Tips and Guides

RL Spotlight: Apol Lejano Massebieau's Favorite Things

This mom, entrepreneur, and founding editor of Real Living shares the things that she loves in her Bohol home


Read the original article ("Apol Lejano Massebieau: My 10 Favorite Things at Home”) in the July 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Favorite Home Scent

“I make up my own scents, putting orange peel on slow boil with some cloves or star anise, or mixing lavender flowers with other herbs and putting them in sachets. Now that we’ve moved to Panglao Island in Bohol, I’m finding that my number one favorite home scent is the salty breeze coming in through our house’s wide-open windows from the sea right in front.”

Similar scents include Orange Clove Scented Candle, P439, and Boracay Shores Scented Candle, P529, both from Alice Blue 

Favorite Recycling Trick

“I adore shelters made from recuperated material. Someday, I'll build my toddler a tree house using only found objects. For inspiration, I turn to this near-mythical place near the south of France called Beauduc. There's a colony of fishermen who lives there almost completely off the grid, and in the summers, the seasonal residents come to set up their ramshackle cabins, without running water or electricity. In the photo, you'll see a blue-and-white cottage hammered together from whatever was at hand.”

Favorite Travel Destination

“Africa. The colors and the smells and the warmth of the people speak to me. There’s something very alive there. I’m hoping to explore Tanzania or Mozambique next, just as soon as my toddler is old enough that very long plane trips are not so stressful.”


Favorite Area in the House

“I love my sleep, so I’ll have to say the bedroom. We’ve just moved into our beach house though, and I have not had a lot of time to work on it. Plus, it came furnished, which, I’m finding, puts my decorating energies in inertia mode. When I finally finish working on our third-floor bedroom, it will have gauzy white curtains everywhere, and on the floor, a multi-colored banig woven here and giant pillows made from abel iloko.”

Favorite Pick-me-up Treat

“Manggang hilaw at bagoong! Both my husband and I think that the taste is essential to a tropical beach lifestyle.”

Favorite Object on the Night Table

“This is not exactly an object on the night table, but over it. We’re making wire mobiles for our kid’s shop, and I’ve stolen a few of the birdcages to keep for me. Couldn’t resist them!”

Get similar wire mobiles from 

Favorite Home Gadget

“Have you seen how absolutely ingenious local artisans can get? We went to the Tagbilaran public market to buy carrots, and found a vegetable grater DIY-ed from a piece of sheet metal. We were not really convinced, but bought it anyway because we really, really wanted a carrot salad that evening. And it worked beautifully.”

Favorite Home Accessory

“Baskets of all kinds and all sizes. I use them for everything, from our daily fruit stash to dirty laundry. I’m lucky to live just about 30 kilometers from the town of Antequera, called Bohol’s basket capital. I try to go every few Sundays to their weekly basket market.”

Get similar colorful baskets from 

Favorite Color Combination

“Brown wooden furniture with white walls. Very classic, I know, but I like going for strange art and unusual home accessories, and can never find the discipline to stick to one style. I find that keeping the walls and furniture somber anchors the whole mélange somehow.” 


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