Home Buddies FB Group: An Inspiration
The pandemic may have closed borders, crashed economies, and forced people to stay at home, but it also brought many positive changes — especially to families. Now, people have more time to spend with their loved ones and tend to their homes. Unfortunately, with the lockdown extending more than a year and people are still lining up for the vaccines, most people are itching to find more meaningful things to do at home. This is where Frances Lim Cabatuando’s Home Buddies FB group came into the picture.
Frances first launched her Instagram account named Nobi Home. Through this account, she documented her home improvement journey, and surprisingly, it drew a lot of attention and inspired many followers. Her passion for renovation and decluttering even intensified when she came across a game called Minimalism Game. This game challenges its players to let go of clutter within the next 30 days, and whoever declutters the most wins.
Because of the overwhelming response from the Instagram community and the influence of the decluttering game, she thought of reaching out to more Filipino homeowners through a bigger platform. She intended to replicate Nobi Home while also providing a virtual meeting place for Minimalist game players on Facebook. Considering the nature of Facebook groups, she designed this Nobi Home extension to be a community where members can solicit and share home makeover ideas. These ideas formally led to the formal launching of Home Buddies last September 2020.
What is Home Buddies like as a group?
Home Buddies can be likened to a vast community where everyone is each other’s neighbor or buddy. As such, anyone can freely say what they have in mind. Anyone can also post questions about their home renovation or construction projects. Aside from that, the members can also openly share their home projects and ‘budol finds.’
Like Frances’ Instagram account, Home Buddies also received a warm welcome from the Facebook community. Within a short period, it became a ‘hangout’ of Filipino homeowners who wanted to share photos and post stories about how they achieved and owned their dream houses. It’s like a breath of fresh air for people who have constantly been worn out by the worries brought by the pandemic.
Why is Home Buddies well-received?
One of the reasons why Home Buddies became an instant hit is that it made people realize that their home is more than just a place where they sleep and store their belongings. Before the pandemic happened, most people, especially the working class and those who attend school, are always away from their homes. In congested cities, people spend more time commuting than resting and bonding with their families at their dwelling places.
Because of the hectic daily schedule, people only go home to eat, sleep, and change clothes before heading out to work or study. This cycle indeed left people disconnected from the aesthetics and non-functional aspects of their living space.
When they were forced to stay at home, they were reacquainted with every nook and cranny of their houses that they realized that they could improve how it looks to make living there more comfortable, cozy, and satisfying. The pandemic might have given them a new perspective on life and work, making them realize that since they got nowhere to go, they might as well turn their home into a cozy place where they can work peacefully and their children study comfortably.
Small and warm community
Besides being a wake-up call to Filipino homeowners stuck at home, Home Buddies provided a venue where different people can mingle and relate with each other. As you know, lockdowns and social distancing protocols have left people feeling extremely isolated. They may have family members living with them under the same roof, but this doesn’t satisfy their human need to socialize and associate themselves with others.
Home Buddies answered this need and provided even more. It became a real-life neighborhood, barangay, or community with a leader known as Mayora and group moderators known as ‘tanods.’ The members address each other’s neighbors or ‘kapitbahays.’ These designations reflect the Filipino culture and warm disposition. Showing your virtual neighbors photos of your home is like welcoming them to your dwelling place.
Filled with fun activities
To keep the community dynamic and alive, Mayora and her ‘tanods’ set activities like #MondayMarket where all ‘kapitbahays’ can sell and purchase home items. And every 18th day of the month, the members were also invited to join the virtual celebration of ‘Friendsgiving Day.’ This time, they can share or gift home items they no longer need to their virtual neighbors.
And true to the spirit of ‘sharing is caring,’ Mayora also set up a ‘Budolletin Board’ where members can access exclusive discounts and promos for Home Buddies members. It is the founder’s vision to make the group a real community where everyone gets to celebrate festivities like town fiestas and home fairs. During labor day, the group also scheduled a virtual LABORangay directory to provide job opportunities for skilled workers. They want to foster the spirit of camaraderie by reminding everyone and setting an example to help your neighbors continually.
Inspires people to work harder for their dream homes
If you scroll the group’s timeline, you will quickly be reminded of Pinterest with all the aesthetically pleasant decors and architectural designs. But what sets Home Buddies apart from apps like Pinterest is the story of every home and the hard work behind these grand architectural masterpieces. Every photo you see comes with a candid recollection of how the owners only dreamt of owning a property for their families.
Most stories revolve around the fact that these homeowners used to be struggling in life. They worked hard, saved up, and sacrificed a lot of their wants just to save enough for their dream home.
One of the most inspiring success stories shared in the group is that of Ton Reario. He used to live with his family in the slum area of Batasan Hills. Since he was born, they were already struggling in life. He was able to earn a degree from the Far Eastern University (FEU), but he had to juggle six jobs at the same time. His efforts working as a researcher, event emcee, events planner, call center agent, Korean teacher while doing business on the side all at the same time eventually paid off.
Seven years after he graduated, he finally moved his family’s residence from Batasan Hills to a subdivision in Fairview. Though his new home is not as grand as a mansion, it sure is more comfortable and quite far from the one in their old neighborhood. Plus, he now owns a car to ferry his family anywhere they want to go. Many people were left inspired by his story that he was even featured in different digital magazines and news agencies.
Ton’s story is just one of the many inspiring success stories shared in Home Buddies. Even if you’re just a silent community lurker, you can’t stop yourself from being amazed by these stories of life transformations. It makes you believe that with dedication, passion, and diligence, you can also be like them. Stories like this truly made Home Buddies one of a kind.
Another great reason people just love Home Buddies is that you can find here all kinds of useful and valuable items you can add to your home. There was a time that the members went crazy over split-type inverter air conditioners that drastically lessened their monthly electricity bills. Desperate to find a solution to their burgeoning electricity bill, various members shared that they invested in a 1.0 HP LG inverter aircon. After a month of use, their electricity significantly lowered.
After they bought the said inverter aircon, a member showed that they consumed around 240.9 kilowatts per hour (KwH) of electricity for 23 days. He said that they kept the aircon on for almost 15 hours per day. When their bill came, they were only charged 2,090.80 for their aircon usage.
Aside from the LG’s infamous inverter aircon, the members also went crazy over espresso machines, solo coolers, mirrors, laminated wood stickered jars, and bottles converted into spice jars and seasoning containers. The list of ‘budol finds’ is endless, with every member sharing what they discovered on their random trips to various thrift stores and SM Home.
Home Buddies indeed made every member feel welcomed and comfortable. This is also another reason why the community already amassed around 1.8 million followers. Celebrities like Slater Young, Paolo Ballesteros, Megan Young-Daez, Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio, and Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla even joined the group. This budding community surely captivates the hearts of Filipinos from all walks of life.
People who intend to build or renovate their dream homes can surely draw inspiration from the homes and projects shared in this group. And as more and more members achieve their goals in life, other members cheer in support while also preparing to realize their own dreams and aspirations.
If you need help and expert advice in choosing your next home, Hoppler can be of assistance, just like how Home Buddies offered support to millions of Filipinos nationwide. Talk to us today, and let’s start living your best life.