Ariel Rivera was a licensed architect in Canada, before
getting discovered as a singer when he took a vacation in the Philippines.
That's why when he and wife Gelli de Belen decided to
renovate their New Manila house instead of buying another property—they
already have a designer's masterpiece townhouse in Tagaytay that was featured
in the October 2006 issue of YES!—Ariel took charge in its complete
renovation and redesigning.
Gelli tells the story of their decision to
renovate their house. "Lagi kaming, ‘E, kung maglilipat tayo ng house, we will
have to get another mortgage, we will have to work hard, nang todo-todo.' Well,
siya, talagang nawo-work. E, ako? Sis lang, di ba? ‘Tapos, kailangang
mag-iiba kami ng lifestyle, kasi hindi kami makaka-travel. Kasi we'll be paying
for the house. So, naisip namin, ‘Ano ba'ng priority natin? Bahay o
mag-travel?' Aba, e, mag-travel! A house is a house is a house. Especially with
me—hindi ako metikuloso at maarte. Basta meron akong tinitirhan, maganda-ganda
naman, ‘yong maayos lang, doon na ako. So, naisip namin, ‘Sige, renovate na
lang tayo.' Less gastos."
Ariel and Gelli's New Manila house was first featured in the
September 2001 issue of YES! magazine. Back then, their house had a
simple, country-style design with almost everything made of wood.
years later and after the renovation, YES! features the Riveras's New
Manila house again, which now has a minimalist but functional and
masculine look, courtesy of Ariel.
But it was not all Ariel though, Gelli also put in some
needed "girly" aspects of home design, which Ariel admits is not his
department. "I'll do the structural—okey ako diyan. ‘Yang nagbibigay ng kulay
sa bahay, ‘yong mga paintings diyan, paintings dito, ‘yong mga whatever it
is—that needs a woman's touch."
People who like things clean, orderly, no clutter, and
fuss-free will like the house. The house also highlights the people living
there, with Ariel, Gelli, and their two sons Joaqui and Julio's photos
displayed around the house.
See more of the changes Ariel and Gelli made in their New
Manila house and read more about the Riveras in the August 2008 issue of YES! magazine. Now available!