Three Incredible Years with Home Buddies

Look back at our community's fantastic journey for the past three years.

Three Incredible Years with Home Buddies

Look back at our community's fantastic journey for the past three years.
Photos by Frances Cabatuando and Jowell Juanillo

In 2020, we faced an unprecedented crisis: the global onslaught of a pandemic called COVID-19. In our quest for stability, we clung to the small joys within our reach, chief of them being our hobbies, homes, and connections with people. 

And so, three years ago, Mayora Frances Cabatuando laid the foundation for Home Buddies, which now has 3.2 million members (and counting!) within its Facebook group alone. If someone broke the news back then, we’d have laughed at how absurd that sounded. Now, it’s just one of the many milestones that graced our way this year! 

Let’s take a trip down the last 525,600 minutes and moments so dear and reflect on the milestones that have shaped Home Buddies into what it is today.

Mayora Frances as One of Cosmopolitan’s Women of Influence

Roll out the red carpet for the woman who started it all: our very own Mayora, Frances Cabatuando. Earlier this year, she was named one of Cosmopolitan’s Women of Influence — an accolade she’s more than happy to share with all of us, especially the women of Home Buddies.

“We made Home Buddies bigger than a Facebook group. It is a real community, a safe space on the internet, and a movement that transformed thousands, if not millions, of Filipino homes,” she said in a Facebook post

“I might be the Mayora of Home Buddies, but all of you, especially the amazing women that comprise about 80% of this group, are the real influencers in this lifetime,” she added.

Photo by Cosmopolitan Philippines

At this point, she also realized just how much impact Home Buddies has — and what it means to be the Mayora of it. “It gives me not just the power to make people act on social issues, [but also the] responsibility for me to share something real and unbiased,” she shared with “I always have to do my research and tap experts all the time.”

Home Buddies: The Podcast

Hey, if we spend hours scrolling through Facebook for home finds and best practices, why not have it in a pod format? Social media is excellent, but this is where the free-flowing conversations are. Mayora has invited licensed professionals to tackle more topics in-depth — from architects and contractors to celebrities. 

Thanks to Home Buddies: The Podcast, puwede na tayong mag-Home Buddies while working. Or showering. Or eating. You can now be budoled and listen to in-depth home discussions whenever you like it.

Photo by Home Buddies Podcast

“What keeps me going is the fact that we are improving homes and that we are improving lives together as a community,” said Mayora Frances of the pod. “And this time around, itutuloy natin ang mga makabuluhang diskusyon on air.” 

Don’t be shy — stream Home Buddies: The Podcast on Spotify. Maybe one day, you’ll be featured as one of Mayora’s guests, too. (We’re with you in manifesting your artistang Kapitbahay era.)

Home Buddies’ Birthday Bazaar

Fun fact: Home Buddies just turned three on September 17 this year! Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without throwing a birthday party (of sorts) for our beloved community. After years of being limited to online celebrations, 2023 finally allowed us to take the festivities IRL.

“Isang idea na halos dalawang taon ko nang gustong gawin, sa wakas, naipanganak rin,” Mayora gratefully shared after the event, which was held on October 1 at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay Activity Center. She wasn’t the only one who made it happen, though. 

“‘Di ako mag-isa dito,” she said. “Maraming certified Home Buddies ang nagbuhos ng oras, galing, talento, sipag, at puso para maging successful ang ating event.” 

Photo by Frances Cabatuando

While there are many budols and other kinds of fun and games, the main goal was to unite the community. There were concessionaires, raffles, performances, and even consultations with licensed architects (in partnership with United Architects of the Philippines). 

Talk about a total pasabog moment — you could tell that Mayora and the Kapitbahays poured their blood, sweat, and tears to ensure the event was as meaningful as it was bongga.

Photos by Jowell Juanillo, JL Santiago Aquino, and Melogen Buhian Urbano

During this time, Mayora also realized how deep the impact of the community went. “I’m sure we’ve all affected each other’s lives one way or another,” she said. “We just want to celebrate the community and allow its members to meet in person since it’s now safer.”

Moving Forward with Kapitbahays, One Milestone at a Time

From a page where we bonded over our love for all things home, we’ve become a buzzy “neighborhood.” We’ve exchanged tips and tricks, budols, stories, and highs and lows. And in 2023, mga Kapitbahay, we’re counting our blessings — and they just keep coming and coming. 

“I guess it was out of necessity during the pandemic, and so I created a community [of] people who want to share and learn, so it becomes a more productive exchange in society,” Mayora Frances told 

Photos by Frances Cabatuando, Arnold Padilla, and HalaMom Neth

Three years later, Home Buddies is more than a social media group: It’s a space for people to enhance their homes and, by extension, their lives. And we trust in the kindness of our friends in the community to continue lending a hand in improving all aspects of our lives — starting with our homes.

“You know, I’m just here as Mayora to listen to my Kapitbahays in whatever their interests are. I will always create a space for people to feel included and a space for them to share,” said Mayora.

Advanced Happy New Year, Kapitbahay! We’re excited for the things to come and hope you are, too. If you need budols, tips, or just good ol’ company, hang out on our Facebook group.

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