Yes, we are living in a fast-paced world. Technology made our lives easier. And lazier. We tend to forget to take care of Mother Earth, thus resulting to unpredictable weather conditions and increasing melting of the glaciers. We are the reason why global warming exists.
Not even the latest gadget can stop the wrath of nature. Someone has to step up and take side with the environment. Located in the Earth, Wind and Sun Compound in Barangay Talamban, one can find the man who lives up to these natural elements and his contribution to nature: a 400 sq Eco-house.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers would be very proud of Engr. Nestor Archival, the owner of House of Archival and Chair of the Cebu City Government Committee on Environment. As an advocate of nature, he implements and demonstrates how environmental green living could be made possible. His Eco-house is a living proof.
The House of Archival stretches in a 7,000 sqm compound. The Archivals dedicated themselves to going green through the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.
The area opens up with an unobtrusive wrought-iron gate and tree house nestled cozily atop is the first thing that your eyes will set upon.
A few steps away, one can see a couple of green houses neatly tucked in white nets.
The place is a haven for vegans alike. The Archivals’ lunch is just a few steps away from their doorstep–literally.
To prove that dessert is found in the backyard, our tour guide gave us a piece of dried banana to sample their homemade treats.
We went around the place to check out the different eco-sections in the area. They have the goatery (where you can feed and pet the goats), the vermi compost beds (vermi-the bisexual worms whose job is to help convert organic wastes into nutrient-rich vermicasts a.k.a. fertilizers), carpentry (where furniture and whatnots were made using scrap materials), the Mickey-mouse-shaped lagoon and two more pools filled with rainwater using a water catchment.
One of a few green houses they have around the place, it has an overlooking view of the surroundings.
Down to the useless piece of scrap, Engr. Archival knows how to make use of it. They use empty green bottles as homemade garden fence before entering another section of the property.
Water catchments were also installed in the Eco-house. The accumulated water will be used to flush the toilets, wash clothes, plates and water the plants.
Aside from their eco-focus initiatives, they also have a wall-climb and zip-line facility. Visiting groups can make a segue from the environmental lectures after the tour. One can make an appointment in advance so that a personal facilitator can assist you.
For the thrill-seekers, the House of Archival added a 40 ft wall for wall-climbing activities and a 45m zip-line. Perfect for beginners.
After the tour around the estate, climbing the wall and zip-lining, we were ushered to Eco-house.
The view on top of the wall.
Using Engr. Archival’s knowledge in engineering and design, he used a passive heating and cooling effect to lessen the need for electricity. Hence, the installation of big and small windows and the skylight. More sunlight comes in during the day, thus, saving a few pesos in their electricity bill.
Breeze come and go, thus giving the house a light and cool feel–thanks to the PVC pipes incorporated into the wall structure of the building.
Shades of blue gives off a relaxing feel.
The hotel-style comfort room didn’t escape from all the artsy murals either. Artistic murals dominate the Eco-house. Heavenly bodies and aquatic creatures can be seen on the first floor. The receiving area exudes the beauty of the underwater world with its cool blue hues–a contrast to the sunny second floor of the building with pastel shades for the sky with added wisps of clouds.
This is my favorite part of the house. The sunlight effect. Real flower vines hang above creates a nice touch.
Aside from the colorful walls of the Eco-house, the Archivals made use of the scraps and recycled bits. Bland furniture was given style with recycled scraps such as PVC pipes, tetra packs, empty cans and plastic cups, crushed eggshells, cable spools, wine bottles, and empty bullet shells.
The skylight. Up close and personal with the sun.
PVC pipes has another function aside from…err…being pipes. They make a good support for couches.
Nope, these are not for sale..or for drinking. Empty soda and beer cans made lovely balustrades.
Or can be used as decors.
Who knew that eggshells could be stylish. Or should I say Star Trek-ish?!
Bulletproof tiles, why not?!
Cable spools were varnished and fashioned into coffee tables–which were scattered all over the place
Wine for the fish–not! Empty green wine bottles decked the rainwater-filled pond at the back of the house.
I have a new-found respect for these empty plastic jars. A brilliant twist made them cast off good light effects.
The House of Archival is open to the public. In this world of iPhones and iPads, a trip to the Eco-house is enough to appreciate the beauty of backyard (more like all-over-the-yard) gardening, composting (even stumbling blocks around the compost area were made of decayed trash!) and the flow of artistic ideas to turn trash into something useful (you will find yourself rummaging your trash bin later for empty bottles to start on a DIY project you have in mind).
The Archivals have created a true Cebuano legacy and most importantly, teach us a valuable lesson on our own way to give back to nature: recycling. Ask yourself what you can give back to Mother Earth. You can start looking for answers in your own yard. It all starts at home.
Talamban, Cebu City
Phone: (032) 233 8760/ 253 2184