In the midst of the nation’s iron heat, Tagaytay’s cool climate makes it the perfect escape.
While many only head to the province for a short daytrip, Fely Sawit has made Cavite’s capital her second home.
Past the popular tourists haunts and into the forest-like enclave of identical cabin-styled houses, Fely stands in front of the largest one. Noticing the arrival of guests, she announces with a flourish, “Welcome to my humble abode!”
Like its host, the house is distinct.
Although it shares the same lodge-like appearance as its neighbors, the structure’s high A-frame roof, expansive windows and extensive garden sets it apart.
Mrs. Fely Sawit, a beautiful burst of mercury, had the house built, section-by-section, in 2003. Though still in line with the developer’s decision to make the residences “uniform to look like log houses,” Fely wanted to build hers “differently.” Originally two lots, the Sawit’s decided to combine the property in order to “create a bigger area to entertain guests.”
And by guests, she does not just mean humans. An animal lover with a plethora of pets in her Makati residence, has also made the patio area a welcome place for birds, such as the family of Maya’s which have already made one of the ceiling nooks their own.
Despite residing in country’s metropolitan center where she tends to her own nest with her husband, a successful doctor, she often travels to Tagaytay to recharge from the madness of city life.
And as one takes in the lush greens that surround her home, it is clear that the space is a place of rest and regeneration.
Within its country-American façade of faux wood logs is an eclectic fusion of East meets West design.
The living room’s high ceilings and large tempe...
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...ied but it is not the first death in the family.” Named up the “letter ‘I,’” Two of Fely’s younger siblings have passed away – one did not survive birth, while the other drowned in a pool accident at the age of 13.
In passing, Fely wistfully notes, “My sister, my best friend…I really miss her. I miss that sister of mine.”
As the host leads the way through the dwelling’s cascade of distinct spaces – the upstairs rooms where her children and grandchildren stay during their visits, the basement’s Zen-inspired design, Fely confesses, “It is so hard for me to throw away things…” However, rather than piling up as clutter, her mementos reflect her sentimental nature – a unique ability to find the beauty in every object, a home for every piece.
With each keepsake comes a story that not only plays a role in the narrative of a home, but in the narrative of a life.