Category: Life

Moving to a new apartment

I’m getting tired of moving apartments. I’m hoping that the next time I have to change abodes again, it would be to a more permanent place, something I could call mine. The hassle of finding a new place to live in, packing, moving, and unpacking has been getting traumatic. Each time I have to move to a new place (or sometimes, a new job from one that I loved a lot) I feel like a part of me is being ripped out.
I realize that it is about time to take seriously the idea of owning a piece of real estate, be it a house-and-lot in some far-flung corner in the outskirts of greater Manila area or a shoebox masquerading as a condo unit in the city. At least, then I wouldn’t have to worry when the landlord cuts short our lease because she f*cked up or has to raise our rent. Now I realize, too, that I’m only throwing away money by paying to stay at a place that I eventually have to give up anyway. Then again, what could I do–owning a place in Manila is very expensive, and I’m not the only one among my peers who bemoans the cost of having an apartment signed after one’s name.
So yes, I’m seriously considering buying (well, it’s more of down payment + years of mortgage), an apartment. Much as staying in the previous condo was very practical in terms of rent, not having to pay dues and utilities, and the fantastic location of our building, I chose to move out when another issue came up. I wouldn’t elaborate what it was; it’s pretty useless. With barely four weeks to comb through online ads for apartment rentals, schedule viewings, shoring up available resources to meet the required three months’ worth of down payment and advance fees, we were lucky (blessed!) to find a large enough apartment just two blocks away from the previous building.
I was getting terribly depressed over having to move again, but I guess it was all a blessing in disguise. I’m back in the same neighborhood after roughly 31 months. I like this space better, and the location is just great; it’s far from the main road, so I don’t have to deal with the noise pollution from motor traffic and the wails of karaoke singers from the neighborhood; it’s relatively safe (this is Manila, so you can’t feel 100% safe); the unit is not very exposed to dust and is infinitely easier to clean and maintain. On the down side, I have to walk a block to find a cab to work every morning, take a ride to get to the nearest supermarket, and get used to a less than spectacular view of the city from my 9th floor window. There is no Mercury Drug or 7-11 downstairs either, so there won’t be any late-night runs for snacks and alcohol. The building doesn’t have its own swimming pool where I could take a couple of laps for free to escape the summer heat, but it’s still okay. In the nearly three years that I spent at the other building, I must have visited the poolside about five times. I like the new place.
I remember that when we first moved into this neighborhood four years ago, better things did start happening: extra writing assignments, major trip abroad, creature comforts. Looking back, I don’t think anymore that breaking up with my then-boyfriend was such a bad thing although I wasn’t too happy when it happened. When I first stepped into this place on our viewing, it all felt right. We had viewed about half a dozen places for rent, and all seemed wrong, from the size of the room (makatiapartments.com), the insane noise (GA Tower along EDSA), possibly problematic set-up with flatmates (Kingswood), etc. And then out of frustration and desperation, I dialed this apartment owner’s number, a nice Chinese Filipino lady, who eventually jumped at the chance to show this place, and voila–I knew right away that it would be my place for at least the next 12 months.
A week before we moved, I held a garage sale not necessarily to make money, but more of to dispose a lot of our stuff that we were not using anymore or I knew wouldn’t fit into the new place. On the first day alone, sales poured in and I managed to make enough to purchase a new ref, haha! and cover the lipat-bahay fees for moving a ton of stuff.
On moving day, my landlady even gave me a moon cake as a welcome gift (and maybe a good luck gift, says my sister) while we were signing our contract and I issued 13 months’ worth of PDCs. Thank God, I deposited funds into my checking account, and although I did not put money into it as frequently as I should have, I found out that I had more than the amount that I needed for deposits and fees. That’s the beauty of not counting your money in the bank, sometimes. Only sometimes.
Now, let’s see if things would work out as well as they did before we moved to Kingswood. Who knows! I believe in luck and preparation and opportunities. And much as I try not to be too religious, there is also a part of me that believes that perhaps there’s a higher power that is truly in control of everything, and I just have to find my way through.

Reality, it permeates

http://www.4shared.com/embed/82646583/44298bb1

TURPENTINE
Brandi Carlile

I watch you grow away from me in photographs
And memories like spies
The salt betrays my eyes again
I started losing sleep and gaining weight
And wishing I was ten again
So I could be your friend again

These days we go to waste like wine
That’s turned to turpentine
Till it’s 6 AM and I’m all messed up
I didn’t mean to waste your time
So I’ll fall back in line
But I’m warning you, we’re growing up

I heard you found some pretty words to say
You found your little game to play
And there’s no one allowed in here
And just when we believe we could be great
Reality it permeates
And conquers from within again

These days we go to waste like wine
That’s turned to turpentine
Till it’s 6 AM and I’m all messed up
I didn’t mean to waste your time
So I’ll fall back in line
But I’m warning you we’re growing up
Yeah…

Oh…Oh…Oh…
I know we’re okay
Oh…Oh…Oh…
I know we’re okay 

These days we go to waste like wine
That’s turned to turpentine
It’s 6 AM and I’m all messed up
I didn’t mean to waste your time
So I’ll fall back in line
But I’m warning you we’re growing up

What would have been your answer to that major, major question?

