Home | Imprint Philippines,culture,cities,tourism,provinces,beach,holiday

Philippine Islands

 philippine islands, philippinen insel 

From Nipa Hut to House of Stone

by Jennibeth Montejo Alojado

The architecture of the Philippines is a manifestation of the history and heritage of the country. The most well-known historical constructions in the archipelago are from the Spanish Colonial Period, although much of Philippine architectures have Japanese, Malay, Hindu, Chinese and American influences.

The original ancestral home, and still the home of Filipinos in rural areas, is the bahay kubo or nipa hut. This pre-Hispanic architecture is a single room house made of wood, bamboo or other native materials. Though the styles of the nipa hut vary throughout the country, most of them are raised slightly above the ground and one must enter them by means of ladders. Under the nipa hut, the Filipinos keep their swine, goats and fowl. Aside from nipa huts, other small houses were built on top of tree to prevent animals as well as enemy attacks.

When the Spanish arrived in the Philippines, they introduced European architecture in the country. But the Spanish quickly learned that stone buildings could not last very long in an earthquake prone area. Consequently, they combined the structural features of the bahay kubo with European structural elements. Thus, the nipa hut or bahay kubo gave way to Antillean houses locally known as Bahay na Bato (house of stone) which became the typical house of noble Filipinos.

This Spanish-Filipino domestic architecture is typically raised or two-story. Usually the ground level is made of corals or stones while the upper level of the house is made of wood. To take advantage of cooling breezes, the bahay na bato has large windows which surround the upper floor. The windows are made of capiz shells which is a translucent material that allows enough amount of light to pass through even if the windows are closed. Small shuttered windows called ventanillas are located below the large windows and are screened with balusters or grillwork so that it can be left opened when the large windows are closed such as at night.

Like an endangered species, these bahay na bato are vanishing toward extinction. With buildings and subdivisions sprouting everywhere, this important character of early Filipino lives will be blown away by the winds of progress. The capiz shells, that naturally filtered light, have given way to glass and the large open windows have been replaced with air-conditioning. But a few towns have made an effort to preserve their architectural heritage. Vigan in Ilocos Sur, the town of Taal in Batangas, the Balay Negrense in Silay, Negros Occidental and the Villa Escudero in San Pablo, Laguna are notable for their preserved Antillean houses.

New Articles

Ati-Atihan Festival
Ati-atihan is one of the festivities in the Philippines held annually every third Sunday of January in Kalibo, Aklan, in honor of the town patron, the infant Santo Niņo.

Christmas in the Philippines
Being one of the two Catholic countries in Asia, the Philippines celebrates Christmas like no other country in the region.

Philippines - hurricane prone area

Boosted by gusty winds, expeditious super typhoon Yolanda swept the previous days in the Philippines, a country with a population of over 92 million inhabitants, but also very common to devastating storms.

Philippie urban and rural classification
In the Philippines, areas are classified as either urban or rural.

Common Philippine drinks
In addition to the bright San Miguel beer, there are a number of other local spirits.


Surigao Del Sur
Surigao del Sur is one of the provinces of the Philippines belonging in the CARAGA region.

Ifugao is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon.

Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon.

Capiz is one of the component provinces in the Western Visayas Region.

Negros Oriental
Negros Oriental, also called Eastern Negros, is a province of the Philippines.

Copyright © 2010 - 2015 Alojado Publishing International. All rights reserved. Created 30.11.15 01:48:33 by www.philippine-islands.ph
Philippines, poeple & country, culture, history, everyday life and tourism. Music, video & galleries.