The Nipa hut is an indigenous dwellings used in the Philippines. It is also known as Bahay Kubo. Bahay Kubo came from a Spanish word “cubo” which means “cube”, because of their rectangular and cubic shape.
This native house is build out of bamboo which tied together and with a thatched roof using the native nipa/anahaw leaves. Some wood, planks, and large logs are also used. This material are easily be found in the local surroundings. Basically, it is cubic in shape and raised on stilts or column/post of one or two meters depends on the area it will be constructed. It may be on solid ground, hillside, mountainside, or in shallow water. Architecturally constructed to adapt in the tropical climate of the Philippines and to be easily re-constructed or repaired once damaged by typhoon, earthquake and flood which is frequented the country. It is used by indigenous people of the Philippines, and part of rural areas or along country side are still using nipa hut. Nipa hut is also considered as National shelter in the Philippines.
You will also found this nipa hut in neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and other countries of Souteast Asia.
Part of Bahay Kubo
A typical nipa hut in the Philippines has one, large and open multi-purpose room for dwelling which is called as “bulwagan”. Another part is the cellar where the household chores are done, called them as “silong”. This is also serves as the area for livestock pens and storage space. The walls are built of nipa and cogon leaves or sawali and woven bamboo. It has a large window on all sides, which keep the dwellings well-ventilated. It is supported by a “tukod” or legs that holding the swing shades open during the day and closing it during the night. Bahay Kubo has a ladder or “hagdan” which can be removed at night or when the people living are out. Also, some bahay kubo has an open porch or “batalan” where the jars of water are placed.