Tips and Guides

Reader Home: A Clean and Bright Tropical House in Iligan City

Inspired by her sister's memory, RL Reader Vanessa Joy Namocatcat-Ilago shares how she transformed her Mindanao home

Photography: Vanessa Joy Namocatcat-Ilago

Our RL Reader of the Week is Vanessa Joy "Bang" Namocatcat-Ilago. Bang lives in a multi-storey house in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao.

Real Living (RL): When did you start reading Real Living?

Bang: My mom-in-law is an avid collector of Real Living magazines. Reading back issues is my favorite past time every time we visit their home. Now, I have started collecting my own RL magazines and often browse the website, too.

RL: What is your favorite RL section?

Bang: I love the Real Makeover section! It’s inspiring and gives readers a lot of tips. I particularly love the before and after photos!

RL: What are the greatest lessons that you have learned from Real Living?

Bang: I learned the following things:

  • Having an organized and clutter-free home is achievable
  • Renovating one’s home doesn't need to be very expensive
  • DIY crafts, plants and other inexpensive decor make the home beautiful
  • Also, making use of old pieces—refurbishing furniture instead of buying new ones

Are you an RL reader with a Real Living-inspired home? Show us! Like us on Facebook <> and follow us on Twitter (@reallivingph) and Instagram (@reallivingph)! You can post your photos with the IG hashtag: #instalivingph

Living Room


"We had a wall in our first floor that was slightly damaged due to typhoon Sendong. It was made of wood painted with a dark color. I had it removed and repainted the remaining walls white because my late sister Ligaya Rose Namocatcat suggested this before she passed away. It’s amazing how this instantly changed the total look of the house. It now seems so much brighter and more spacious." 

Living and Dining Areas

Bang paired the pristine white walls and floors with wooden furniture pieces. The rustic feel of these items add warmth to the open space. 

Dining Area

From this view, one can see that the dining area is furnished simply. The space only features a dining table surrounded by six chairs and a wooden buffet table. 

Ligaya Rose's Artworks

"Instead of buying wall decor, I used my sister’s artworks to keep her presence alive in our home."     

Kitchen Island

To adorn the wall above the kitchen island, Bang used an illustration board saved from her son's first birthday party. She cut it in the shape of a circle and used the dark side as a chalkboard.

According to Bang, the kitchen island also serves as her breakfast table and crafting table. This is her favorite place to drink coffee and read RL magazines.


Bang explains that the kitchen used to have bright yellow cabinets. She and her husband changed the cabinets and painted them white.

Since Bang wanted to remove all of the plastic storage for the dinnerware, she and her husband had to have better cabinets. These new cabinets keep most of their belongings hidden from view.

Instead of cheap-looking plastic pieces, Bang used native baskets and wooden containers.

Pocket Garden

From the kitchen, one can see the pocket garden. This small space allows Bang and her loved ones to appreciate the charm of nature in the comfort of their own home. 

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