IVANA ALAWI gives a tour of her childhood home in Bahrain.
Her late father left to her and her siblings. Ivana’s vlog has garnered more than 5.7 million views at press time since it was uploaded last Friday, February 28.
The 23-year-old former StarStruck 6 finalist revisits the Bahrain mansion where she and two of her siblings—Hash and Amira—grew up.
It is one of the properties that Ivana’s late father, Samier Al-Alawi, a Morrocan, left for them.
The mansion has seven bedrooms (three on the ground floor and four on the second floor), at least three bathrooms, two living rooms, a pantry, maids’ quarters, a garden area, and garage.
In her introduction, Ivana says, “Ito ang aking childhood house. Dito ako naglaro-laro. Dito ako nagwalawala. Dito ako naging baby, alam mo yun? Yung cute.”
Ivana says the house was built in 1996, the year she was born.
She recalls, “This house is built noong 1996, kung kelan ako pinanganak. So medyo lumang bahay na to, old but good.”
The Kapuso-turned-Kapamilya talent adds, “Luma siya pero special pa rin siya, di ba? Kasi dito ako lumaki, dito ko nakasama ang daddy ko.”
One of her favorite spots in the house is the living room where, she recounts, “Dito ang mga bata, dito ako nung baby. Lagi akong nagtatalun-talon diyan sa sofa. Dito ako kumakain, dito ako nanonood ng TV.”
In her narration, Ivana remembers a sofa that was shunned for this reason, “Nung baby ako, itong area na ito, may mumu. Binenta ko na yung sofa na yun kasi… kahit sinong humiga dun, nakakakita daw ng mumu. Ewan ko, hindi ko pa nakita so baka sinungaling silang lahat.”
She moves on to the other go-to spot in the living room, the bird cage-inspired couch. Ivana quips.
“Itong area naman, kapag lonely ka, gusto mo ikulong yung sarili mo, sosyal na kulungan.”
Ivana describes the second living room as “pangsosyalan.”
She explains, “Pag feeling mo medyo nakaluwag-luwag ka sa buhay, dito ka pupunta ‘tapos uupo ka parang, ‘Ha, nabayaran ko na yung utang ko dati!’
“Alam mo yung ganon? Yung wala kang gawi kasi wala ka naman mapapanooran pero feeling mo sosyal sosyal ka. Pero hindi kami umuupo dito kasi hindi namin ma-feel na sosyal kami.”
In her vlog, Ivana says their home is still undergoing some changes, which is why they don’t have many amenities at the moment.
However, the important furniture of the manse are preserved, including the chandeliers, beds, dining table, and sofas. The dining and kitchen areas are simple but spacious.
A floorlength mirror is installed on one side of the dining area to make it look bigger.
Ivana also mentions that a faux crocodile leather decorates one of the walls for texture.
Ivana also gives a tour of the rooms on the ground floor where she and her siblings slept during their childhood years.
The Kapamilya star says she has bought a new bed for the room she once shared with her brother, Hash.
“Bago na yung kama, kasi mga 20 years na yung dating kama ‘tapos bunk bed siya. Ngayon, ginawa na namin single bed… Dati ako, ‘tapos si Hash sa taas [na bunk bed].”
Two of the rooms on the second floor have a single bathroom and are still bare.
Another room has its own bathroom, and the interiors are very much modern.
Ivana currently occupies the master’s bedroom, which has its own entertainment area, a walk-in closet, and a huge bathroom.
But like the ones in the other rooms, the entertainment area in the master’s bedroom is also bare.
In her vlog, Ivana says one of the first things she’ll buy for her room is a TV.
“Pag nakaluwang-luwang tayo sa buhay, bibili tayo ng TV at manonood tayo ng Ang Lihim Ni Ligaya. Malapit na malapit na!”
Ivana shows off in her vlog a queen-sized bed in her room, where the “magic” happens.
“Ito ang kama, dito nangyayari ang magic. Yung natutulog, yun ang magic niya.”
The actress also gives her YouTube subscribers a tour of her bar walk-in closet, which has all-white interiors.
“Wala pang masyadong damit dito kasi kakadating ko lang at hindi pa ako nakaka-shopping at saka, hindi pa naman ako titira dito.”
Her other favorite space in the room is the bathroom.
Ivana says she had it renovated and retrofi tted with marble tiles and crystal stone walls.
“Ito, pinasadya ko kasi mahilig ako sa marbles. So ung makikita mo yung yung phone case ko, lahat talaga marble. Kung pwede nga lang yung buong bahay gawin kong marble, ginawa ko na. Pero mahal.”
Ivana’s parents separated when her mother, Fatima Marbella, was pregnant with her youngest sibling, Mona Louise Rey.
Ivana was then seven years old.
Ivana decided to join her mother in the Philippines and spent her teenage years in the country.
In December 2018, Ivana and Mona Louise’s father suffered a heart attack and died at a hospital in Subic.
Ivana was the last person in their family to see her father alive.
In an interview with Magandang Buhay, she recalled, “Pumunta ako dun, sabi ko 2 a.m., sabi ko, ‘Sige na nga.’
“Parang iba na yung feeling ko, e. Nakita ko pa siya ng 4.30 a.m. Pagdating ko dun sa hospital, proud na proud siya, e. ‘Huy, napapanood kita sa TV,’ sabi niya. ‘Picture nga tayo.’
“So umupo siya, nag-picture kami, ‘tapos after nun, mga 15 minutes, lumabas lang ako para magtawag ng nurse para sa ambulance na maglilipat sa kanya sa hospital sa Manila. ’Tapos wala na, inatake na… Yung sad dun, yung mom ko at saka lahat nung kapatid ko, hindi siya naabutan. Parang mga 10 minutes late sila.”