Since yesterday, I’ve been trying to come up with a plausible answer to that “major, major” question. How would anyone have answered that question without crucifying herself in front of the world? Would something like, “I cheated in 9th grade” or “I shop lifted at 15” suffice? It is a loaded question that easily assumes that by 22, Venus Raj had already committed serious mistakes that needed some form or another of correction. People make mistakes, but when you have not even lived well enough to see life’s dark, ugly side, it’s unfair to assume that you are just like the next girl who stumbles out of the club at 4:00 AM and goes about town without her underpants. And it’s unfair either to assume that a woman in her 20s must have already seen life’s ills whether in spite of or because of her poverty. Give the lady a break!

I don’t like the question, as much as I don’t like being asked, “What is your biggest weakness?” or “Bakit hindi ka pa nag-aasawa? (Why are you still single?)” Of course I have a couple of weaknesses, but why should I tell a complete stranger about them? At the end of day, maybe these questions don’t necessarily beg for honest answers, but a proper approach. What is my weakness? Standard answer goes from shoes, to coffee, to Roger Federer, to being totally OC about certain things. What is my biggest mistake? I could tell you but then I would be forced to hunt you down and kill you. I guess Raj’s mistake was that she couldn’t explain in English that she had been surrounded by a supportive and loving family who helped her avoid having to make huge mistakes. 

Dammit, Bill Baldwin, you should have thrown that question at your wife because for sure she would have a number of answers. And what the heck, Evan Lysacek? Is this a third-grade Q & A?

Sidenote: Has it been really that long since Wilson-Phillips made it big? I remember that at one point in high school, they were my favorite girl group, and I could go on for hours listening and singing to You’re In-Love, Release Me, and Someday I’ll Be (Next to You). She looks nothing like the Chynna I used to admire on MTV.

The bitch that was Basyang

As usual, gigantic billboards along major roads were toppled by typhoon. Reuters photo.

It started to rain like there was no tomorrow about an hour before I was to log off work yesterday, so I thought I would stay a bit longer to avoid having to get drenched in the deluge. Plus, I brought a laptop to work, and the thought of hauling it under the rain didn’t sit well with me. By the time I finally got into a cab, the sky cleared, so I assumed that the rest of the night would be just a little bit cooler and that I might be able to fall asleep early.

A little before midnight, however, rains poured once again and winds began to howl outside my window. It lasted for about half an hour, and again, I thought that the worst was over. Little did I know that the bitch that was Typhoon Basyang would be marching in with her rains and 120-kph winds a little later, toppling trees and billboards, and causing massive brownouts in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

It didn’t help that my room happened to be on the upper floors of the condo and the whole building seemed to vibrate from Basyang’s winds that to my mind blew twice as hard and as strong as what PAGASA wanted us to believe. The winds were so strong, glass windows of some units were smashed in.

Basyang was a bitch; Basyang was bad, mean bitch. She was scary, and she didn’t allow me to sleep until the early hours of the morning. Just my luck, water managed to seep through the gaps in my windows which caused a mini puddle to form on my bedroom floor.  Ironically, because Basyang did kept me up, I managed to save my Macbook from possibly getting hosed with water that first crawled on a concrete slab where aircon should have been fixed and dripped onto my computer table.

So off I went to move things around in my shoebox of a bedroom, got an ice chest to catch incoming water, gathered plastic bags and whatever rags and old towels I could find to plug in the gaps. The whole drama lasted for hours as I kept vigil to make sure that the puddle that had formed in my room would not turn into a river.  I’m glad it did not.

Right now, the whole place smells of rugby (yes, pare… cool!) because I squeezed a pack of Vulca Seal all over the gaps where water seeped through. I hope it will hold should another typhoon hit Manila and attempt to rearrange my windows. And I hope that power will be restored by Meralco in our block soon.

I’m thankful, however, for small miracles. MacFed is okay. My sister made it to her night shift safely before Basyang landed. The building has been running its generators since before Basyang blew her darnest last night, thus I have electricity to switch on a couple of electric fans, cook food, watch TV and turn on the computer. We have water and I still have my very slow Internet connection. I managed to buy two dozens of candles before supplies ran out.

As of this writing, more houses in the neighborhood are getting their electricity back.

Small miracles.

Utopia?

Wouldn’t it be great if people only married because of love and not because of social pressure or for financial security; or to believe in a God because of spiritual conviction, not because of fear that if you didn’t have a religion, your soul would be doomed in the pits of hell once you left this earth; or to be in a profession where you excelled not because you needed to make money but because you loved it and were good in it? Denmark sounds too good to be true, but then again, the country has consistently ranked as one of the happiest in the world.