Ads by Google

Roughing it in the Philippines

I thought that for today’s post, I’d give you an idea of what it’s like to live in the house we’re renting here in the Philippines. We rented a duplex so that we’d have room to store the boxes of stuff we shipped from Seattle and to have a place for Menchu’s mom and our helper, Grace, to to stay. What does our house have to do with “roughing it”? Well, I’ll explain that in a minute.

The sides of the duplex aren’t equal. The side Menchu and I stay in is much smaller than the other. It’s a little bit nicer because the finishes are newer than the other side, though. We think that’s because this side was split from the other to make a duplex. There are windows in wrong places so it sure wasn’t built this way originally.

Now, about “roughing it”. If you read my last post, you have an idea of my difficulties during the first few weeks we were here. I had a broken toe, I got sick, the heat was really bothering me and so on. I had always said that I wanted to live in a real Filipino neighborhood and not in some big American-style house in a gated community but I wasn’t fully prepared for the way real Filipinos live.

There’s less privacy here. There are dogs up and down the street and they all bark at anyone they don’t recognize (so you can imagine how noisy that is). People have roosters here and they crow whenever they want. We have no hot water. Some mornings we have no water at all. None of these houses are built with cooling in mind. Turn on a cook top burner and the temperature in the kitchen almost immediately jumps to 100-degrees. The electricity goes out nearly every time there’s a lightning storm. It can be out for hours which means no aircon  to take the humidity out of the air. And it’s raining which means the humidity is 100%.

So those first few weeks were rough for me. I can’t say that I’m used to everything yet but I can say that I’m learning not to be such a wuss. We found that we have a water leak somewhere here which is making our water meter spin like Satan is toying it. So we’ve been doing things like turning the water off right after we shower and keeping garbage cans filled with water to dip out of. We even flush the toilet with a bucket. It doesn’t bother me too much because it’s just the way things have to be right now.

I guess I’m learning that “roughing it” is really just living it.

Click through the photos below to see our house. Leave question in the comments if you have them.


roughing it 01

roughing it 01
Picture 1 of 11

Looking through the front door.




3 Responses to Roughing it in the Philippines

  1. Barbara Schmidt McCormick December 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM #

    Well, it is a far cry from the Condo, as is everything else around you, yet it is home. Wait until Menchu gets her touch on it and it will be, if not already, the envy of the neighborhood. She has a touch, that woman! But look who I’m telling!! haha I have lived many places that I loved and called home that my family and friends would have said “You’re kidding right?” I think it is just fine.

  2. Barbara Schmidt McCormick December 7, 2014 at 8:15 PM #

    I had hot water the first place I lived, but only half a day. I know all about flushing toilets with a pan of water from a tub prefilled that morning 🙂 .

  3. Jason Cook December 7, 2014 at 9:04 PM #

    We’d have to install a “spot” water heater on the wall of the shower area if we wanted to heat the water up. It’s just too much expense and hassle right now. An electrician would have to do some improvising to get a heater hooked up and, well, water and electricity don’t mix… 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.