Bahay Kubo: A Home of the Filipinos

Bahay Kubo or also known as the Nipa hut is a kind of stilt house of the indigenous Filipino people which became a symbolic icon of the Philippines.


The architectural principles of Bahay Kubo to the many other Filipino traditional buildings and houses that emerged following the pre-colonial era. There comes the “Bahay Na Bato” which shows influences from both Spanish and Chinese architectural style among many others.


Bahay Kubo in 2 Different Eras


1. Pre-colonial

During the pre-colonial period before Spaniards came, Bahay Kubo has long been the traditional houses of the indigenous Filipinos. A nipa hut is designed to endure both rainy and sunny seasons of the country. It was simple and made out of native materials like nipa, bamboo and coconut leaves. With the availability of the materials, it is easier to repair in times of typhoons or heavy rains. Knowing that the Philippines have one of the most numbers of typhoons in a year. For them, it was purely practical.


2. Colonial

When Spaniards came to the Philippines, they prefaced the idea of building more sturdy and permanent houses and buildings like churches and government offices. They introduced the use of stones, bricks, tiles, and mortar. Spaniards are already civilized when they came to conquer the Filipinos and so they have more advanced architectural designs and building techniques which they teach the Filipinos during that time.


A Bahay Kubo is a symbol of Philippine culture as it depicts the most nurtured Filipino value of called ‘bayanihan,’ which attributes to a spirit of collective unity or effort to accomplish an objective. In fact, bahay kubo is the national shelter of the Philippines. It has also been the influence of the kundiman ‘Bahay Kubo’ which is almost known by all Filipinos.


Although at the present times, many of the Filipinos have adapted various modern architectural designs, Bahay Kubo is still visible to some indigenous groups who are living in the mountains and away from the city. With the pursuit of uniqueness, others are even building their own modern versions of the ‘bahay kubo’ which helps a lot in preserving the traditions and culture.