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Just like with other things, Filipinos already had their way of doing things including their houses built in the pre-colonial period. Let’s take a look at old house plans in the Philippines before the Spaniards came, and see how these designs are presented in today’s time.

Nomads’ home: caves and rock houses

Early Filipinos had to go from one place to another.  Perhaps the versions of hotels and motels during the pre-Hispanic era, caves and rock houses were where the Filipino nomads inhabited in search of food through hunting and fishing.  Innovations were later on applied by them with the use of sharpened rocks.  Probably because of their transfer from one place to another, they learned to use other types of materials in building a sturdier house that can adapt to the given climate and topography.




Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut)

This indigenous house design has become the icon of Philippine culture.  Usually made from nipa or anahaw leaves, Bahay Kubo was presented distinctively by ethnolinguistic groups during the pre-Hispanic era.  The early Filipinos, Philippines architects during these early times, used available materials including bamboo to design their temporary homes.  Lucky them, their materials are readily available in case they need to rebuild due to storms or simply want to create a new abode.  This house design was innovated through the use of newer materials and techniques introduced by the conquerors.



Maranao’s Treasure: Torogan Houses

Torogan house design is another masterpiece that was present even before the Spaniards came. Unlike the other house designs, Torogan was built by Maranao people as a residence for the sultan or datu.  This house design is highly elevated from the ground, made from wood and stone materials, and laden with Maranaw engravings. Sadly, most Torogan houses are left uninhabitable today.





Experts say that pre-colonial architecture is disaster resilient. So, if you’re looking at creating your own home in the Philippines, you may share insights to your affordable house contractors.

These are only some of the houses built in the pre-colonial period. Despite the lack of modern tools and other influences, early Filipinos managed to create houses that can withstand the test of time and climate. In fact, these architectural designs are sources of inspiration in today’s creations. The functionality offered in the pre-colonial houses are preserved, but are packaged nowadays using newer material alternatives that are easily available and can surpass natural calamities.

Do you have an old home that necessitates some updating? Contact your house renovation contractor in the Philippines to know about the possible options in preserving its heritage.