Nuffnang Ads

Another Year, Another Home : The Insidious Apartment B

We've been living in Apartment B for more than a month now. It was quite an adjustment but not as difficult as moving from my in-laws to Apartment A.

There's enough space for a bed and a cabinet, and nothing more. It's really basic. At least there's more privacy. Three days were spent just moving our things and cleaning the two units. We managed to fit all our clothes in one cabinet, drawers and an open clothes rack. There's also a loft meant for a single bed that we turned into a storage area. There's a small kitchen but I don't think we could manage to cook in it. The toilet is larger here than in Apartment A. The floor has ceramic tiles, a much better finish than in Apartment A.

This is the size of a housing unit within Metro Manila for the budget of 5000 PHP (about 100 USD) monthly. Electricity and water bills are not yet included. If you think this is small, google how apartments in Hong Kong look like.

This is how Apartment B looks like if your soul were to hover above the unit. *creepy thought*
(This image is made through SketchUp.)

We're okay with the space being small. Our main problem is the heat. Our window is opposite the neighbor's window-type air conditioning. When we open that window, all the heat exhaust from their AC comes in our house! Needless to say our first night in Apartment B was hell!

The very next day we thought of ways to cool the room. Here are some of the options:
  • Install a window-type airconditioning unit. (This is way off our budget. Scratch the idea.)
  • Sabotage the neighbor's aircon unit by dropping a heavy object on top of it. (I don't like the consequences of this.)
  • Make a low-tech low-cost air cooling system out of frozen bottled water. (This is the best solution!)

Our solution is simpler than this. We froze four 1.5 liter bottles of water, put them in a styrofoam ice box, then placed the ice box in front of the fan. Problem solved.

With the heat under control there is one more thing we needed to fix - the suspicious house scent smell stench.


Before attempting to describe the house smell, let me describe the previous occupants of Apartment B. We call them the Barako Boys. (That's only when we talk about them... They don't know we call them that.) They're a group of five boys probably in their mid-twenties; actually nice guys except some of them smoke. As expected with a bunch of guys living together, they don't care much about cleanliness or hygiene. They're not conscious about dirt or unpleasant smells. I guess the measure of manliness is how less you care about girly stuff like a nice clean room.

Barako is a Tagalog word that means masculine, macho, or simply pertains to manly qualities.

It is not any of our business what our neighbors do with their apartment units as long as they're not illegal, but whenever the Barako Boys open the door and the foul stench comes out it becomes a problem. According to my husband, the stench is beyond what durian lovers can tolerate. It's a mixture of sweat, smelly socks, dirty laundry, cigarette butts, all preserved within the apartment all week only to be released on weekends. I don't know how a skunk smells but I'm assuming it's close to that.

When the doors are closed, Apartment B is just like any other unit in the building. You'll never know of the treacherous odors it has inside.


When my father bought a house and lot near Makati CBD, he only allowed female bed spacers kasi mabaho raw kapag lalaki ang titira sa bahay [the smell of all-male bed spacers living in the house disgusts him.] I understand that now.

When the Barako Boys left, we immediately made a down payment for their apartment unit. As soon as I got there to make inspections, I lighted a scented candle and prayed for the awful stench to go away... Thankfully, after a week of burning oils and scented candles the spirit of unacceptable manly smell left the apartment. That stench still haunts me today.


Technically, our address is now at Apartment B but we're only bed spacing there. It's just our bedroom. Since we still rent Apartment A, it's where we cook, eat, and do laundry. My office space is still there when I need to use it, but I spend more time in the store to assist my husband. Apartment A is still sinister, by the way.

Additional space, additional responsibility. We moved to make room for business to expand. This may be why we're not parents yet. Maybe we'll focus on business this year and see how it goes. Maybe I should give the architecture academe a shot. Who knows?

This is already Part 3!

You can read Part 1 here: 

and Part 2 here:


  1. The apartments are the best option for traveling. You have more freedom both in schedules and in meals.


    1. I totally agree! Once business is stable, traveling is the next thing for us! :)


Popular Posts