Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy One Month... Really Thinking About Our Home Now

This week marks a whole month of real living here in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

The kids and finally feel that the idea of settling down and building our roots here is REAL.  

I knew Rene was a bit nervous about uprooting us all even if we fell in love with this place last year.  Now, it feels like he already knows that the kids and I love it here and would not want to live anywhere else.  He just had to hear the answer to one simple question,"If I did not work for this company, would you still want to live here?"

These past few months, I have been constantly hinting that we immediately sit down and plan our next moves --- Let's get a car and a house NOW.  I already know how much shipping all our furniture from Manila would cost, and we need to get stabilized NOW, as the kids need their own space NOW.  I want to cook tinola and malunggay soup and steamed fish and bake cookies and squash bread AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! 

But Rene has been very cool about it, and has been taking his time... being pensive, and thoughtful, and careful.  I am more impulsive, which is also why he weighs everything many times.  He does not want us all to jump in and dive into this place just because he works here and we like it.  He wants to see that we want to be here, and that we love the city and we know what we were going to do here.  The picture of us living here day by day had not been completed in his mind.  

Today, we viewed a bungalow not too far from where he works.  It was a small version of our house in Manila. The kids excitedly ran around opening doors and decided which of the rooms will be their theirs.  Rene was quiet the whole time and I was tempted to think that he did not really care for the house, or perhaps he was distracted about work and his mind was not really in what we were doing.  But later in the day, he narrated to me his calculations and conclusion that it would be cheaper for us to just find a bigger lot and build a house which we would design ourselves.  I was relieved and realized that we had reached a milestone.

Also this week, we talked about how our house will look.  Cement, wood, pawid, bamboo?  I wanted it all to be all white with a native thatched roof and big wooden framed windows. Elise said she wanted a house that "looked poor from the outside, but looked beautiful in the inside."  Rene agreed with her - "Let's not attract attention." Then I wanted a bamboo paneled house (concrete inside) with stained glass windows and a high roof.

Later that day, Elise and I planned out the layout of our dream house.  She even sketched it out for Rene to discuss with him later.

The entrance door would open up into the sala/living room.  On the right would be the kitchen, and on the left, the dining room. A staircase would go up from the living room to the second floor, where there will be D.M.R. (Daddy and Mama's Room), and a Music Room/Library to the right of it.  Elise's room would be connected to our room, and Nacho's room would be connected to her room. Below their rooms would be a S.A.C.(Sewing, Arts and Crafts room).  A garden would open up from the other end of the living room.  Nacho wants a tree house in the garden with monkey bars and a slide and a tire swing.

The 2 high roofs would be two attics - one for storage and the other one for the boys' den and game room.  Daddy will finally have room for his billiard table and a place to put all his graphic novels, comics, magazines, CDs and hoarded wires.  Oh wow. 

I also want solar panels, lots of skylight and large windows to let the breeze in.

The arts and crafts room would have a low Japanese-style table and we would sit on the cushions on the floor. There would be shelves and shelves of paper, ribbons, sequins, pins, glue, different kinds of tape (and would probably look like a stationery store!)  We would have a sewing corner where we would put the sewing machine that Lola Meldy gave us.  She still has to teach me how to work it.  We would have a mural on the door and walls.

Elise's room wants her room to be painted light pink with yellow polka dots (the wall colors and designs change once in a while). She wants her room to be like a little house.  When she gets up from her curtained bed, she would like to sit on a low round table with about three other chairs where her dolls would sit (or where Nacho would sit when he visits).  She described her little room to be like a small studio apartment, with a pretend built-in kitchen,  a counter for her cooking toys, and a pretend fridge..... And a small desk and some shelves for her favorite books.  (Most of our books will be in the library.)

And I want a nice range with a very good oven where I can bake muffins and cookies and lasagna and roast at least 3 chickens simultaneously.

I explained to Elise that we would have to build a small house first with the basic kitchen, bedroom, living room and dining room.  She and Nacho might have to share a room for a while.  Then we would expand the house as we go along.  We have to save a lot so we can complete the house faster.  She happily understood, just as long as she and Nacho would have a tree house and tire swing right away, even without the monkey bars and slide. 

By the way, they also both want puppies that look like these ones we met last month on the way to Aborlan.

Before we left Manila in January, I also invited my parents to come and live with us.  So, there will be one extra room with a separate entrance connected to the house.  That way I can help Mama take care of Papa, who is quite sick and needs a lot of support. 

My dear sister-in-law, Lisa, was right. She sent me a heartwarming message a few weeks ago when I wrote her about our house search.

"Finding the right place to build a house is one of the most important things you  have to decide on. It's where you will root yourselves, build your lives and nurture it. It needs a lot of prayer--to find not just a piece of property, but the one that God has chosen for you---the right one. The one that will make you say, "I'm so glad we live here." Pretty much like finding your life partner, I guess.

I wish you all the best in your search. I'm sure the right one is just waiting for you." 

1 comment:

  1. Low key homes are cool especially when you walk in with full of surprises. I agree with Ana and Ben, a home that does not attract attention...low profile. Your home designs/ideas sound pleasantly inviting. If, I were to do it all over again, definitely design my own home. Don't forget fruit trees :-).