Friday, November 23, 2007


For the past month or so I toured several apartments in different areas in Makati. I also drove around the streets near my friends’ home so we could be neighbors. These tours were scheduled before I knew my landlady would change her mind and let me stay. I was being kicked out because my landlady’s youngest daughter is getting married in December and would like to move in my apartment with her new husband. Much as I hate to move, I understand my landlady’s decision.

In my apartment-hunting expeditions, I encountered a few interesting if not weird characters. Each apartment I’ve seen has a name in my head so I wouldn’t forget the details.

The blue door. This was located on a quiet street 10 minutes away from my current apartment. The last tenant left the day before I viewed the place, and it was a total mess. The walls were vandalized with coffee stains and pencil drawings---I imagined people throwing coffee at each other and kids suffering from Dysgraphia writing compulsively on every wall. The whole place looked like the former tenants hadn’t cleaned for years! The owner’s son looked at the place disgustingly while giving me a tour. He promised to call me as soon as the renovations are done, or I’ll give him a call in 2 weeks. P8,000/month. Probably yes.

Bella Flores. I’m calling this brand new apartment ‘Bella Flores’ because the owner has a strong resemblance to the actress. Solid doors, great-looking cabinets, nice bathrooms, spacious rooms. The location is good and the compound looks quiet and secure. But she’s asking too much for this 2-bedroom apartment. Plus, there’s an extra fee for parking space. P10,000/month plus P1,500/month for parking. No way.

Yellow. This is an old apartment but newly painted in yellow. There’s yellow everywhere! No kitchen cabinets, the bathroom looks creepy, roaches were all over the walls in the kitchen. The floors are covered in dirty-white vinyl that resembles a hospital floor. Spacious upstairs bedrooms, big windows, nice garden but very narrow pathway to the gate, street-parking. P7,500/month. Probably not.

Mr. Suave. The gate was opened by a man who has the mannerisms of Mr. Suave. He was disgustingly charming, I almost burst out laughing. When I asked to see the vacant apartment, he rubbed his chin like he was analyzing some math problem that would solve this country’s foreign debt. Then he spoke in his Mr. Suave voice that his family has a tradition of not showing the apartment after 6pm. I was itching to ask---are you afraid of vampires viewing your apartment at night? Then he winked at me and said that he’s breaking the tradition for me because I look like a good girl (akala lang n’ya yon!) and went back inside to get the keys.

Anyway, the street in front of the apartment building was a little flooded due to a broken water pipe. There was also a small mountain of garbage for collection, the gate badly needed a paint job---it looked like a tetanus waiting to happen. Inside was a 2-storey apartment with narrow stairs, small bedrooms and a bathroom for midgets. P7,000/month. No go.

Perfect. A secure gate and a porch, 2 spacious bedrooms on the second floor and a huge bathroom, 1 smaller bedroom on the ground floor that can be a home-office, with built-in book shelves. Hardwood floors upstairs, big windows, large laundry area, and a basketball court [which is converted into a parking lot at night] across the street. The owners are a likeable couple. Problem is, the current tenant has not paid rent for 4 months and kept on promising to pay. The tenant said she’s moving out soon but as of last weekend, the apartment has not been vacated yet. The owners are asking me to wait until the current tenant has moved out. P8,500/month. Yes, yes, yes!

Last weekend I started packing the dinner wares, glass wares and books in boxes---I was planning to move out by end of the month. Then my landlady called the other day to ask if I have already found an apartment and if I have given a deposit. I told her about the “perfect” apartment but haven’t given any deposit yet. She asked if I would prefer to stay---I said yes. After all, moving all the furniture and all my stuff is a lot of work. Even when my cousins, friends and neighbors offered to help me move, it’s still a lot to go through. My landlady explained that she wants me to stay because her soon-to-be son-in-law is not very keen on living so near his in-laws. My prayers were answered, after all!

So here I am, taking out the plates and glasses from the boxes in slow motion while watching TV. Fritz looks at me with his hug-me-I'm-yours-look, tongue sticking out, and wags his tail…I’ll wiggle my tail, too, if I have one.


SeƱor Enrique said...

Bella Flores and Perfect seem ideal; the former because of a regular parking spot.

But thank God you need not move out after all.

Unknown said...

Thank God talaga! Kakapagod lumipat. I'm happy that I'm not moving. Thanks, Eric.