Sunday, July 12, 2015

Half A Year in 'Pinas: How's My Life So Far...

Exactly six months ago (January 13),I boarded Silk Air Asia from Singapore Changi Airport and arrived in Mactan International Airport around 1PM ( so around 1PM is officially my six months here after almost five years of being an OFW. Gosh, I have been reading all my January posts and it brings back so many memories! Like how nervous I was and all that mixed emotions I was feeling six months ago.)

It seems like lifetime ago, I'm telling you but gosh... six months lang pa la!

So many things happen in my personal life ( death of Ganni, family drama, house construction, Stark and Pepper... I'm sure I posted everything in this site) that's why six months feels like forever to me.

How's life treating me so far?

FrugalExpat's e-mail came in just in the right time. She has "Balikbayan Questions". Here it is:


Hello Maria, 

Kamusta na?

I have been following your blog since you are back in Philippines. How is it? How are you settling down?

Sensya na if I am 'usyusera' ha. I am asking because I finally decided to go back home in 2019. Still few years away, but I have quite a long list of financial goals to achieve. :-)

I have been away from pinas since 2002 and I guess the average vacation I have is 2-3 weeks. 

I am a bit afraid to settle down because I know it will be a big adjustment for me.  I noticed that when I went home last June. 

When I came back here from Pinas, I felt that I was back at home. This has been my home for more than a decade. 

So I would like to know how is it settling down in Pinas after being an OFW? I want to prepare myself. ( Emphasis added)

I have another question. I am buying also a town house in GenSan. I have never lived in a townhouse ever. 

How is it? Dli ba kapoy na you have a very close neighbor? Just asking and want to know your opinion. ( Emphasis added)

I am still in the reservation fee sa townhosue so I can still let it go if it is not really so pleasant to stay. 



Life here is great but challenging. 

The traffic is horrendous, especially in the old brige (UC's fault!), that's why staying home is ideal, and you can get anything within Mactan area so no need to cross the bridge. I'm glad the proposed third bridge is already approved,though it will be completed in 2018 pa, and my place would greatly benefit from the third bridge construction. So yah.

Life here is great but sometimes boring.

From working like a carabao abroad to being just at home taking it easy and getting lazy, it is so hard sometimes. My blood is craving for going out and getting busy, but I'm stuck at home managing the house construction and minding Stark and Pepper, after all they are just puppies.

Spending wise, I am being careful not to overspend. My house construction budget isn't depleted yet, so that's good. Daily expenses is under control, so that's good as well. If I keep my expenses this low, I could survive three to four years without touching any of my paper investments. But, for the sake of my sanity, I need to get busy with business or I could get work, ideally after house construction, para whatever I could get with my future salary/profit, it would go to my expenses so I won't get to touch my three to four years living expenses/emergency fund. Hey, my monthly budget is only Php 6,500- 7,000 ( yep, that low) so if I could get a job that I like within Mactan area and with salary range within my expenses, I'm good.

First few months here were really kind of hard for me. Summer heat and humidty was brutal but I'm glad it cool down nowadays with the rain and all.

Up until now, I get pissy with saleslady who doesn't give me exact change. Sometimes, I forget about it and wont go back to that certain store. That's why I love shopping at La Nueva Mactan coz they give exact change even few cents more. ( I know, I am promoting La Nueva but I am in love with that store. They carry mostly local stuffs, give exact change, much cheaper than other stores to name a few things I love about that store.)

What it's like to be living in a townhouse?

Safe-wise, I love living in a townhouse. Because of the close proximity with neighbors, it's easy to just shout if ever something happens to you and the neighbors could hear it ( especially with our recent family drama, safety is the top of my priority.) I love our neighborhood coz we have SWAT officers here, lawyers, Airforce, Navy, etc. living among us. Plus, where I live, the homeowner's association officers are super active (they actually just launch a coop, but that's another blogpost) and they are really big on keeping the neighborhood clean and safe.

What I also love about my place is I live right across the basketball court and the playground and soon to rise clubhouse, so I get to see the crowd and, for someone who is mostly alone in the house, that is a plus.

Pray that you won't have a next door neighbor who is insecure and who complains a lot, like the neighbor I have. She is known to complain, from the sound of the dribbling ball ( and the homeowner officer point it to her:  "why did you choose a unit that is across the basketball court in the first place?) I learned how to deal with her by not being overly friendly with her- just hi and hello and that's it. She has some kind of reputation around here so if she complains about anything that involves me and my unit, I just dust it off coz that is just the way she is.

