Some annoying but necessary improvements

What great timing this one project is, right when we are pooling all of our resources in preparation for my giving birth over the weekend. Sigh. But it is indeed necessary to have this emergency house improvement and shell out part of our limited funds because your kitchen sink and downstairs toilet are not functioning properly. All because of lapses of the construction firm that Crown Asia hired and outsourced the building of our home. If only expletives could kill.

Turns out that our septic tank is overflowing because it is not connected to the main drainage system of the subdivision. Tsk tsk. So here we were last weekend. Instead of doing last minute preparations for baby’s birth, and attending my last children’s party, we were stuck supervising some mini but major construction at home. There was no way to put it off. We are glad at least that the only problem we had was the slow draining of the sink and toilet, and nothing more disgusting than that. We could have had regurgitation of God knows what.

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Two years later, nightmares about dealing with them continue. I hope this is the last.

Glenda-fied

The last week was a bit horrible due to the onslaught of typhoon Glenda, but I was still thankful that her effects were more uncomfortable rather than destructive. At least in our part of Cavite. Ever since Ondoy in 2009, I get a little more tensed than usual. Long gone were the days when rains meant extra hours in huddled in bed. The threat of typhoons now meant being on guard all the time.

The good thing is that relevant Philippine agencies now have the right minds to suspend work and school as early as the day before the expected hit of typhoons. We woke up Wednesday morning (around 4:00 a.m.) when power was cut off, and the wind starting to pick up a little. Between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m., the wind was howling and whistling. Debris, G.I. sheets and other what-nots were flying haphazardly and with no definite direction. For a couple of hours or so, we just stared out the window and watch as mother nature wreaked havoc. There was not much to do anyhow as the electricity was still out. My heart went to my throat as several tegula tiles from our own roof began raining down on our front porch.

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I would have thought that these bricks, being made up of cement, are sturdier and safer than regular roofs made up of iron sheets. They were certainly heavy, but then, that’s just how strong the gale was. One hit the trunk of our car causing a dent and a back light, but at least it was just the car. I was certainly glad when the winds let up around midday. This was how our roof looked like afterwards:

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And thankfully, there was not much rain this time compared with other typhoons. When you live in the Philippines, there is always a threat of flooding every time a typhoon hits. Whew to that at least.

However, for several days after that, electricity has been intermittent. Until the weekend, we had to endure long stretches of brownouts. This also meant that water supply continuously runs out. We had to do everything by candle light, especially at night, had to store water in containers and manually flush the toilet, wash the dishes, etc., and had to fan ourselves like crazy. Makes one appreciate the invention of plumbing and not take things for granted. But as I said, I still thank the Lord that this disaster made us uncomfortable rather than in peril.

God bless our home

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Thank you Lord for sending Fr. Boyet our way so he can bless our home. We are now complete and it is up to us to make this dwelling a vessel of your goodness and love.

We are also so grateful for the presence of family and friends who shared this special moment with us. While I got dog tired at the end of the day because I had to get up at dawn to cook for the early visitors who arrived before the caterer did, then I had to play host, my heart simply swelled for the overflowing affection given to our family. I missed some friends and family who weren’t able to come for one reason or another but there’s always next time. We have a lifetime to be with them.

Oh, and we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, too!

My brother’s new crib

To rebound from that very negative but necessary post, I am now writing about the happy, albeit slightly marred, event that got our family together. I have probably mentioned before that my brother and I made plans, and bore into fruition, getting our new homes. The year 2012 was about buying, taking out loans, signing papers, dealing with contractors and developers, monitoring progress, etc. for both of us. We almost had the same headaches throughout the year. And we moved homes at ALMOST the same time (just got there a week ahead). But we were both contented cats when the year turned.

Now, his is blessed, and we plan to follow as soon as we receive a refund from Crown Asia for the bond for installing our window screens and grills, and also as soon as we are done scraping for the rest.

So he got a priest from the nearby church (lucky him, one is just a stone’s throw away but I doubt he will be going there much hehe).

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Not to be outdone, little girl wanted to hold a candle like the rest of us. As expected, the poor thing gave up when wax drops hit her legs.

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I love my house, but I also adore his. While ours follows the specifications of the developer in line with the Italian theme of the whole community, his was made according to his heart’s desire. And I would take a guess that he wanted this to be as airy and maaliwalas as possible compared to our claustrophobic and cluttered home. Both my parents are terrible hoarders and keeps the most mundane things and those that have outlived their usefulness, but that’s another story.

I will not post pictures of his whole house but these are my favorite parts:

The high ceiling that stretches from the living room to the second floor, and with the chic lights

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The stairs, which is also Mischa’s favorite as she spends 4/5 of her time whenever we are here

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The vavavoom red door!

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He also has a huge, huge lawn and backyard, which will be perfect for a pool and a wonderful garden. Next time I will take a photo of them.

Our new habitat

If you’ve been reading my blog, you might have been getting sick of reading my excitement-slash-rants about moving into our new home. Aaaannddddd…finally, we are able to do it! Marami pa ring palpak, jusko Lord!! Iniisip ko na lang dapat maoverride ng kasiyahan ko at ang blessings ni Lord yung kaimbyernahan ko. Thank you!

Mama consulted the elders from the province about the best time to move in, while I sought a Chinese calendar of a friend (although between the husband and I, I don’t think we much Chinese blood 🙂 ) We found a middle ground on the 10th.

We spent most of Sunday cleaning up (we were able to escape from Mischa) and moving things around with the help of a trusted yaya. Figured out where to get gas tank, water, etc. and had them delivered. There is still a lot more work to be done but I thank the heavens that we can call it home, and it is now very livable.

My in-laws came that night from the province, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their support. We did the rituals that both of our families know of–bringing in the light (we had an old-fashioned gas lamp), water in another old-fashioned tapayan, salt, and coins inside a bottle filled with more water. My mother-in-law slaughtered native chicken in our backyard.

And after much delayed gratification, I am plain happy that we are where we are supposed to be in the world. Here is a sneak peek of the place we now call ours 🙂

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So the scheduled move did not happen. Having known my developer and its army of turtles, should I be surprised that everything did not go as planned again? We were supposed to have power before our expected move in last December 1, and we were told a couple of days before that, that Meralco couldn’t make it. Whose fault, I don’t want to know anymore. I can’t remember them keeping any of their promises even if it was agreed upon waaaaay before. Sigh. I think I already have a permanent frown (or scowl) on my 33-year old face thinking of them Crownasia.

imagesHowever, due to some pressure, they did let us tap into the electricity line of the neighborhood-the one the contractors use to build the houses. Techserve of Crownasia told us that a sub-meter will be installed and we will get billed by the electricity we will use. I should just be thankful for this. I just can’t understand why this whole process of purchasing our home got to be like an uphill or tug-of-war battle.

Anyhow, the reason for our rushing to move, not because of a mere promise, but because of the number of items we have parked inside the house. And for that, we need to have the grills and screens installed.