The houses vary in the same style depending on their location and social status and taste of the family. Houses of the Filipinos are usually made of wood and nipa. Later galvanized iron replaced nipa for roofing.
In some towns, barrios, and cities, houses made of nipa and bamboo are still to be found. Some have sawali walls and cogon roofings. Most of the houses especially the older ones are situated high above the ground for better ventilation and reduced humidity. In the past, building a houses was fast and inexpensive. Houses were built then through the help of friends and neighbors.
Today there are only few bamboo houses. Most houses are already built of strong materials like hollow blocks, wood, galvanized iron and glass windows.
Modernity has not entirely changed the architecture of the Filipino houses. The batalan is stall a part of the houses in ...view middle of the document...
Chairs, tables, beds and other furniture are found in most hours. Many Filipinos, particularly t6he Tagalogs, still prefer to sleep on bamboo or wooden floors instead of on beds.
Some years ago kerosene lamps were used in most houses. Now electricity has found its way in almost all houses. The old kalan or native stove has been replaced by electric ranges; the palayok or native pot by aluminum pots and pans. Firewood and charcoal are still used by some Filipino housewives especially now that gas and electricity have become very expensive.
The verandah or porch is still a part of today's houses. Pots of ferns and flowering plants surrounded the wall kept verandah. The artistic touch of the Filipino is still evident in his house. In a one-room house, you can see curtains hanging on the walls and windows, and a family picture and a saint prominently displayed in one corner of the room.
The Filipinos also displays neatness and cleanliness in keeping their houses. The Filipinos housewife uses different kinds of brooms for cleaning. There is the salary or soft broom for sweeping the floor; a smaller one for dusting wall carvings and picture frames; the walis-tingting or stiff broom for cleaning and stone floors; and the plumero, a broom made from chicken feathers for dusting. Buckets, wooden scrub brushes with thick bristles, bunot or coconut husk, dustpans, bar soap, gugo or native shampoo, is-is leaves, banana leaves, kerosene and coconut oil are also used for cleaning the houses.
Floor wax was prepared by homemakers from candles, atsuete and kerosene melted from glowing embers. In some homes, hardwood floors were swept from scrubbed with is-is before wax was applied. When the sticky wax was dry, the floor was scrubbed again until it became very shiny. The furniture, window sills, staircases and walls were also scrubbed with is-is leaves or polished with wax. Kitchen tables were cleaned with is-is leaves, water, sand and ash. Those made of zinc were wiped with kerosene.