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Tag Archives: Dear Diary

First month into renting independently.

It took quite a shock into my system. Everything used to be free and if I had to shell out, it had to be in the form of contributions like paying up for the electric bill for the current month because the family was encountering a financial lagspike, shopping for groceries because the supplies were low, buying half a cavan of rice, Things like that.

But it was part of being a Filipino Family. We stick together for better or for worse. The only logical reason for a branch of the family to go separate ways was if the house was already too crowded or if they’re not getting along with the other branches.

I started out living off MY ROOM. But it wasn’t my room at first. I used to sleep on the couch in the main house. It was originally intended to be rented out. Was designed for business potential, located up front, right beside the road. I did quite some businesses back then. Opened up a Barber shop with P 1,468.00 as total starting money. (uber budgeting prowess. The sai amount covered everything up including hair cutting tools and implements, the Barber’s chair and even the paint job and a painted sign. Maybe I’ll post a “How to” later.) Closed down after a retard cousin of mine started gambling with my share of the earnings and ended up owing more money than what he started with. I was still studying back then so I just let it close down. I didn’t have enough time to manage it after that.

I also made it into a carinderia. (food store) (note to Mungo Conspirators: No, we didn’t regularly serve mungo. If we did, it might’ve been once or twice through the whole duration… And I didn’t think it was a Friday.) Things were going smoothly at first but as the Filipino custom of mixed crab mentality and by the religious followers of the gaya gaya puto maya cult, as the other women of the Neighbourhood noticed it was me, a “who is this kid” guy, a member of the male species, a college student, who was cooking the main dishes, started moving by their own directives.

The competition kept sampling my specialties, haggling it down to the base price. I, as a fellow businessman, and as a sign of respect to them, the ones who’ve been in this business longer than I was, agreed to lower my price but only to them. Later on, some (or maybe all, who knows?) of them spread a nasty rumor that my dishes were unclean. Of course, since their “loyal friends” weren’t in my clients list, it didn’t really affect my cash flow. My usual clientele were usually those who are living from my house. Yes, they’d walk more than fifty meters just to sample again and again my killer Menudo. Hehehe.

What killed my business was those who set up shop near the highway. It smacked me in the gut. There were days when I won’t even sell a thing. People had too much to choose from so they chose the more logical choice and bought for the ones nearer. I was farthest so that explains it.

After that, I decided to call it quits and get it over with. Can’t bear to lose more than what was lost. I was just a student for chrissakes. I didn’t have the spending power.

Not later than two months after I closed up, the ones near the Highway cloed up too. What cincidence. Hehehe. They couldn’t take the heat.

After that, the room remained empty and was used as storage space. One grey evening, when my dad was at his usual habit of watching TV until the only thing showing was static even though he knew that the couch was officially MY SLEEPING SPACE, I’ve decided to occupy the empty room up front and make it mine. My idiotic Father did say it was mine and I should use it as I see fit.

The next day, I announced to the household, more like declared to the household, that I am occupying the room.

All went well. I had more space than I needed to use so I could entertain guests, held small private parties, finally bought a second-hand Playstation and a cheap VCD Player. Other kids in the neighbourhood got jealous and set up their own room themselves. Hehehe.

It was my private space. I could even say, with all honesty, that I never went into a motel room (with a girl, of course) until after I got married. (Details can’t be shared. Sorry) Why would I rent when I had my ROOM. I had plenty of space to do what I needed doing. There were times when my date had to bring along a female friend as a chaperone, who later got drunk too, and were both afraid to go home drunk. I’ll offer them to stay over since my parents wouldn’t even know in the condition that they had to leave early so nobody finds out.

I was living separately and at the same time, I was still in the same household. It was still part of the house. Only it had a separate door.

Later on, I got married. My wife moved in and it was grand. We had our own little space. After a year or so, my greedy excuse of a father decides he wanted to get some revenue from the ROOM. Forced his way into making us move into the main house. Told us that we would have the MASTER’S BEDROOM, which was fitting only to the Master of the Household or at least to the heir of the household. Having been logically bamboozled into it, we obliged them but with the condition that the revenue from the rent of my FORMER ROOM was to be mine. An extra income so to speak. A brilliant idea from my greedy excuse of a father.

Then the electric bills and the water bills gushed in and we were logically forced to agree that the rent money should go to the bills. It was my contribution to the household. How clever. My wife and I would finally be able to focus on saving up for our dream business.

So I worked my a$$ off thinking of our future. Saved every hard earned penny. And when I finally had enough funds to set up shop, disaster struck. I got mugged leaving me with an injured foot. Was barely able to stand. I lost my job (as explained in the “About the Author” page) then I got kicked outta the house.

Luckily, I found a job which I could do at home that pays better than my former job but required utmost data processing skills and analysis. Sure, it pays better but now I have to face all the bills and expenses.

