Friday, October 26, 2012

Filipino heritage in the home

My husband and I are both Filipino - I was born and raised in San Diego and my husband in the Philippines. We share an affinity for modern design and pops of color, in particular the color orange.  As much as I like the clean, straight lines of the modern design, I also like to bring the personal into the home.  In addition to having our fair share of family photos scattered about, we are attempting to include some of our heritage in the design.

Designer and author, Meg Mateo Ilasco, has the perfect home that mixes mid-century modern, bright colors and her and her husband's Filipino heritage.  

The rattan chairs are hand-me-downs from Meg's mom. The chairs were reupholstered to give them a more fresh look.  The Philippines are one of the top suppliers of rattan products. Rattan furniture are known for their durability and strength.  

Meg's dining room have pops of blue and orange colors that complement each other well.  The macramé planter is another find from Meg's mother.  I like that this room has an eclectic mixture of mid-century, 1970s, and personal touch to it.

In my own home, the biggest and most valuable piece is our original oil painting by Filipino artist Ed Santuangco. We discovered this artist's work when we went to the Philippines for our honeymoon in 2007 where we even had a chance to visit his gallery, Collections of Art, in Angeles City.  We were instantly attracted to the modernity of the painting in regards to his subtle use of cubism and the bright oranges, blues and golds.  But at the same time the theme is very Filipino - the painting depicts a Filipino market and in the background are the ubiquitous Jeepneys.

Of course not to seem too pretentious with this talk about original art in the home, I'll bring it down a notch by saying our Filipino household would not be complete without our "Barrel Men" (and women). If you are Filipino and you do not know about the Barrel Men then Shame on You!  If you aren't aware of the Barrel Men, let's just say that when you lift those barrels up, you will get yourself a little (or big) surprise. That's all I'm going to say.  Mindless entertainment for hours.  

The remainder of our house is comprised of a lot of Swedish furniture. We are not swedish, but my husband works at IKEA...which will be another blog topic for another day...

(top photos by Thomas J. Story via Sunset Magazine)


  1. Hi babe, I just wanted to tell u that I just opened my first giveaway...I would be very happy if u could join! :)

  2. Hmmm....where can I find out more about Ed Santuangco? I purchased an painting a few years back that has his signature...the frame is worth more than I paid for the painting. I would like find out if it is his and what it might be worth (mostly for insurance purposes).

    Because of the frame, it looks like it might be a much earlier work.

    1. It's hard to find much info on Santuangco on the internet. We actually visited his art gallery in Angeles City in 2007, but I heard he closed that gallery and is now working out of his home. The cost of our framing actually was about as much as what we paid for the painting as well. I think if you know someone in the PI you may even be able to track him down.

  3. Thanks. He is on Facebook. I tried to contact him that way but have had no reply. When you were there in 2007, what was the average value of his paintings from what you could see? Values have probably changed since then but that would give me an idea.

    1. Our painting was about 4x5 and it cost us $1000. But he had smaller paintings that were fairly affordable. We went to one of those filipino markets and a smaller painting ran about $250-$300. I didn't know he was on Facebook. Thanks for letting me know that. Good luck.


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