Monday, October 16th, 2017

We’re painting the interior walls of our new Philippine house now. Here are the steps we’re following: 1. The finished concrete walls need to cure from two weeks to a month before painting. The setting of concrete is a much longer chemical process than it seems. 2. The walls are treated with a neuralizer to reduce the alkaninity of the concrete. We used Boysen #44 Masonry Neutralizer. This is diluted 16/1. Be careful with these neutralizers. They seem to be pretty strong acids. We applied the dilute neuralizer with an ordinary paint roller and pan. When the neuralizer is dry the wall can be washed down with water or sanded to remove any effloresece caused by the reaction between the concrete and the neuralizer. Applying concrete neutralizer 3. Next we primed the walls. We used Boysen B701 “Permatex” flat latex paint applied with a roller. 4. At this point, there…

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Earthquakes When we hired the engineer to design our house we were aware that the Philippines was included in the “ring of fire” earthquake zone and that our part of Panay Island had experienced a magnitude 8.2 earthquake in 1948.  In 1948 the island was much less developed.  Doubtless all or almost all the hollow block buildings on the island were built after 1948.  The 1948 quake damaged or destroyed. …

How to build a hollow block house in the Philippines and keep it cool. Concrete/hollow block houses with metal roofs are the norm in the Philippines and elsewhere in tropical Asia. Filipinos don’t build such houses out of ignorance. They have critical advantages. They resist typhoon damage. If they’re flooded, they can be cleaned out and used again. For the most part they are termite proof. Locked up at night, they provide pretty good security to residents. They are mostly built with low-tech local materials by local workers well versed in building with concrete and hollow blocks. Such houses can be quite inexpensive. So, in most respects they are well suited to the Philippine tropical context, but there is one huge and notorious disadvantage — they are so hot. The mass of block and concrete bake in the tropical sun and this retained heat is re-radiated into the house day and night. Compounding the problem is the metal roof which can turn the attic into an oven. The overall effect is a house which can be markedly hotter than than the outdoor temperature and very uncomfortable. Our …

What we’ve learned about roofing systems, roof trusses, roofing materials and cost of roofing in the Philippines as part of our house building project. Roofing systems have become very standardized in the Philippines.  What we describe here is the roof system that goes on most houses except the very high end such as real clay tile or cement tile, a few asphalt shingle roofs and the Nipa or sheet steel roofs of the ordinary “bahay” – native house. Steel trusses of various designs rise from the topmost concrete roof …

We’re building our house in the Philippines.  We build a carport as part of our Philippine house building project. A carport was a part of our original plans and permits, but we only decided to really commit to building it when our small crew started to run out of work while waiting for the house roof to be finished.  After the house roof is done, then there’s the floor to pour and finishing of the interior and exterior walls. In the meantime we could use our crew to build the carport.  Also we had over- ordered 16mm rebar …

Our biggest Philippine house building blunders. В We don’t want to present our project as a paragon of perfection, so here we show what went wrong during our Philippine house construction project and why, in the hope that others can learn from our mistakes. Most of these photos also appear in other sections of the site. No room for concrete in this column This photo shows the top of a 15…

Windows – a key part of our Philippine house building project.  Our plan is to live as much as possible without air conditioning in this steamy tropical climate.  Therefore, our eight main windows are big, 2.4 meters wide (almost eight feet) and 1.6 meters (0ver five feet) high.  We decided on casement windows because almost 100% of the window opening is really open, whereas with sliding windows, only half of the opening can be open.  Big windows…

Building our house in the Philippines. January 15, 2010.  After months of planning and many changes we …

Tigbauan Church from Plaza Tigbauan Church – San Juan Sahagun Paris h: history architecture and photos. An ecomienda given to Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa, Tigbauan became a visita of Oton on 3 March 1575. Although it had become an independent parish in 1578, no permanent priest was assigned to Tigbauan until 1580, when Fr. Luis de Montoya was assigned as prior. Originally under the advocacy of Our Lady of Grace it was later renamed Juan de Sahagun, after an Augustinian saint. In 1593, the parish was handed over to the secular clergy because the friar, Fr. Garcia de Quiroga, was appointed secretary of the province and had to leave the Visayas. The seculars held the parish until 1617 when they were assigned to Antique (Hamtic) in exchange for Tigbauan. Fr. Fernando Camporredondo may have built the Tigbauan church described in a…