Home & Living: Filipino Home Lives through IKEA Lenses

I am dead sure I am not the only one saving up for the opening of IKEA in the Philippines. You can already see it being constructed at the spacious ground in Pasay City. OBviously, it's going to be a multi-storey of every worth the budol! But before we say "take all my money", let me share this stories on how IKEA are acclimating itself with the Filipino lifestyle.

"We've always been fascinated about people’s lives at home. So we ask how they live their life at home. This helps us do what we do—create modern furniture design that helps people to not just survive at home, but thrive,” said Georg Platzer, Store Manager of IKEA Pasay City. “This fascination helps us to better understand people’s needs, dreams, and challenges, especially for the new markets we enter.” 

What makes home in the Philippines

Since 2016, IKEA has visited many Filipino families to learn and understand life at home in the Philippines. “While some aspects of home life like sleeping and eating are shared the world over, we continue to find notable differences driven by culture and tradition,” said Platzer. 

Earlier this year, IKEA Philippines launched a Life at Home video series on its Facebook page that explores how Filipinos treat the precious spaces they call home. 

Home is family

For many Filipinos, family remains central to life at home. One of IKEA’s stops was the ancestral home of Cindy and Junie’s family, who describe themselves as a typical Filipino family—one that lives with their extended family. In a Filipino household, this is not uncommon. 

Three generations living together has been a way of life for many Filipino families, with grandparents often playing a large role in raising their grandchildren. According to Cindy and Junie, their living situation works because it lets them work without worrying about their kids. Additionally, and perhaps more important, is how living with Lola is teaching their kids important values like respecting one’s elders.

IKEA also visited Joseph and Kel, who live with their three children. While they don’t live with an extended family, they similarly find joy and comfort in each other. Joseph likes teaching their kids the value of exercise while Kel likes to teach them about responsibility. 

For both families, home is not defined by the physical spaces they occupy, but the people they share it with.

Turning small spaces into home spaces

Nowadays, living spaces are getting smaller. With rising property costs and diminishing land space, condominiums, townhouses, and duplexes are becoming more popular for many Filipinos. But who said small spaces can’t be dream homes?

For Kim and Kat, a young couple just starting their lives together, home is about having something they can call their own, no matter how modest. A place they can be comfortable in and enjoy regular TV binges and videoke sessions. In the future, the couple plans to renovate their small space to make it even more comfortable, with chips at arms’ reach.

Similarly, Renen Bautista, a busy make-up artist who's always on the go, values making something his own. He lives in a condo that he has designed and renovated himself. A big DIY enthusiast, Renen has built his small space into his own personal sanctuary where he can unwind and relax. 

Home is where the heart is

For all the different definitions of home, IKEA understands that home isn’t just a place. “The four dimensions that help us define home are: the people we live with, the things we own, the amount of space we have, and the place we live in,” said Platzer. “Home is a feeling.”

And by continuing to explore life at home in the Philippines, IKEA hopes to learn what Filipinos need and dream about when it comes to what they call home. All so they can inspire and enable people to make their life at home that little bit better, no matter where or how they live.

Get a glimpse of life at home for Cindy, Junie, Joseph, Kel, Kim, Kat, and Renen at IKEA’s Life at Home Philippines page here.

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