Real Living (Philippines) - - Real Homes - pho­tog­ra­phy DAIRY DAR­I­LAG pic­to­rial di­rec­tion NAT M. CLAVE styling DAGNY MADAMBA, TALA SING­sON & PAULA DE GUZ­MAN words Sun­shine sELGA FUNA

AwAy from the busy cen­ter of bAguio city is A house thAt’s A sAnc­tu­Ary to sto­ried pieces And strong fAm­ily ties

I t’s not hard to feel at ease in this house. Warmth abounds—from the pleas­ant fam­ily milling about to the wooden fur­ni­ture pieces that are rich in history.

Take, for in­stance, a small ta­ble that greets you on the loft: the top was orig­i­nally the lug­gage of home­owner Ais­cha Ban­gaoet’s great-grand­fa­ther, an Amer­i­can, who took the suit­case with him as he was es­cap­ing the Ja­panese dur­ing World War II. The piece was pre­served by Ais­cha’s mother Pynky Gomez-Magsino, owner of PNKY Vin­tage Col­lec­tion (see our "Shop of the Month" on p. 18). There’s also a set of draw­ers that was orig­i­nally owned by Ais­cha’s grand­fa­ther. This was passed on to Ais­cha’s mom, who used it as stor­age for her daugh­ter’s baby clothes; it now sits qui­etly in a cor­ner.

Hav­ing a mother who loves col­lect­ing and re­fur­bish­ing an­tique and heir­loom pieces ob­vi­ously has its ad­van­tages. For one, Ais­cha and hus­band Bong al­ready have the big pieces they needed when they moved in to this home more than a year ago. And more im­por­tantly, the pas­sion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for old things rubbed off on Ais­cha, giv­ing her a clear idea on how she wanted her home to look and feel like.

“My mom is my men­tor. Ac­tu­ally, I think it’s an in­born gift for my mom and me,” says Ais­cha, who turned her back on be­ing a med­i­cal doc­tor (her hus­band is a prac­tic­ing sur­geon) to pursue a more cre­ative ca­reer in events styling. (Check out her work at www.thir­ty­oneevents.com.ph.) That gift was fur­ther nur­tured by a spe­cial tra­di­tion that Pynky would prac­tice for each of her chil­dren’s mile­stones. “She would gift us with a piece of fur­ni­ture,” Ais­cha nar­rates. Turn­ing 10 means get­ting a be­ing 13 means get­ting a small side ta­ble, and so on.

But that’s not to say that Ais­cha has the ex­act same style as her mom. This 380-sqm property is a tes­ta­ment to a seam­less co­ex­is­tence of vin­tage pieces and mod­ern trim­mings. Ais­cha ex­plains, “I really don’t want a com­pletely an­tique house be­cause we grew up with ev­ery­thing an­tique. But then, you know, through the years, peo­ple were able to make a fu­sion of mod­ern and an­tiques, and it turned out really well.”

Awash in white, the whole house is a per­fect back­drop for the big wooden pieces from Pynky’s fur­ni­ture and dé­cor shop PNKY. In the liv­ing area, leather so­fas sit side by side with wooden ta­bles. While the pieces are gen­er­ously pro­por­tioned, the high ceil­ing and nat­u­ral light from the big win­dows ren­der the space airy and refreshing—even the fam­ily’s 10-year-old Golden Re­triever, Coco, loves to plop down here to soak up the af­ter­noon sun.

Right across the liv­ing area is the kitchen and din­ing area, the star of which is the richly grained ka­m­agong din­ing ta­ble that’s on loan from Ais­cha’s mom.

On the same floor as th­ese com­mon ar­eas are the bed­rooms. Ais­cha and Bong’s room has the same feel as the liv­ing area—with big win­dows that keep the gen­er­ally neu­tral space light and airy. Across their door is nine-yearold daugh­ter Sofia’s room, which, of course, also sports PNKY pieces min­gling with Sofia’s toys and ac­ces­sories. Mean­while, next-door is Rafael’s (Ais­cha and Bong’s el­dest son) room, which is also dressed in vin­tage fur­ni­ture.

A stair­case leads you to the Ban­gaoets’ loft, which houses Rafael’s study area and a den. Op­po­site the den is a small space for the fam­ily’s pet sup­plies. Aside from Coco, the Ban­gaoets also have fe­line fam­ily mem­bers: Chili, an Amer­i­can Short­hair; and Char­coal and Ash, which are of Hi­malayan breed. Right un­der this space is a cat­walk— a pri­vate play­ground for th­ese furry cats.

Tour­ing the Ban­gaoets’ house may take quite some time, but it’s time well spent, what with all the in­ter­est­ing things that will pique your cu­rios­ity. Ais­cha is more than happy to tell the story of each piece. Oc­ca­sion­ally, daugh­ter Sofia ex­cit­edly in­ter­jects. The young girl jovially an­nounces that she’s soon turn­ing 10, hint­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing gifted by her lola with an heir­loom piece of her own. Ap­par­ently, in this fam­ily, fur­ni­ture pieces get passed on from one gen­er­a­tion to the next. And as they change hands, each piece gets a new story that makes it more pre­cious than it al­ready is.

Ais­cha and hus­band Bong orig­i­nally wanted a bun­ga­low, but Ais­cha’s mom sug­gested that they go for a high ceil­ing. To take ad­van­tage of the ver­ti­cal space, Engr. Rionel sug­gested adding a loft, to which the couple agreed.

The den, while en­closed in low ceil­ing, does not feel stuffy nor is it cramped. Here, you’ll im­me­di­ately no­tice an un­usual asym­met­ri­cal book­shelf that lends a more play­ful vibe to the space, break­ing the se­ri­ous­ness of more pieces from PNKY. “I was look­ing for a book­shelf that’s unique. I saw some­thing sim­i­lar, but we kinda made it slanted... So I just had our en­gi­neer copy it, and he got it,” says Ais­cha.

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