Traditionally, before entering a Filipino home, you must do as your host does. If the owner of the house removes his shoes before entering, you must do the same as a sign of respect. If there is an elder in the house, you ask for their blessing by saying
mano po while they touch you forehead with the back of their hand. The Filipino culture is so rich that they transcend into our very homes.
Paying homage and maybe even evoke some nostalgia, we'll show you some details that would often characterise what a genuine Filipino home is like.
Since our culture highly values the family, it would be evidently seen in the home, often it takes the shape of 'antiques', items that belonged to our grandparents and those before them, as a way to remember the past and a means of keeping with our ancestral roots. Each relic tells a story about our rich history.
These items usually include old sewing machines, a coal powered iron, vintage cameras, farming equipments and so on.
Ceiling fans are common in filipino homes as well as the decorative candles that are never really used.
Also, there has been numerous occasions where I would see a tin can of biscuits in a Filipino household only to find that it contains sewing materials instead of biscuits. I'm sure that has happened to you too.
A display of big wooden spoon and fork are pretty common in a Philippine kitchen. Here you will also see potted plants placed along the windowsills. Recently, cacti are gaining more popularity than before.
In other occasions, you will also see a clump of garlic hanging overhead the kitchen as a way to ward off the folk spirits/monsters like the 'aswang'.
In a traditional Filipino home, the use of mosquito nets, handwoven mats, and electric fans can easily be found in the bedroom. Some ethnic items that are kept as decorations would include a tribal drum, a 'bulol' figurine made of wood, and 'sungka' a long block of wood where seashells are used to play the game.
Since the influence of the Chinese community in our society, there are certain designs that Filipinos have acquired such as displaying Chinese ceramics (tea sets, large vases, plates etc.), even more specific would be a plate that has a photo image of tourists printed onto it. Also, the default decoration along the living room or the dining area would be a painting of the Last Supper, it is also sometimes paired with a giant wooden spoon and fork beside it.
Nipa huts may sometimes be found at the backyard. A place where people can relax and feel the breeze.
The use of garden sets made of abaca or wrought iron are commonly placed along the lanai. This is usually the place where gossips are first conceived by native elders.
Furnitures made of abaca are commonly seen in Philippine homes. The material is abundant and is also very durable.
The use of red terra cotta floor tiles are also widely used for outdoor patios and sometimes it is also used indoors.
Below are other items you would commonly find in the gardens of a Filipino home.
Most houses in the Philippines are also walled completely along the perimeter for security reasons and even here, there are certain designs that can be used like the use of bamboo, or wood, or certain tiles that are commonly available in the local depot.
I hope you found this article enjoyable to read. If you are interested to see other related topics, then you may want to consider looking into this: 8 common (and crazy!) Filipino home superstitions