A new home in paradise, part 2 – pictures

I previously posted a detailed description of our home here in Tagaytay. Today I’m posting some pictures, along with some of the descriptions from that prior post, and some new descriptions.

Here you see the front of the house, with my new Toyota Innova parked in the front driveway. The balcony on the second floor leads to the master bedroom and bathroom.

Front of the house

Here is a close-up showing the car and the house number on the gate. (It took about a month after moving in to find out what the accurate house number was and get that number plate.)

Front driveway gate with number and Innova parked behind it.

The balcony in the back of our second floor is much larger. This is just the front part of that balcony. The back looks out over the pool.

Large balcony, front part.

The lot is 600 square meters, and includes a gazebo encircled by a small moat where a koi fish swims. This picture, taken from the balcony on the second floor, shows the gazebo and one of the swing benches next to it, from above. You can also see the fence and the neighbor’s house behind it. On the left side of the picture is one of several large wood and metal wheels that decorate the outside and inside of the house.

View of gazebo from balcony above.

In the front of the house is the steep one-car driveway that you saw in the first two pictures, which has a smaller gate to the side for people. On the side is another gate that leads to a drive where 2-3 more vehicles can be parked. This picture is taken from the back of the side driveway, looking out toward the road.

Side driveway.

Next to the side driveway there is a small concrete picnic table, shown here. Behind it you can see a stand of palms, and to the right is the side of the house. There is a side entrance, hidden by bushes in this picture, with steps leading to it from the side driveway.

Picnic table next to side driveway.

Behind the drive is an outdoor grill and sink. You can see the sink to the right of the grill, with our basil and tomato plants in front of the sink.

BBQ and sink.

Behind the gazebo is another swing bench, facing the pool. This swing is the least windy spot in the yard, good for smoking a cigar.

Swing bench behind gazebo.

Here is a picture of the pool. On the other side of the pool is a bathroom, and toward the back of the pool you can see an outdoor shower and a small structure that encloses the pool equipment and some storage. There is more storage space on the upper balcony. Storage space within the house is very limited.


This is the swing bench that gets the most use. It and a wooden picnic table are covered by a wood roof, and sit behind the kitchen and in front of the pool. In this picture you can see Dindin sitting on the swing, and the door to the outside bathroom behind him. The pool is on the right side of Dindin, and on the left is the sliding door that leads to the dining area and the kitchen. Above you can see the small storage area on the second floor balcony.

Swing bench and picnic table behind kitchen.

The grounds are full of beautiful plants and flowers. Here are two closeups of some of the flora.

red flowers


Flowers near the gazebo.

The inside of the house is truly beautiful, a mix of stone and old wood, with beautiful mostly wood furnishings, including a bar, a piano, and the desk where I am writing this, which sits at the top of a beautiful staircase, shown in the next two pictures.


Lower part of staircase, between kitchen and living room.

Staircase 2.

Middle part of staircase.

If you’ve visited my prior home in San Francisco, you’ve probably noticed my collection of elephants. Most of them made the trip here and seem quite at home, like this one.


Of course, what makes this house a home, more than the elephants, is our shi-tzu, Yeesta, shown here in the kitchen.


The king of the castle.


The upper floor has 3 bedrooms, including the master bedroom and bathroom, another bathroom, an open office area above the stairs, the very large wrap-around balcony, and the front balcony, off the master bedroom. Here is one of the bedrooms.


Guest bedroom.

The first floor has a good-sized living room, small bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and dining area, which has a large table with 8 chairs. Also on the first floor, connected to the house but with separate entrances, is the caretaker’s quarters and bath. The dining area opens out to the covered picnic table and swinging bench, beyond which is the pool.

Here is the piano, which we are hoping to get rid of. We had a piano tuner do an evaluation – he said it was built in 1882, is worth maybe $35, and would require about $800 of work to fix, whereas a new piano costs half that. Once we have room I’d like to get a digital piano. Beyond the piano, you can see some of my hats on the hat rack in front of the front window. To the left is the side entrance that leads to the side driveway.


Piano in living room.

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  • Stephen Albair  On May 30, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Impressive! Here I sit in my tiny digs looking at the lap of luxury! LOL Good for you and I hope have many happy hours in your great space. If there are any galleries nearby looking for foreign artists pass my website along. Hahahaha

    Take Care and All the Best,

  • Barry C. Saiff  On May 30, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Thanks, Stephen. Well, as I think you know from your travels, the cost of living here is much less, about 1/10 of San Francisco, so I can afford to rent a nice house with a pool. As I develop more contacts here I’ll keep you in mind regarding galleries.

  • robin yates  On May 31, 2011 at 7:05 am

    welcome to the Phils. I retired here from the UK 2 years ago. I now live with Vilma. We rebuilt her house and now have 3 stories with a rooftop including a bamboo house.The total build cost here was a fraction of the cost in the UK.I pay 90 pesos in the Mall for an excellent haircut. If you let your filipino partner do all the wheeling and dealing, it will cost you a lot less than if you did it.Good luck to you both

  • Barry C. Saiff  On May 31, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Thanks Robin. Yes, in one of my prior posts I detailed costs here vs. San Francisco. I get a great haircut in Olivarez Plaza in Tagaytay for 38 pesos. Best wishes to you and Vilma.

  • robin yates  On May 31, 2011 at 7:13 am

    one great thing about the Philippines law is their gun law. If you catch someone in your house it is perfectly ok to shoot them,We had a breakin last year(through an unsecured new window )The guy crept in and crept out sadly. Next time will be different

  • Gary Eby,MSW (@qlcoach)  On September 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Wow. Your home and life in paradise looks wonderful and amazing. Congrats on your dreams coming true. I’m also retired but I live in Cave Junction, Oregon in a small gated retirement community. We are very content and happy. And as you probably know, I love to visit the Oregon coast. Peace and Blessings, Gary.
    Oh, I play the piano too. (smile)

  • Jessica Martin  On May 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    This is great, can you tell me who you made ​​this fence, and where one can buy this tree?

    • Barry C. Saiff  On June 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Sorry, but I no longer live at that house. I can’t answer questions about it. I was a renter, I did not plant the trees, I was not involved in any of the work.

  • Julie  On May 4, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I’m always amazed at the way Filipino houses are not built to suit the climate. House in Bali are far more suited to tropical weather with the pool being the centre and bungalow style buildings surrounding the pool. Double storey homes are just impractical and the stairs are so steep here in the Philippines. Hot air rises and the upper floors become so hot during the day.

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