Mar 31, 2010

TUWA: The Laughing Fish

It is a village embedded in nature - beautifully backdropped by Mount Arayat, and surrounded by the calm rice fields. Where the energy is harnessed from the sun, wind and water. Where there is zero waste, and food (rice, vegetables, fish...) is actually grown from your backyard.

Welcome to Tuwa: The Laughing Fish!

It's supposed to only be "The Laughing Fish" but I gave a comment that although it will attract foreign visitors - which is one of its intentions - the locals won't be able to relate with the place.

Calling it just The Laughing Fish is a bit detached to the very Filipino architecture and orientation of the village. So we thought of another word. The name of the fish logo - tuwa. That's it! Tuwa: The Laughing Fish!

I've always been a student of beauty and the arts, and to be there and actually experience the building process of a masterpiece village is really overwhelming and humbling. Add to that the setting sun, birds flying everywhere and wind whistling in your ears.

Below is Paula. She's from South Africa but she's actually Dutch. She has traveled the world in search for something without actually knowing what it is. "What's the rush?" Her work involves computers but she's trying a new lifestyle of taking everything slowly.

Sometimes we are so pressured by the world to increase our "worth" without actually realizing if this is what we really want.

I'll stop being too wordy now (since most people these days don't read long blogs), and let the pictures speak for itself.

Right now, there are 4 structures almost built out of the 5 that is planned.


This will be the main house of the village, and this is where the head family will leave after it's completion around August.

It has composite toilet, four bedrooms, an indoor garden and I think this will be transformed into a restaurant where it will serve Asian vegetable meals.

I was able to taste their Indian mushroom curry! The spices just burst with flavors and the taste is just superb since everything is grown organically.


It is appropriately named Diwa because this will house the library and group dynamics will be held here.

The roof and walls are shaped like a bird about to take flight!

Basic construction materials include bamboo, pawid stones and cement for the base, and steel pipes for support.

I'm not so sure but I think this is where the commissioned artist's art space.

The place will be filled with art that may also serve as bird's nests...


It's called Supling because design concepts of Kanlungan and Diwa were combined to produce it.

This is where guests of around seven will sleep.

and the last (and my personal favorite)


Can you guess the purpose of this structure?

It's amazing how they were able to bend the bamboos and laid it almost symmetrically.

It really is something! Makes you want to cuddle and yakap someone.

Every structure in the place is designed to face the Mount Arayat.

The good thing about the design process is that the whole community is involved. Even the man just passing with his bicycle can easily give comments.

By the way, the designer is John. He's also from South Africa and has a European blood. He is very meticulous with everything - the position of the bamboos, the feng shui aspect, the energies surrounding the place, the water and earth spirits...

There's something really special in this place that you MUST experience to actually understand what I'm saying.

There are a lot of features which I wasn't able to take a picture:
-the Sacred Island (yes, there is an island in the place)
-the orchard (where I planted coffee, basil and cinnamon!)
-the mini rice fields (where Japanese, plain and black rice are planted)
-the fish pond
-the snake tree
-the big roaming owl at night
-the Labyrinth (another one of my favorite feature)

I can't wait to be back by sembreak! By that time, everything is fully functional.

They are offering a course on permaculture, community building and sustainable development for 65,000 (for foreigners) and 60,000 (for Filipinos). It's a one month Environmental Design Education (EDE) and this will mostly be offered to big decision makers and society shapers like company CEO's, politicians and university professors.

There are only 4 countries offering EDE in Asia and Oceania: Thailand, Australia, Japan and the Philippines.

There's a similar course in Burma and it's roughly $5,000+

If you'd like to stay or visit the place, you can contact me through my email: so that we can arrange everything.

No comments: