Thursday, April 8, 2010

The House Search Continues...

Last week, at 5:00P.M., a real estate broker paid us a visit.  Rene happened to have a little free time, and so we thought we'd take a look at two properties before the sun set that day. 

We saw a 333 square meter concrete property in Libis, Puerto Princesa, near the provincial capitol.  It had a 200 square meter bungalow on it, and it was cemented all around.  There was not a single green, nor brown surface anywhere on the ground. 

If the owner of the house would like to have a garden, he would need to jackhammer through six inches of cement to get to any soil. Or he could just pour garden soil on the concrete, but that would make the garden higher than the house. It was also pricey for a three bedroom, 1 bathroom, 4 car garage. Elise and Nacho loved it, though. They were already thinking of biking around the perimeter without the hassles of uneven ground, stones or sand.  They circled the place, and happened upon a lady shampooing her hair under a faucet at the back of the house!  Only in Palawan!

Our second stop was at Abanico.  I immediately liked the name. Abanico, which means "fan", sounded laid back and breezy.  It was a 1,290 square meter corner lot that was a stone's throw away from the house of the owner of Ka Lui, the nice restaurant in Rizal Avenue.  It was a good place to start a home, since there were several neighbors already living there.  As we drove away, Rene spotted another lot overlooking the sea, and he sighed heavily,"Dyan ko gusto!" (loosely translated as "That is where I want!")  Luckily, there was a sign on a stick saying it was for sale!  The van driver stopped so I could put the number in my phone.  Made a mental note to call later to inquire about it.

We hurriedly drove to a beachfront property near the airport, while there was still some light. The sun's face was halfway into the western horizon.  But in the east, the moon was getting comfortable against the blue eastern sky. In ten minutes, it would be night time. 

One hectare with a boundary of white sand! Very expensive, it was a whopping 25 million. Hahahahaha! Why did we even look at it? And besides, I am super scared of pirates....

But the place was filled with coconut trees, making one of my favorite sounds in the whole world - the swishing of the leaves with the wind, like they were sweeping the sky.  The first time I heard that sound was in Caleruega, when we were checking out the church for our wedding in 2002. I never forgot how that sounded.  Here, in Palawan, I hear it a lot when we eat out, or walk outside.  There are so many trees, no matter where you go.

The sun disappeared completely and it was definitely evening.  Super dark.  We were shown a lot in San Jose - 1,700 square meters. Since there was no light, I do not even remember how it looked like. We would have to go again during the day.  Rene's workplace is also in Barangay San Jose, so this might be a good place for us to stay.

We visited Sta. Monica next. It was a 1,000 square meter lot on the main road, very clean and on a rolling hill. Not too steep, just about 10 degrees - a tiny incline that is hardly noticeable.  It was right on Mitra Road, very beautiful... but was very expensive and way beyond our means.  Aloha House was next door. It's an orphanage licensed by the DSWD which runs an organic farm too. They also sell fresh herbs and other products.

There was one more place our broker wanted to show us.  Fantastic view, he said.  On a hilltop!  We followed the wide concrete road that turned into a dirt road that got narrower and narrower.  The lamp posts were getting farther apart and they were eventually replaced by posts with long fluorescent bulbs. A few meters later, we seemed to enter a pitch black forest and the van's headlights were the only lights in the place. The road narrowed into a path that had 4 x 4 tracks and the path became steeper and steeper that the van was obviously struggling to go up the hill.  Hmmm... we would not want to live this far away from civilization.  Rene told the broker that we had seen enough and we were not interested to go any further. It was almost funny.

We saw six properties in two and a half hours.  It was already seven thirty, and we were getting hungry.  We stopped by the nearest eating place five minutes away: Baker's Hill.  In thirty minutes, we had our sumptuous dinner under the stars.  It was Earth Hour 2010.

Last Black Saturday, we finally met up with my friend to see The Lot at Baker's Hill.  It was a corner lot of about 1,000 square meters.  Rene's only comment was that it was too flat, and there was no view. The houses that were near it looked like vacation houses, so there were no real neighbors yet.  It was five minutes away from Baker's Hill, where there was a playground for the kids and another five minutes away from the church. I think I got too excited to see it, and am now overwhelmed with the many places we have seen - that is why I do not have an opinion about it anymore.

Next week, we shall visit a developing subdivision ten minutes from here. It's near the market and the church and Elise's new school.  I hope it's on a somewhat rolling hill... about 10 degrees, with a mango tree...

Meanwhile, I will call that number to ask about the Abanico lot overlooking the sea.

And enumerate all our requirements in order of priority.

Then sit down as a family and talk about all our options.

Know what?  That Abanico lot overlooking the sea is growing on me...... will REALLY inquire tomorrow.

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