Our Small House In The Philippines

Many people like to show off the big house they have built in the Philippines but we have gone the reverse and living in a small house. A one bedroom home we built originally as an internet cafe. There are some major differences that we did on the construction that people don’t normally do. Main one being there are only two windows in the property except for some exterior glass blocks we had installed. Originally this was to cut down on the light for the internet cafe but now its actually improved quality of life quite considerably as I can sit in the bedroom/office and pretty much hear no noise. Which may not seem a big thing for many people unless you have had to put up with band practices on a Sunday, volleyball and basketball opposite, kids constantly making noise on the road, Videoke, gambling until 3am, dogs always barking, roosters from 4 directions and the revving of motorcycles pretty much every day. I hate disruptive noise and having a place of sanctuary where I can just chill out in peace is something I am more than content with.

Add to that the house is generally cool throughout the day and feels cool when you walk inside without any air conditioning being on. We do put it on at night but generally its whispering here rather than the constant running it was doing at the other house. The big question is then is it cooler to have no windows than it is to have many? I know upstairs the windows allow airflow in one side of the house and out the other but downstairs do that you will get a mouth of road dust and constant noise. Bit of an odd one as in theory it should build up with heat due to the concrete hollow block walls. At the same time we have a 2m overhang on the roof at the top, the apartment above to give us shade and I also planted some fast growing bushes along the wall to give some wall cover. But even that shouldn’t in theory make it as cool as the place naturally is because 2 of the walls get a lot of sunlight during the day yet very little seems to affect the building.

Big question is will the electric bill come down next month! We have started to see it getting up towards P6,500 a month which should actually be in reverse due to the apartment upstairs being empty and the house downstairs no longer housing the internet cafe taking 10 PCs off the electrical grid. So what is sucking up all the electric? We do have 2 fridges and a freezer plugged in but I can’t believe they are costing that much in power and a few PC’s besides that nothing that really burns electric.

Should have moved in here months ago to be honest as the quality of life is a lot better in here compared to the last place. Now before you start thinking I am just grumpy here are a couple of things that happened at the last place. Someone got puppies and decided to tie them up, where? Outside my kitchen window so when they whined all night and during the day I constantly got it travelling through the house. Different person then thought it was a great idea to add roosters to the mix and we ended up with 12 roosters on two sides of the property for that early morning wake up call. Having glass bladed windows works fine for air but not for stopping this sort of noise. Then people would generally come and play billiards above the house (there was a 1st floor billiard table above us) which normally resulted in lots of shouting and the dropping of balls onto a tiled concrete floor. This resulted in every vibration of the ball bouncing travelling through the entire building.

So as you can see moving made a hell of a lot of difference as I can sit here and be bothered by nobody most of the time. Having an afternoon nap is also possible (not getting old but generally up unto the small hours working online).