on its own, the President's Manila residence has design elements that you can also apply at home


What was designed to be the presidential rest house across the river from the Malacañan Palace is once again the residence of choice of the most powerful man in the country. Newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to reside at Bahay Pangarap (House of Dreams), the official residence of his predecessor, the bachelor President Benigno Aquino III.

Bahay Pangarap is part of the 19-hectare Malacañan Park Complex and is being run by the Internal House Affairs Office of the Private Office of the President of the Philippines. Here are things you may want to know about where President Rody will be laying down his head during the workweek:

1. The original property was a 197sqm single bedroom rest house and was built in the 1930s during the Commonwealth Government. It was made out of native materials such as bamboo, sawali, nipa, and topped with an asbestos tile roof.

2. The structure was designed by Juan Arellano—known for his works such as the Metropolitan Theatre, Manila Post Office Building, and the Legislative Building—and it was supposed to look like a nipa hut with Japanese details.

3. The name “Bahay Pangarap” was given to the house by former First Lady Evangeline Macapagal who had the rest house refurbished in the 1960s.

4. The current Bahay Pangarap is a completely new construction and was designed by Architect Conrad Onglao. The historical structure was demolished to give way to the new one which was completed in 2008.

5. Architect Conrad Onglao is best known for his modern tropical style with few traditional elements. His more prominent works are El Nido Resort’s Pangulasian Island, the Seda Hotel Chain, and the show units of the Pacific Plaza Towers. Architect Onglao has been featured in many design books and magazines, including the prestigious Architectural Digest in the US. For Bahay Pangarap, he gave a nod to the original structure by echoing its pitched roof.

6. The beams and wood work of the ceiling are reminiscent of the bahay kubo’s exposed beams and thatched roof.

7. Apart from the existing master bedroom, Bahay Pangarap now has three more bedrooms—a guest bedroom, a bedroom for household staff, and another one for the security people. They were all added when the house became Former President Benigno Aquino III’s official residence.

8. The Commonwealth-era swimming pool and the pergola—an archway in a garden or park consisting of a framework covered with trained climbing or trailing plants— next to it, were replaced by a modern swimming pool and a tropical garden during the reconstruction in 2008.

If you love the modern tropical feel of Bahay Pangarap, you can achieve a similar look at home. Here are picks and must-haves to help you get started:

Get the Look of Bahay Pangarap:

1. Choose neutrals.

Consider working with colors like (clockwise): B077 Spiced Cinnamon, B071 Sand Dollar, C203 Case In Point, and D197 Cliff, all from True Value Paints

2. Invest in a new sofa.

Connor Sofa, price available upon request, Mav Furniture

3. Establish elegance with a classic lighting fixture.

Carl Slim Droplight, price available upon request, Azcor

4. Reward yourself with a stately bed.

Margaret Bed, price available upon request, Mav Furniture

5. Spruce up your outdoor area.

Ventura 3-Piece Sectional with Sunbrella ® Cushion, price available upon request, Crate and Barrel

PHOTOS: Malacanang Photo Bureau/Jay Morales via | Product photos from respective stores.

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