Nipa Hut or Bahay Kubo is common in Southeast Asia where a house is usually made of bamboo or other kinds of trees with leaves for walls and roofs.
When a family decides to move, they will request people to help them out by literally carrying the entire nipa hut to desired location. This is what we called Bayanihan – people helping out each other to achieve a goal. What’s the payment? Feed the people.
A smile and some foods get you far in Philippines.
When I went to Leyte where my mom grew up, we went to visit Lola’s (grandmother) grave. On the way, mom felt like urinating so off she went to squat in the corner. She told me that they don’t have proper bathroom during their childhood days and was therefore used to doing their private business surrounded by the nipa plants with the leaves as their tissue to wipe off their butt. Thankfully, I don’t have to suffer through all that anymore as we now use water and our very own hands. Nyahahaha.
Mom saw some nipa leaves scattered around in a small shack and decided to sew a couple of leaves to be used to make into a roof or wall. She used to sew leaves when she was very young along with her sisters which they sold for 1 cent (in peso currency) per piece. Earnings were used to buy biscuits and paper for school among other things.
The current price of nipa roof in the market is 1 peso/ piece according to mom’s sister.