Judd Figuerres, advertising director
Ipe Cervantes, sales manager
Judd and Ipe’s loft is warmth exemplified, with enough tchotchkes to give it its own personality: a bunch of Doraemon figurines, plants they’ve raised together, and a sprinkle of homoerotic art here and there. “Is this Nolisoli?” one staffer asks of a print of two men in coitus. “We can make it if we want to,” said another. But a kitschy framed and backlit Divisoria wallpaper of three white puppies is, for sure.
On the terrazzo kitchen counter is an orange Le Creuset Dutch oven like the one owned by the late Joan Didion, which fetched $8,000/set at an auction. Later it will be filled with dal that Ipe cooked for their group dinner, accompanied by warm billowy naan tucked inside an Owa Sylvia wicker basket with a gingham liner.
As the hours tick away and the sun retreats to the west, the space is bathed in warm light emitted by a Louis Poulsen pendant, like candlelight inviting you to take a seat on their long dinner table as Pilita Corrales (on vinyl) serenades you.
How important was it for you to have your own space in relation to your lifestyle and your work?
Ipe: This is actually the first time I moved out of my family house and be independent. So I appreciate the fact that we get to design everything to our own taste. That was fun. Like building the house from empty space to very much filled in right now with our own style.
Judd: Originally, ‘yung job kasi namin is here in Makati. Before we moved here, we were based in Quezon City, so we were always traveling from QC to Makati and back every day. And when we moved here, all we wanted was our own space kasi ‘yung work namin is so stressful. Aside from picking a spot convenient to our location for work, we really wanted to build a space where hindi lang siya extension of our personality but also something na we can do things creatively na hindi siya part of our “jobs.”
We really wanted to build a home na pag-uwi namin, we can just relax, and we can just be ourselves.
What’s the best thing about living in Poblacion?
Judd: Noong una, we were like, “Oh, shit, Poblacion is going to be noisy.” So when we were testing the space, we said, “Let’s just see how the noise pollution is.” So we spent a weekend here just testing kung maiingayan kami and it was maingay.
And then, biglang nag lockdown. So it was, “Oh okay! Ang quiet ng Poblacion!” So we started yearning for that noise, ‘di ba? So when things started coming back, doon namin na feel na “Oh wow. Poblacion is so fun.”
Aside from that, we’re neighbors with our friends, it was so easy for us to find people to hang out with. It’s so easy for us also to find places to hang out dito. And I think—I don’t know what you call it—revenge partying? Parang ganun? So there’s so much energy! And I don’t know, like, sometimes prior to this kasi since we were living in QC, wala kaming social life masyado. So now, medyo parang feel na feel namin ‘yung energy ng Poblacion. And we really love it here.
We really wanted to build a home na pag-uwi namin, we can just relax, and we can just be ourselves.Judd and Ipe
Ipe: And the access to different restaurants. The food choices here are amazing, unlike in QC where everything is too far. Then Rockwell is just over there. And then there’s also a palengke.
Judd: There’s a palengke! Then all the clubs that play different music. You get a lot. Kasi in the morning, it’s different; sa afternoon, it’s different; at night, it’s different. So parang nagta-transform ang space every day, every hour. Kaya siya masaya.
What was the vibe you were going for when putting together this space?
Judd: When we were doing it, parang, we wanted something clean and cute—
Ipe: It was very empty, initially, but then during the pandemic—
Judd: We started collecting so many things. Which is I think kind of reactionary? Because wala namang nangyayari so parang, so might as well stimulate yourself with things.
Ipe: Yeah, like Judd started collecting plants during the pandemic.
Judd: I started collecting vinyl.
Ipe: I started collecting vintage stuff like the vases and all the cute stuff around.
Judd: So I think it’s just really whatever makes us happy.
What are your favorite parts of this space?
Judd: I love this dining room because during the day this is where we work also. Kasi dito ‘yung pinakalakas na internet. Because it’s an old building the walls are quite thick. So medyo mahina ang internet sa loob ng mga kuwarto so we always work here. This area also has the best natural light. And then at night, ‘pag magkakasama kaming lahat, kasya kaming lahat dito. So this is where we host dinners.
Ipe: We love hosting dinners.
Judd: So I think, for me, this. Ikaw?
Ipe: Same. Like a lot of things happened on this dining table. [laughs]
What makes a perfect home?
Judd: I think for me it’s the person you live with more than the space. I feel like it’s because it’s the first time we moved in together. It’s our first attempt and it was a lot of learning din from our end because, syempre, you’re going to clash at some point. But I think ‘yung lesson is through those clashes, we learn how to harmonize more. And I think for me that’s what home is. Where you can find harmony.
Ipe: Yeah. Judd is home, our friends are home.