Townhouse is fine starter home if you ask me. If I were to choose another unit, I'd choose this place all over again. I kind of love this place and the neighborhood, plus... the view from my rooftop... BEST.. PLACE.. EVER..



  1. Yay! Parang gusto ko na din tuloy lumipat ng townhouse namin. At first, I thought ayoko din ng may kadikit pero tama nga ung safety kasi magkakadikit so madali lang sumigaw. But my mom wanted a corner house, kasi mas malaki daw. Un nga sana kung sino man magiging kapitbahay namin sana yung makakasundo namin at ayaw na ayaw ko sa lahat eh ung tsismosa. He He He


    1. yah, maganda yung corner house and end unit kasi malaki talaga. Lucky I got an end unit!

  2. Let me share my experience of living in a townhouse. i got my townhouse as well for 15yrs and fully paid na pero di aq ang nakatira, my bro and son ang temporary tenant dun at umuuwi lang aq once a yr as transient lang. My hometown is in Mindoro and my townhouse is located in Dasma Cavite.
    Living in a townhouse is nice kc maliit lang ang lilinisin at matipid sa kuryente. Ok din if you're happy with your neighbors and location. In our case, i like the place kc sakto lang ang layo sa main gate, clubhouse at basketball court ( ayoko kc ng maingay) behind our unit is still a rice field kya d feeling crowded.
    Sa neighbors naman, my left side is a war freak at greedy sa space, while my right side naman ay me tanim na guava at nakakasira na sa bubong namin at araw araw ay kadaming dahon na di naman winawalis, pero madaming time tumambay at tsismosong tao pa.
    No parking space, kaya sa kalsada nagpa park ang mga residents na minsan ala na madaanan ang sasakyan.
    On the bright side, convenient sa lahat ng lugar – walking distance sa Central mall, La Salle at madami pang skul, church, palengke, sakayan, atbp.
    Fifteen years ago, I thought I would like to spend my retirement age dun, I didn’t realized na pag naging crowded na din pala at nakumpleto ng residents lahat ng units, d ko na pala gusto ganung environment. Buti na lang d ko pa sya pinaayos ng bonggang bongga at good decision na magpagawa ng haus sa Mindoro - me space ang kapitbahay at dogs, ska me malawak na backyard for my organic plants.
    Sorry, ang haba na ng comment q ☺
    I’m happy for you girl at happy ka sa new space mo – just sharing my thoughts and experience…

    1. Yah, you are right about magiging crowded talaga. For me naman, this house isn't the house I'll grow old with. Parang starter house lang din sa akin ito and near lang sa city. Sa province talaga ako mag reretire and maybe, rental lang ito na bahay down the road.

  3. Replies
    1. Bitin, right?

      I can't really answer for you until you experience what it feels like to be living in the Philippines once again. It depends talaga sa mindset ng tao. Some loves it here, some don't. For me, this is home and I don't regret going back.

  4. Kami naman, may 9 months na kami and so far ang pinakaproblema ko lng talaga is the weather and sometimes (dahil sanay akong ang maingay lang nuon ay yung call for prayer sa Mosque) yung noise pollution dito sa area namin.

    I appreciate the neighborhood kasi mabait naman pero yung common areas ay parang nagiging extension na ng bahay ng isang nakatira dito.

    Since we have tried living here in the city, we are thinking of moving out to Silang where the air is cooler (yun talaga ang purpose). Pero naisip ko din yung sinabi ni Madamme M na baka maging crowded na dun sa napili naming location, unsure kami but we will cross the bridge when we get there.

    So far, going home here in the Philippines is a different experience. Minsan hahanap-hanapin mo ang nakasanayan mo sa abroad pero if you are willing to rediscover your place, the country, I guess you will learn a lot. Parang refresher.

    Inuulit ko, grabe the weather. Mahirap ang nakatira sa apartment style na bahay.... walang air circulation :(

    1. Ang pinaka na miss ko sa abroad is ang library!!! Pero other than that, I don't regret coming home for good.

  5. Gusto ko ring tumira sa town house in the near future that's why I am now taking a baby step to secure emergency fund. I hope eventually makapag ipon din ako para makabili ng lot/house of my dream! God bless po and congrats kasi 6 months ka na dito sa Pinas!

    1. You will get there eventually, Cindy!

      Thanks for dropping by. :)


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