There's a Filipino children's folk song which is a tribute to the traditional humble home pictured above, which is also called Bahay Kubo, as the structure is called in the vernacular.
The children sing about the house being small yet its garden is full of a variety of vegetables and plants.
Categorised as a stilt house, similar dwellings can be found in Malaysia and Indonesia. A bahay kubo is typically composed of light materials such as wood, bamboo, and nipa palm for the thatched roof. A symbol of Filipino rural life, this pre-Spanish archicture (the Spanish colonisers reached Philippine shores in 1565) can be typically found in the lowlands. My grandparents, whose old Spanish colonial style house I featured on another post (you can read it HERE), had a nipa hut situated near the rice fields outside Poblacion or town. Hers was raised on solid wood stilts though, and was much bigger than the above. I lived in one until about 4 years of age. I was free to roam and play in the garden, climb trees, eat fruits straight from trees, we had dogs, and my cousins would come and stay when we wanted to go to the beach which was just a 10-minute walk.
Nowadays, you'll find nipa nuts with modern amenities used as cottages in beach resorts. This one is in the grounds of Museo de Baler (Baler Museum) in Baler, Aurora.
As with any town museum, Museo de Baler houses the history, heritage, and artefacts of a community's past. As I've been to a couple of museums back in Manila, I was more drawn to the architecture and interior of this one.
Owing to the rich and colourful colonial past of Baler (and the rest of the Philippines), both Philippine and Spanish flags are proudly displayed in the entrance hall. This was the same photo I posted on Instagram during the 117th Philippine Independence Day from Spain on 12 June 2015.
My favourite part: the staircase. I've always thought that one can determine how solidly built a house is based on how well made the staircase is.
On our drive back to Manila, we stopped by roadside souvenir vendors. My friend's going back in the next couple of months to get more as all her purchases wouldn't fit in the SUV.
Some of these locally made native products can be seen in major department stores in Manila, but for a commercial price of course. I didn't bother looking as I knew I wouldn't be able to transport them to the UK anyway.
In the Philippines, it's common practice for children to help out in their parents' small business, especially when off school (classes start in the Philippines in the beginning of June). It's not considered child labour. This little girl just sold some native desserts to my friend, and she brought them back to her mother to be packed.
What do you think, will Customs allow me to hand-carry that wicker hammock on the right? Just pushing my luck.
I was left with the below image on our way back. I think I should just agree with my self: I am a country girl --in high heels.
'til next time.