the Philippines


Manila, Luzon




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Housing in many varieties  

Adjustments to the climate and financial possibilities

One of the things in which a  tropical country differs from countries of other climate zones, is housing. The architecture as well as the used construction materials, show a clear adjustment to the specific climate conditions. A more important aspect that influences the architecture is the financial position of the family. 

With less financial possibilities the architecture and visible construction materials are more simple and more derived from the natural surrounding. Wooden planks, board, bamboo and straw are the basic materials for the traditional houses. Geographically, the more remote the region is, as mountain areas are, the more the natural environment delivers the construction materials for the houses.

Click on the pictures to go inside the houses


House after replacement of the wooden construction materials, Red Cross Village, Place: near Ormoc City, Leyte

Pictures: E.C. de Schoolmeester

House, build with wooden en iron construction materials, Place: alongside an outgoing road of Ormoc City, Leyte



In the mountain areas and villages the traditional bamboo houses are still common. Because bamboo has a rather good isolating quality, these houses are rather cool. The open windows and - common - open structure, makes a good circulation of air possible. This makes these houses quit comfortable.


The houses of the Ifugao, 'Bale',  people in Northern Luzon have  specific features. Like the bamboo houses, they are build on piles, about three meters high. The roof is made of long straw. Typical is the traditional, pyramid -like,  shape of the roof. 




House in a squatter-section of Ormoc City

Picture: Dorothy de Schoolmeester

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