Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reviving the BAHAY KUBO Culture
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB KHz AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
Bahay Kubo restaurant along MacArthur Highway, La Union
Draw an aerial view of an ideal Filipino home on the country side (homestead, meaning, the dwelling and homelot), based on the Bahay Kubo concept. Modify it to meet present situation, objectives and goals. Fit the lyrics of the song into your illustration. Label properly. On another bond, "sell" (social marketing) your obra maestra, in an essay or feature. 
Bahay kubo, hahit munti, ang halaman doon ay sari-sari. Singkamas at talong, sigidillas at mani, sitao, batao, patani. Kondol, patola, upo, kalabasa, at sa ka mayroon pa, labanos, mustasa. Sibuyas, kamatis, bawang at luya, at ang paligidligid ay linga. 

Nipa hut*, even though it is small
The plants it houses are varied
Turnip and eggplant, winged bean and peanut
String bean, hyacinth bean, lima bean.

Wax gourd, luffa**, white squash and pumpkin,
And there is also radish, mustard,
Onion, tomato, garlic, and ginger
And all around are sesame seeds.

Acknowledgment: Mama Zisa’s World
International Music & Culture 
My Nipa Hut, oil painting by AVRotor (2000) 

Why is the Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) and its variants in Asia and the Pacific Region (also in other parts of the world) gaining popularity? With eco-tourism and agro-tourism on the rise, economic difficulties notwithstanding, the bahay kubo is at center stage. 

Tourists love it, and the bahay kubo bamboo craft industry is gaining popularity abroad. Bahay Kubo for export! 

A bahay kubo is easy to make - structurally and aesthetically. It allows modification in size, dimension, design and make, usually with materials that are locally available. It is popularly affordable, a solution to the present housing problem.

No, it is not the shanty that is being pictured. The shanty, in fact, is the anti-thesis of the bahay kubo. It undermines its purpose and beauty, and most importantly, the pride and dignity of this symbol of Filipino heritage.

  • Today it is common to see city homes having a bahay kubo in their backyard, so with tops of buildings. At a distance one can glimpse a bahay kubo perched on a high rise building.
  • Vacation houses and beach cottages, also beer gardens and reception centers, are of the bahay kubo design and make.
  • Imagine the tree house of the Swiss Family Robinson, in a novel of the same title by Johann Wyss. Let's not get far. Filipinos like to build houses on trees. There's one in Rosario (La Union) perched on a huge acacia tree.
  • So with fancy doghouses and bird cages. Have you observed pig pens, poultry houses or sheds designed after the bahay kubo?
But these are but decorative and fancy, although functional in many respects. They are offshoots of imagination to combine the modern and the native. They bring out nostalgic feelings and relief among migrants from the old barrio. They introduce to the young tradition and the ways of our ancestors they only know from books, TV and the Internet. They too, enliven the spirit of pre-Hispanic culture, of being oriental, and nationalistic. Or to be different by not going with the uncharted current of change. And there are other reasons. But why the bahay kubo revived? Evolved?
  • Going natural? Count the bahay kubo - no plastics, no paints, and the least use ofnon-biodegradable materials. It is a self-contained system of recycling.
  • It is energy saving, in fact independent, save some lighting. Fireplace is designed for firewood, windows allow sunlight and breeze freely. There's no need of vacuum cleaner, polisher, and other amenities of an urban home.
  • Nothing beats Going Natural by having fresh fruits and vegetables, clean air and water, adequate exercise from home and garden chores. And having trees and plants around. That's natural air conditioning.
  • It's tranquil and cool, no echoing walls and ceiling, in fact it is acoustically efficient to deaden noise. More so with the trees; they absorb sound and dust, and keep humidity and temperature stable. They serve as natural windbreak, and barrier of sudden gusts.
The bahay kubo is a way to escape burgeoning city life - from heavy traffic, pollution, high tech, high finance, loaned amenities, busy lanes, to anxiety and depression. It cushions tendency of ostentatious living.

Move over American Bungalow. Here is Bahay Kubo revived and evolved.

Bahay kubo is the symbol of bayanihan or cooperativism. It is relocating a whole and intact house from one place to another in the same neighborhood, on bare shoulders, so to speak, in a festive and quaint atmosphere. It is our dream as a people to be strong the bayanihan way. And to live simply, naturally, happy, healthy, and long, with the whole family.

Mabuhay ang Bahay Kubo. ~

Bayanihan, painting by Lito Barcelona
Added reference: SEARCH earlier post, Bahay Kubo;Living with Nature, AVR; acknowledgment, Sheet Music Lisa Yannucci; painting Lito Barcelona, from Internet.


Ria Salaveria said...
A bahay kubo signifies simplicity (emphasis on the thought that it is made up of non-biodegradable materials). Its existence in the age of technology manifests simple living despite of the availability of high-tech gadgets and expensive living these days.


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