The Umali-Fariñas Nest

Oriental Touches

Nestled in familial warmth is the fine fusion of Raffy and Kristine (Teenie) Fariñas’ own dwelling. The home grew as the young family grew bigger and when city girl Teenie (Umali) decided to completely stay close to Raffy’s roots after working for the father’s companies in Manila. “I love it here, I’m more peaceful.” she says about Ilocos provincial style living. (Raffy’s dad is former Laoag mayor, businessman Roger Fariñas, and Teenie’s dad is self-made tycoon Ruben Umali, former mayor of Lipa, Batangas, and now a proponent of biomass renewable energy.)

Fused with Oriental elements — like pieces collected through their travels and the irreplaceable old-old China porcelain handed down by Teenie’s mom (Girlie Sheker Umali) — the contemporary abode, refurbished with the help of Ilocano craftsmen, articulates one unique harmonious story.

Things From the Past

– Portraits of the teen Teenie done by masters such as Cesar Legaspi and Romulo Olazo adorn one wall. A former Miss Lipa, handpicked by a distinguished committee, Teenie is a personification of refinement. She is sophisticated and quietly cool, yet bubbly around family and friends. I can say the same for Raffy, who seems reserved. The couple, in contradiction, loves to entertain guests at their beautiful nest. The two met while in school at the University of Sto. Tomas. “We have Brian [Fariñas, Raffy’s first cousin] to thank,” Teenie recalls the introduction.

Red CornerNatural TouchesTuneTablescapeDining RoomFish  Tank

– Raffy’s fish tank.

Autumn Colors

– The Balinese door is from Indonesia.

All that Glitters

– The colors of autumn on a Christmas tree.

Animal Instinct

– Animal instinct.

DetailsPerspectivePlay and Relax

– The butterfly-shaped pool echoes blitheful moments with the brood and cousins on the Caballero-Fariñas side. A cabana houses the shower room and a sauna. Macopa trees planted by Raffy’s lolo Fred leave an incessant memory of the grand patriarch of the Fariñas clan.

Below are commissioned works of Ilocano painter Mike Kairuz, who shares the same Lebanese blood running in the Shekers’ veins. The lavender room (with black and white furnishings) overlooking the pool is eldest daughter C’s room.


– Next is the master bedroom. Teenie’s own pet fishes keep her company when Raffy goes to the office and the little ones are in school. She quit her day job (with the in-laws’ family business) only recently to be a fulltime homemaker and doting mom to C, Rigo, Ram and Julia. When in Manila, Teenie visits Tiendesitas, Dimensione, Regalong Pambahay and the like, while Raffy checks out the gadgetry stores.

Master BedroomUmali-Fariñas

– Collaged photos of the gorgeous family courtesy of Teenie.

With many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Raffy  C. Fariñas  for sharing with us a part of their story.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012