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‘Yero and plywood combo vs. galvanized steel’: Viral memes showcase Filipino space-saving techniques and ingenuity

Filipinos are known for their resourcefulness, or being ‘madiskarte (resourceful)’ and ‘Little John’ can definitely learn a thing or two from us.

Social media platforms, especially Facebook and TikTok, are full of videos showcasing ways to maximize space. These videos often tell the story of someone, referred to by a narrator as “Little John,” struggling with a small area and then demonstrate how to transform it into a larger, more functional space with minimal effort. The process appears smooth and hassle-free, requiring just a few tools.

@homedesign369 Be bold and live on the cliff #roomdecor #housedesign #bedroom #bedroommakeover #homedesign #littlejohn ♬ Morsmordre(莫斯莫多) – Crazy Donkey

@homedesign369 Modern bedroom design #roomdecor #housedesign #bedroom #bedroomcheck #bedroomdesign #bedroommakeover #bathroomremodel ♬ original sound – Home Design

@homedesign369 Coffin room design #roommakeover #roomdecor #housedesign #bedroom #bedroomdesign #bedroommakeover #creatorsearchinsights ♬ original sound – Home Design

In these videos, the dream of turning a small space into a larger one is always achievable, thanks to three commonly mentioned tools: galvanized square steel, eco-friendly wood veneer, and, of course, the expansion screws often borrowed from ‘aunt.’

Due to the nature of these videos, they quickly made it to the list of this year’s trending memes. Check out some examples below.

While these three materials are gaining attention online, Filipinos have actually long been expanding small spaces with their own sheet of galvanized metal used for roofing, known locally as yero, paired with the famous wood veneer, plywood.

In certain Filipino communities, especially among middle-class families, it’s typical to use affordable materials like tin roofing (yero) and plywood for house construction. Instead of concrete and hollow blocks, these materials are also preferred because they allow for easier expansion of living space.

This was pointed out by a Facebook page that claims, “Before Galvanized Square Steel and Wooden Veneers were a thing, nandyan ang Yero and Plywood combo ng mga Pilipino. [Before galvanized square steel and wooden veneers became popular, Filipinos already had the Yero (sheet of galvanized metal used for roofing) and plywood combo.]”

Many Filipino social media users interacted with the post, and some just could not help but agree.


On a more serious note, Filipino architect Oliver Austria recently reacted to one of these trending videos, providing key insights about galvanized square steel and some points to consider.

@llyanoliver Hidden Dangers of Galvanized Square Steel #galvanizedsquaresteel #fyp #constrcution #architecture #tips #foryoupagе ♬ original sound – Oliver Austria

He also shared an interactive but realistic video designing a 75-square-meter lot into a fully functional house for none other than, “Little John.”


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