house of woods

as you know betis is the furniture and woodcrafts capital of the philippines (not that cebu can do anything about my opinion). my lolo used to own a woodcrafts shop and we (the cousins) had the whole display floor as our playground. we thought each kid normally had the same cool stuff we could play with — hundreds of marbles from the lazy susan (they used marbles then to rotate the plate), huge spoons we can use as oars for our imaginary boats, and wooden carabaos we could ride.

the business went under when the american bases left after the pinatubo eruption, but my interest in wooden furniture remains. i doubt if i’ll ever revive the business (the markets are down, the imports are cheap, and the raw materials are hard to find). besides, it’s labor intensive and i don’t have the stomach for that.

anyway, my two past christmas projects at home involved furniture: re-upholstering of the living room furniture, a kitchen table and a wooden set for the garden. i also bought stools for the kitchen table so now it serves as a de-facto activity table and study table for the kids. and the wooden set in the garden serves as the informal living space, especially during hot days.

it’s been ages since we last reupholstered the living room couches and chairs so i thought it was about time. it helps that my brother-in-law is a skilled upholsterer so we only spent on the fabrics and cushions.

my next project is to find an antique day bed like the one above from sonia’s garden in tagaytay. i mentioned before that beds, chairs and couches are nothing but upholstered magnets. i forgot that does not necessarily apply to wooden furniture, but they provide as much warmth, comfort and character, too.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Guagua Girl says:

    i love the daybed … wish i could find something similar here (that i could afford). and your funiture looks great; your bro-in-law is skilled indeed.

    your photos made me miss the old house in sta. rita, which has been torn down. i still remember the old beds with intricate designs, the massive dressers where about 10 cousins could fit playing hide-and-seek, the sala set that was all dukit (carved). the family also had this really cool wooden table — or maybe i should say tables. there were 4 pieces, with two separate ends that were shaped like a half moon (so 6 pieces all together). they were all linked together during fiestas to make this really long, oblong table. i think one of the pieces is at home in kilo.

    the old house also had these massive wooden slabs as flooring, about three inches thick and several feet long. i think i remember my dad saying they were narra. not sure what happened to those when the house was demolished (it fell in disrepair after my grandmother died).

    you know what i miss … papags, with the bamboo slats. talk about a comfortable hangout during hot days. sometimes, i didn't even need a pillow to sleep 🙂


  2. Betis Boy says:

    ha.ha.ha. i remember the papag. when we visited your old house in kilo it was either you or apo lounging away in the bed or frozen in slumber 🙂

    i'm sure wood in the old house in sta. rita was bought by second-hand wood dealer contractors who sell it to rich families in manila. you can never find hardwood like that. when i renovate our house i want to have hardwood floors. i want my house to be like an old ancestral house. i just hope the spirits in the furniture and the wood don't make a fuss. he.he.

    hmmm… when i have time i'll go through the ancestral houses here still standing, and then ask permission to take photos.


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