Our Philippine house project: filling our lot

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Our Philippine house building project in Tigbauan, Iloilo. Today we had 150 cubic meters of fill delivered to our lot.  This particular fill is in the area where we’ll have our garden so we were looking for top soil-like material as opposed to gravelly or stony fill.  We managed to find a fine sandy soil which is dredged from the river in Cordoba, Iloilo.  It’s likely that it really is soil washed down the denuded mountains of Iloilo Province.


We were quoted a price of P250 per cubic meter.  We happended to know that another major buyer of this same material paid P160 per square meter so we offered P170 for 150 cubic meters.  Our offer was accepted.

The truck drivers and helpers ham it up for the camera.

The truck drivers and helpers ham it up for the camera. Bahay kubo in background.

Four or five trucks delivered the fifteen ten cubic meter loads in one day.  The truck were constantly getting stuck in the clayey soil of the lot.  The workers were pretty good natured about that even though digging the big trucks out was a lot of work.

Comment.  In total, we’ve placed over 100 loads of fill in our 1,500 square meter lot.  Keep in mind the expense of fill when you shop for real estate.

Read all about our Philippine House building Project at /building-our-philippine-house-index/

Comments (8) Write a comment

  1. Hi Bob. New Year greetings to you and Carol. i’ve been following your updates for almost a year now. Thanks a lot for this very helpful blog, indicating the price of your filling soil and its quality. A friend told us today she intends to buy a residential lot in Bacolod City and elevate its level by at least 2 feet. Congratulations on your completed beautiful home. Very good job. Grace to you and Carol.


  2. Pingback: Building our Philippine House – Index at goILOILO.com

  3. Hi Bob & Carol,

    we love to follow your blog. My wife is from Duenas, with relatives in Iloilo.

    How about a new topic ‘Travel to Iloilo’? – Please have a look at the Iloilo airport web site. They did post a neat video about the airport (http://www.iloiloairport.com).

    Since Cebu Pacific is elaborating flights from Iloilo to Hong Kong there might be more to come.

    Will be happy o keep you updated.

    Good luck to your home project. Have a nice weekend.

    Michael & Lerna from Calgary Alberta Canada


  4. Thanks for the info Bob, it adds up to my idea. Can’t wait to see the picture of the parols at the bahay kubo! We were there last Christmas … I really enjoyed it.

    Anyway it’s a small world Anecia and I were high school classmates in Oton High School. We were reunited … thanks for your website.

    Anecia it’s too bad that we are not going home at the same time. Enjoy your holiday and keep in touch.


  5. ..shaping up, Bob and Carol…i could already see the plants in your garden…very good top soil is key.


    • Thanks Natie, Anecia and Angie for your kind words and encouragement. Buying fill is a little tricky. Natie is so lucky to be in Villa which has the most wonderful native topsoil. That’s why is the flower and plant capital of Iloilo. Buying Villa top soil is not so easy or cheap. Soil from Pavia can also be good but I understand that the mayor has clamped down on the export of Pavia soil. Good for him! The soil we bought is from Cordoba, Iloilo and is likely dredged from the Sibalom River banks. Not that we have 150 cubic meters spread out and raked, we can see that it is sandier that we had hoped. However the underlying soil is very heavy clay. We could have the lot ploughed and harrowed to mix the sandy soil with the clay, or we may just mix in lots of rice husk with the top soil to add organic matter. Anyway, anything planted will root through the new soil to the old heavy clay.

      When we built our wall we saved all of the soil excavated from the trenches. We spread this across the lot, so that’s our first layer of fill. It is now mostly covered with the new fill. Overall we probably have about one or one-and a half feet of fill above the surrounding rice fields. The driveway and the area where the house will be built has more fill and that fill is stony.

      We have done quite a lot of planting and everything seems to be doing well. The mangoes which were planted several months ago have put on lots of new growth in the last few days. We don’t think we’ll have any problem making this place into our green, tropical paradise.

      By the way, I’m typing this on my laptop inside our new bahay kubo. The workers are here putting the nipa roof on the porch. We hope the whole project will be complete in a week so that we can hang our paroles here and celebrate at least part of Christmas in our new bahay kubo.


  6. Hi Bob and Carol,
    I am very interested on your house project. I bought a lot across from Villa Rica beach in Oton for my retirement home. I will start cleaning the lot in January and build the fence. I have to meet with the engineer and architect when I get home end of Dec. I know it’s a big job building a house. I want to see the finished project of the engineer first to decide if I like the workmanship. And of course talk to the home owner if they are satisfied with the result. I’m from Miag-ao and Oton so I’m not a stranger in Iloilo. I am very interested on the top soil you got. I know I need to fill my lot bigtime, but I want to use gravel and sand where the house goes for a hard base? (I’ll check with the engineer) But for the area where for the garden, I like the top soil you got.


  7. Wow … it is getting into shape. Bahay kubo looks great! That’s a very good price for the filling materials. Do you have the tel number for your contact? I am looking for a filling material for my place in Oton. Delivery might not be until January after the second cropping is done.


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