My wife had to choose a P3,500.00 apartment over a P1,000.00 apartment only because it looked cuter. (And because the neighbours of the cheaper apartment had to be hot GROs. Just my luck.) The extra P2,500.00 might’ve helped much.

We had to shell out every last ounce of savings we had just so we could pay the downpayment for the apartment, the wife’s new refrigerator she really had to have, the new furniture which really had to be the fully upholstered, eye-candy but feels cheap to the arse and sags to the side type and had to be semi-expensive because it was blue and red, the shiny dining table complete with four chairs even though we’re usually just two people in this house, the new curtains she had to change with another one every two weeks, the coffee table which was barely used as a coffee table since the living room had less space than she anticipated but is now being used as storage space for her old magazines, a “Dura Box” for a closet she really needed to buy even though we had one made of wood which my grandmother left me as an heirloom but she needed the new plastic one because it was very cutely blue, a smaller set of plastic drawers, also blue in color, since the first larger one still lacked enough space for my clothes and other stuff. And I also had to procure a computer for my job. Good thing my mother loaned me 25K so I just had to shell out 5k to buy this. (Ok, I know it was a bit expensive but if I was gonna be stuck on a computer for a long time, it has to be worth it.) The good part is that I only have to pay half of what she loaned me in installments. All that and other things I’ve already forgotten. Then the last drop of savings had to be sacrificed for the rent because my employer forgot to give me my wages for last month and had to be on field until last Monday.

Oh, and I forgot the bed my wife bought just because she fancied it. Every time I sleep on it, my lower back hurts. Am I getting old or is that a cheap mattress sold over-priced just because it was branded?

There it went. All my hard work slaving in front of the computer in seemingly endless nights followed immediately by hectic days, down in the drain. My business opportunities, squandered away in what might’ve been more productive. (I had partnership offers wherein the investor is going to shoulder most of the needed initial financial input and I only had to put in my time and effort managing it. Of course, since, he had the money, he had to choose what type of business but I get to choose the location and the equipment. Being not a total noob on business matters, I know I should at least share a good amount to the initial expenses to ensure my partner can’t kick me out that easily. The savings might’ve helped much here.) Hey, I had to survive and I had a responsibility to keep my wife happy.

I had to cut night-outs off from my personal budget and had to ask my wife to reduce my personal allowance to 1/4 of what it was only to cover up for the extra expenses. I had to resort to casual drinking alone, in the house, with my dog as barkeep instead of my former rations of San Miguel Beer on a cozy bar somewhere near where there is soft music and the ladies are friendly.

I even had to ration my prepaid internet to five days a week (sometimes, five days in two weeks) instead of having it every day just to make up. I started budgeting my soda intake so a 1.5 liter bottle would last me somewhere between five days to one week. I know water is far healthier but at times like these, any luxury is very welcome just to ease the pain.

If all that wasn’t enough, the Meralco (electricity) bill had to be almost double the usual amount just because some top hat official sez so. I reviewed the bill’s contents and yes, we still pay for the energy which was stolen through illegal connections. I thought this was resolved years ago? WTF?!?

Now, at budget’s end, I wonder… My contract only lasts ’til the end of this month. Would I get an extension? Would the next contract, of another job type, push through and let me continue the flow of income? Would there be enough readers and followers in this blog to sustain online income if ever I decide to hook me up with one of those online advertising companies? Could I find, in good time, alternative sources of income if ever I don’t get more contracts? Since the rent of MY FORMER ROOM was supposed to be mine and was only taken from me as my contribution for the former Household, would I ever receive my cut again? (That greedy greedy sonova….) Was my father thinking, when he kicked me out, that I would have to endure this at such a vulnerable part of my days? (My foot haven’t fully healed yet. And no, he’s too much into the money to even think about that nor flinch if ever it occurs to him.)

If things get even worse, I’ll have to consider forcing myself to stop smoking even though I owe my life to Winston.

But as the saying goes, we Filipinos are flexible. I know I could get through this phase. The methods on how just hasn’t occurred to me yet. But I’m still optimistic about all this. I’ve never been so close to my dog before and I can see my wife is really happy having me around 24/7.

I’ve finally found enough time to write. I would never have bought a 30k laptop. Now my lappy is a killer! It’s even photogenic!

I am the man of the house. (But of course, there’s only three of us here and one had to be a dog.)

I get to work all night and sleep all day. Woohooo!!! 😀

My wife gets more and more beautiful each day. Must be because she doesn’t see my idiotic Father’s face every morning like she used to.

I got myself a new Girlfriend. That’d make things interesting.

I’ve lost some weight. Its rather slow but it’s getting there… eventually.

I guess I’ll just have to wait ’til my old man kicks the bucket so I’d inherit the old house. Hehehe. We’ll get there… eventually.