Friday, August 7, 2009
The nipa hut.
It's been raining here again for days on end. I am not surprise anymore as July and August are the rainy months and foul weather during this time is always a possibility. So while the rain and wind pounded on, I cannot help but think of my nipa hut.
Yes, I have a nipa house in the province. The foundation is actually a cement and the frame is made of lumber and not bamboo, but the key element is there - the roof made of palm fronds. I know that people associate nipa roof with province life. You see, people in the province build nipa houses when they are poor and not have enough money for concrete tile and tin sheeting.
I associate nipa though with being cool. Not cool as in hip as nipa is hardly hip nowadays. I mean cool as in not hot. It's amazing how nipa actually makes the most sweltering days pleasant and tolerable. It is as if the nipa absorbs the heat and cushion it, rather than radiating it like when you have aluminum or concrete.
I remember one afternoon while i was there on a vacation, when a typhoon began approaching and the sky quickly started clouding up and turning nasty. When the wind and rain started raging I thought for sure we were doomed. I especially thought this because all I had for shelter is my flimsy hut. Having lived in a big solid house, the nipa hut seemed no match against nature's destructive fury.
Me and the kids while huddled inside our hut, had expected the horrifying winds to quickly blow our house of twigs to smithereens. But amazingly, though, the nipa hut came out unscathed! It swayed, it bent, but it didn't break. It lasted the night. In the morning the worst had passed and we were all safe. Maybe it was meant to absorb the wind, thus cushioning the impact of nature's blustery wrath. Of course, it felt good to know that people can protect themselves from nature's anger and we don't have to go to the hardware store to do it.
My nipa hut's sole purpose is not necessarily protection from the elements, but as an escape from the oppressive heat and a sanctuary amidst the chaos in the city as my house is located in the farthest end of the village. Just getting inside my house, I seem to enter a new world as if I am far removed from the tumult and fray around me. In fact, for me my nipa hut is practically magical.
Not bad for something simple, cheap and definitely not very trendy.