One of the more noteworthy houses in Tagaytay City, recently been rented as a very private bed and breakfast, is the 2-bedroom house with multiple view decks, Meteora. Overlooking the lake Taal at Ligaya Drive, the road that leads to Talisay, is a quiet and unassuming house that you most likely drive past without a second look. For one thing, the house is hardly visible from the street. All that one sees is a plain, weathered wooden gate, a white dome, a garage, and plenty of agave plants.

The white washed structure with the roof deck of the main house serving as the vantage point for enjoying an unimpeded view of the lake, Mounts Makiling and Banahaw, and the surrounding countryside. Stone steps lead down to the second, then the ground floor—each step a piece of San Esteban stone sourced from Ilocos Sur—the paving material used for most of the horizontal surfaces in the residence. Only the deep red of the bougainvillea flowers, and the yellow of the hibiscus, serve as counterpoints to the immaculate walls and steps. Agave plants and other succulents provide refreshing touches of green against the pale to dark blue of the ever-changing sky.


The Spartan, almost monastic quality of the place is enhanced by the minimal treatment—in lieu of furniture, cement and stone are formed into sofas and beds—seemingly carved out of the rock, with foam mattresses covered in the distinctive white on white of the classic designs of Ilocano Abel fabric. A fireplace in the main living area provides warmth during the colder days of the year, while glass panels open up to relieve the mugginess of sultry summer days.


Wooden windows from Ilocos houses serve as shade—protection from the harsh glare of the morning sun, as the house faces the lake and mountains in the east. The second floor made from solid timber floorboards. The owner calls the home a fusion of classic Greek proportions and the plain stark beauty that is the hallmark of Ilocano architecture. Even the doors of the two bedrooms, and the closets, are recycled from Ilocos ancestral homes. Mosquito netting is used as window treatment—a pleasant reminder of how Taal was once a major source of fine kulambo (mosquito nets). Hand-embroidered cotton duvet and pillow covers are the common denominator.

Most of the art works inside the house are sculptures—works of Salvador Alonday, who molds modern materials, like resin, epoxy and cement, into beautiful sculptural pieces, using traditional casting methods.  A graceful Mater Dolorosa, has exquisite craquelure; while a life-size Sabel, stands guard by the deck, the only one of its kind being the only one authorized by National Artist Bencab. The house is a virtual museum of Alonday sculptures, with a piece in almost every room, including at the veranda.

A large mural by Tony Leaño serves as backdrop to the dining table, while a work by Jim Orencio is a commanding presence at the second floor landing beside the master’s bedroom. Memorabilia from Greece, Turkey and Morocco mix well with a small collection of Ilocos furniture and decorative items.

 

Copyright © 2011. Meteora, Tagaytay. Designed and developed by Creataworx Graphic Design Studio