Friday, February 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I’ve said it before. There is a practical function behind the Filipino’s tendency to keep close family ties. By nature, we really do value family but I think there is also a social reason behind this. Because we live in a poor country, we each need other people to survive. Families help individuals survive economically. Living with my in-laws despite my being vertically and horizontally grown has allowed me to survive.

I am more fortunate than others because I do not have blood-sucking in-laws who do not mind my obvious lack of marbles. To foreign eyes, this Filipino way of life may seem like mutual parasitism especially for some unfortunate foreigners who marry into families that make them feel like dispensers of state benefits. In my case, my in-laws have only really provided me with the rare opportunity to learn how to care and share. 

I am still my parent’s daughter though and their value of independence, at the expense of mutual survival and family affection, is stronger in me. Although I appreciate the family aspect of Filipino culture, I still feel the desire to call my own shots. Hence, my current search for my own house. As things are going, I might as well have dug a burrow and called it home.

The most affordable option in one subdivision close to the city is a structure that is only 20 square meters large in a 40 square meter lot. I’ve been to farms with pig pens bigger than this. You can forget about interior divisions too. The kitchen, living room and dining area all share the same space. The worst part is that one wall is also the wall of your neighbor. That means your neighbors can practically smell how much your laundry stinks and hear every syllable above a whisper. It’s like having your very own wire tap. 

Surprisingly, this wholly unattractive package will cost me P11,500 (+/-$287) a month for fifteen years! That’s more or less an entire month’s salary for an average earner. Sure, I can afford that if I don’t eat, drink, bathe and sleep for 15 years!

There are more affordable options in subdivisions in forsaken nooks that are miles away from work, school and civilization. Affordable houses in these areas are made by filling pre-fabricated slabs with cement like filling a waffle machine with waffle mix. A few years ago, several of these houses in one village took it upon themselves to take a ski ride down the slope over which they were built and land on the houses below in a heap of rubble and an assortment of rejected appliances from Japan and Korea.

It’s depressing that many Filipino families simply can’t afford decent homes. I think I’ll go dig my burrow now.


  1. weird ba ko kung sasabihin kong ang dream house ko ay sa itaas ng bundok na maraming nakapaligid na ang house na iyon ay gawa sa bamboo and nipa? hmmm...but i really really want that house!

  2. kung weird yan di ako rin weird kasi yan din ang gusto kong house eh pag retire ko :)

  3. You wanna know what's my dream house? nothing too much.

    A 2 or 1 story house with a conservative interior. I don't like big houses especially if they put too much unneeded distance between bedrooma dn refrigerator.

    Next, that house has to be fronting my own vineyard and near it, a japanese style covered court good for sparring or naything i desire with a man made waterfall about 7 ft tall next to it.

    To wake up on a cold day and just lay in bed tucked in would be the life I wanna live. Thats all!

  4. hahaha. the interior may be conservative but wow, what an exterior! vineyard and waterfalls! hehehe.

    hey ur back. :)

  5. Back not gonna blog for a while if not ever... hehe

  6. gasp. huhuhu. that kinda hurts. i don't know why. sigh.......

  7. Awww... u care for me... guess that hollow space in your chest still has a little bit of matter. :-)

  8. now that made me smile. hehe. you have a way of getting into nerves and then into hollow holes. before i knew it i already had a full infestation. hehehe

    yeah yeah i care!

  9. Mukhang pare-pareho tayo nila bunso ng dream house ah.. Gusto ko din yun eh... Galing mo talagang magsulat Sirok. Kabusog sya talaga!!! Pagpalain ka...

  10. salamat Z. ang bait mo talaga. hehe

  11. My dream house is a place where I can feel at home. That's enough for me. Though a place with a koi pond wouldn't be so bad. hehe.

  12. wow, yeah, koi are ultra expensive :)


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