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This Asian-Inspired Home Designed by Ed Gallego is a Stunner

Architect Ed Gallego helps realize the dream home of Joseph and Cora Gandionco through a heavily Asian-inspired design.

This story is taken from our archives. Originally published in Inside Cebu.

Deciding to build their dream home, Joseph and Cora Gandionco harked back to a vacation they had in Phuket years ago for inspiration. That experience had left an indelible impression on them.

They decided they wanted an Asian-inspired home—something open, minimalist in design, and a place where their family could grow in a relaxed but secure atmosphere. Having four children and preferring the indoor/outdoor lifestyle, they wanted a layout that would allow the family to be within hearing or seeing distance from each other most of the time.

With the help of Architect Ed Gallego, they realized their concept. The result is a house that has a resort feel with water features playing a prominent role in the building complex. The cooling and calming element is found in the garden ponds and the infinity pool overlooking the city.

The Gandioncos being keen collectors of Filipino art and antique furniture, paintings by Filipino masters and artists adorn the walls throughout the house. “I patronize Filipino artists,” Cora Gandionco says. “My preferences are the modernists, especially Mauro Malang Santos, Federico Alcuaz, and Marcel Antonio.”

Additionally, sculptures and furnishings purchased during their extensive Southeast Asian travels can be seen in every room. A close friend, the late Sandy Deen, also contributed some unusual artifacts from Tibet and China.

When it comes to entertaining, the house provides many venues. The glass-encased dining pavilion, strongly Bali-inspired, makes an exotic setting for a sumptuous dinner. On moonlit nights tables are set up in the garden for the cocktail hour. Together with the pool area, these are places most preferred for the gathering of friends.

The master’s suite is a lesson in minimalism: the clean, crisp lines of the furnishings, the spaciousness of the room, the outdoor bathtub and shower area—all redolent of their Balinese experience.

The couple has found a completely new environment in a vibrant and modern home.

The couple chose Ed Gallego as the architect because his design ideas were in sync with their vision of how their house should look like. The resort feel of the house is achieved with free-flowing spaces, the ambient use of natural lighting, and water just about everywhere.


Dining Out? This Restaurant in Busay Offers Modern Filipino Cuisine with a View

Balay sa Busay is a new modern-Filipino food destination that offers an unhindered view of the city landscape, providing a pleasurable dining experience.

Balay sa Busay is a new modern-Filipino food destination in Busay, Cebu which offers an unhindered view of the city landscape and ocean view with a cool breeze, providing a pleasurable dining experience.

Specializing in modern Filipino cuisine, Balay sa Busay serves our favorite comfort food, with a taste of home and a unique Cebuano touch. House specialties include Adobong Binisaya ni Bebe, Hamonada sa Among Bukid, and Paboritong Sisig Ni Tatay.

Other bestsellers are the Chickenillo, a tender roasted whole chicken so tender that it can be cut using a platito; Pomelo Salad with toasted coconut with calamansi dressing; Pochero Rice; Banana Cue Ala Mode with sugar-coated cardava topped with vanilla ice cream; and Shrimps in Buko.

Dining with a splendid view
Whether it’s a casual day out or a special celebration with family and friends, Balay sa Busay provides a much-desired breather for busy city folks.

The restaurant is inspired by old Filipino ancestral houses in the province with a perfect blend of old and new elements–a transitional style featuring traditional and modern furniture and fixtures. The spacious interiors give diners the option to dine in the air-conditioned room or open-air veranda which provides a panoramic view of Cebu.

Balay sa Busay has an air-conditioned function room for special occasions, private events, and meetings which can accommodate up to 50 guests and can be split into two and seat 25 each. An open area at the second floor is also available and can also accommodate up to 50 guests.

Balay sa Busay is located at Cebu Tops Road, Busay, Cebu City. It is open from Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Walk-ins and reservations are welcome.

For more information and updates, like and follow Balay Sa Busay on Facebook at @BalaySaBusay. For reservations, private meetings and events, call (032) 354 7169.

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This French-Filipino Family Home Perched Atop a Hill is a Beauty

Zee gives you an exclusive look at this family home owned by French businessman Gilles Pochiet and Filipina wife Cielito.

This story is taken from our archives. 
Originally published in the coffee table book, Inside Cebu.

French businessman Gilles Pochiet and his Filipina wife Cielito, with their three children, have made a home for themselves in the hills of Northtown Homes. When they started with it, they had a few items on their wish list: 

First, he wanted to indulge his passion for art and his penchant for a quiet, cultured lifestyle. Thus, the house had to provide ample and appropriate display space for a continually growing collection of contemporary art. Then the importance of family, best expressed through a close arrangement of family spaces, had to come into the picture, too. And yes, they also love to entertain friends at home. 

Their house, designed by Architect Ed Gallego, took over two years to construct and six months to furnish. Finished almost entirely in white and glass, the exterior of the house cleverly utilizes line, angle, and shape to achieve geometric elegance. It opens to the outdoors through full-length, clear-glass panels and retractable walls, permitting generous amounts of the incomparable tropical light to pour in. 

From the lounge and dining areas, one can enjoy pleasant views of the hills of Cebu. The minimalist theme is emphatic in the dining room, where the square table and the eight chairs around it are enhanced only by water flowing on a floor-to-ceiling stone façade. The sound of trickling water is the perfect accompaniment to life’s best moments. 

At first glance, the house may not seem family-oriented, but that is only at the ground level. The family bedrooms are located on the second floor—all with cleverly designed storage cabinets disguised as decorative framed walls. Each of the children’s rooms has its own carefully selected set of artworks, strongly indicating how their parents would love to pass on to them an appreciation for art. 

The guest pavilion, uniquely located at the poolside, is fully self-contained, and is actually a smaller version of the main building. It shows the importance that the owners place on privacy; they prefer intimate gatherings of their closest friends, where conversations flow over fine wine and good food. 


The homeowners are totally dedicated to contemporary art. Their collection includes paintings by Ouattara, Lindstorm, and Maryan; carpets by Garouste and Bonetti; vases by Gaetano Pesce, and sculptural pieces by Ettore Sottsas. The white walls set off the artworks. The surprising combination of minimalist sophistication and design savvy is achieved throughout the house.

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A Pastel-Themed Afternoon High Tea with Kate Anzani

Zee takes you on a journey of elegance and beauty as we look into the fresh themes that Kate Anzani created for her Afternoon High Tea.

Zee takes you on a journey of elegance and sweetness with Kate Anzani’s latest themes for her Afternoon High Tea.

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