CEBU, Philippines - Who says designing a house is only done by architects? Not for George Lingling, a full time business man from Bantayan Island.
I saw the Lingling house during one of my visits in Bantayan. At first look, I though that the house was owned by an artist or an architect. I later found out that the house is owned by a former food and beverage attendant who is now into iron works (for window grills, gates, doors, etc.).
George is from Calbayog, Samar, and was once a food and beverage attendant for eight years in two hotels in Manila. He met his would be wife there and in 1993, he decided to settle down in Bantayan Island, his wife’s hometown. He then started an iron works business.
The years he spent in the island saw him collecting antiques, which he found all over the three municipalities of the island. An old carriage used to transport farm products, old chunks of hardwood that are 80 to 100 years old, floor slabs and even windows which he found in old abandoned houses, found their way into his antique collection, as well as antique jars and other items that were no longer useful to their original owners.
It was in 2006 when the Lingling couple bought a piece of land to build their own house. First they started with a fence made of stones, then used old tree trunks as columns for the house. The old windows in his antique collection were restored and used in the construction of his house, including the old carriage which was used a decoration in the terrace and the garden. The look of the Lingling house is basically antique. He got ideas from magazines, but most were from his wife.
Antiques are not only collectible items for George. He says these are a way to connect with the past, with history. Every antique has a story to tell, he says.
Bantayan Island is known as an island paradise and is also considered as the egg basket of the Visayas. It has white sand beaches and the best seafood this side of heaven. But with the Lingling house in the island, it can also be a connection to the past.
So the next time you visit Bantayan, try to see the other side of the island and learn some of its history. ?