Payag is the classic native hut in Bulusan. It is a simple yet brilliant vernacular organic architecture by marrying form and function with the local materials available on site.
I was lucky to chance upon an almost finished payag along the road of Kabugawan in the village of San Bernardo. The pantaw, sirong and dapog can be seen from the road and the natural colors of the anahaw roofing and bamboo walls blend well with the surrounding greens of mostly coconut and pili trees.
The tukod of the window was being prepared by the time we passed by the area. The lone window is an awning type with the tukod as the device for opening and closing the single panel window.
“This is for my mother-in-law,” said the farmer cum hut builder pointing to the direction of an elderly woman sitting near a tree in the front yard. “She is 96 years old but still goes to the market in the poblacion” he added. I stayed for a while sitting near the yard with two kids looking at me with innocent smiles.
When I told the local farmer how neat and cool is the workmanship of the hut… he replied that some passing tourists also said the same thing about the hut several days ago. He said this with a smile and obviously amused that his hut was being noticed by visitors to their village. Although I stay in the poblacion, I am familiar with the village rural ways. I understood that for this farmer/carpenter, the form was just a consequence of the function.
Photographs by Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines