My Own Tiny House

I’ve seen these Tiny Houses before on cable TV, but that was prior to my interest in living a life of minimalism. A lot of my friends have already bought their own condominium units, built their houses in the suburbs – and here I am, still renting a two-bedroom apartment with my brother. My future is still blurry as it is – I don’t know where I’ll be in the next few years – but I’ve been giving this a thought recently: I want to build my own Tiny House.

The Tiny House movement is gaining popularity worldwide, mostly driven by people who want to live a minimalist life. Minimalism is really changing the way we view a successful life – that it’s not always based on money or the material things we own.  Instead, it’s about being able to free up our life from distractions and focus our attention on the things that really matter. Living in a tiny house has a lot of advantages – but these are the top reasons why I want to live in one:

  1. Less space, more focused way of living. Everything in your tiny house will be useful to you. There is no room for things that do not add value to your life so you think twice about buying things you don’t really need. It’s a lot easier to clean and maintain. And, there are a lot of creative ways now to maximize space in such a way that you won’t feel restricted despite living in such a limited area.
  2. It costs less than a normal house. In the Philippines, you can probably build one for as low as 200,000 PHP (4,000 USD) if you want to really scrimp on it. Of course, you can shell out a bit more money for something more comfortable or in tune with your aesthetics, but it will still be a lot cheaper than a normal house, or a condominium unit. And, I’m not just talking upfront costs, even costs for utilities will be driven down with the level of usage you need in a tiny home.
  3. Lower footprint, environment-friendly.  You don’t need much to power a tiny house. You can install solar panels for the lights and for small appliances. You don’t need a lot of air conditioning to keep it cool (or warm if you live in colder areas). By creating a tiny house, you can have extra space for a bigger garden and really care for it as it will form part of your living area.

I’m not here to convince you to live in one – but after you check out these videos, I’m sure you’ll give it a thought!

This off-grid cabin in the mountains will be my inspiration for my future house in Dalaguete. My mom has a nice piece of land that’s surrounded by trees, just like the one in the video. I loved that this house operates only on solar energy, so you don’t need to pay for electricity.

I loved the big glass window on this one, as well as the rooftop area where you can chill when it’s not too sunny. The living area in this house is also quite spacious, and that bedroom in the loft looks very comfortable.

For urban living, this design is perfect – if I do decide to get my own place in Manila, it would probably look a lot like this. It has to be a bit more comfortable and convenient compared the previous 2 tiny houses above, because I’d probably be coming home stressed after a long day at work (and traffic) and I want to be able to laze around easily.

This tiny house is a bit bigger than the others, but this is perfect for living in the city, and even for a small family. I liked the climbing wall and how they kept away the TV tucked in a corner, away from the living room!

With Tiny Houses, what’s important is that you can really customize it to fit your personality, and how you really want to live your everyday. This last video below is one that I’m really super amazed at – it’s the tiniest tiny house I’ve seen so far. This probably wouldn’t work in the Philippine setting (this one’s in Japan), but the artistry and creativity behind this tiny house just blows my mind.

What do you think about Tiny House living? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

Last week, I turned another year older. At this point, age is really becoming just a number. Deep in my mind and my heart, I don’t feel like I’ve grown up much. Although I can’t deny the following signs of aging:

  • I can’t drink as much as I used to, or my body takes an entire day to recover from a hangover
  • I don’t let the little things stress me out
  • People with too much energy annoy me
  • I prefer staying at home, and I prefer sleeping over any other form of activity

Other than these, I’m basically still the same. I am still immature, I still don’t have any concrete goals in life – at least none that I am adamantly working towards achieving. At this age, I would have expected myself to be more stable, more fulfilled – but I’m very far from that. My mind wanders at night, thinking about what my priorities should be, or what my goals should be. I’m not getting any younger after all.  While most of my friends have gone off and pursued their life’s goals, I remain stuck where I was 10 years ago!

I’m taking my time to figure out what I want to do with my life. But I’m more consciously thinking about it this time, as opposed to just really going with the flow. At the top of my head, I know I want to at least become a better version of myself. In the near future, I want to be able to live a life that’s more focused on the important things, the things I really value. I have to get rid of this chronic laziness that has paralyzed me over the past decade. This chapter of my life has been running for ten years already, and I feel that it’s time to start a new one. I don’t know what that means yet, but I have to take some drastic steps to get there.

In terms of this blog, I have decided to make it simpler by eliminating the “categories” I created. The goal was to force myself to write more, but I felt boxed and limited, writing about things I didn’t really feel like talking about. This was the reason why I haven’t been writing for over a month – there was no motivation, just pressure.

I’ll share more things about my plans, my immediate goals, among other things in the next posts. Birthdays signify a new start, and I will make this year better than the past 10 years combined!

GReeeeN

One of my favorite Jpop groups is a pop rock/hip-hop vocal group called GReeeeN. I first heard of them from the Jdrama “Rookies” where they sang the soundtrack entitled Kiseki (translates to Miracle in English). If you look up the English translation of the lyrics, you will find that the song is perfect for a wedding vow. I love this song so much!

GreeeeN – Kiseki 

Two things you’ll immediately notice are:

  1. Their music video (always) has a story. In fact, it feels like a short film that fits within a song.
  2. You won’t see the group in any of their music videos.

A fun and interesting fact is that the group has never ever shown their face in public since their debut. They are only known by their “stage names” – Hide, Navi, Kuni (written as “92”), and Soh.  At first, this was to protect their personal lives while they were still studying dentistry at a university.  However, even after graduating, they have kept their identities secret because they are practicing dentists. Talk about pursuing your passion together with your profession!

I like all of their songs, but here are the ones on top of my list:

GReeeeN – Itoshi kimi e

 

GReeeeN – Ai uta

 

GReeeeN – Haruka

 

GReeeeN – Hana uta

 

GReeeeN – Rookies (this doesn’t have a music video – but I really love this song!)

You can see that their logo is an image of a sparkling white teeth, true to their being dentists! The four Es represent each of the group members.  You can check out more of their songs here. They have also released a compilation of all their singles – perfect for a road trip!

Weekly recap (May 28 – June 3)

Here are the highlights of the week that was:

  • Crazy karaoke at Megapro with LMN friends. This was supposed to be for Rep’s despedida but she was tired and sleepy. We still pushed through and sang/drank like it wasn’t Monday the next day.

5/28 (Sun) – Crazy karaoke at Megapro.

  • Jolo’s birthday salubong at Rue Bourbon. Got drunk after 3 bottles of alcohol – Jose Cuervo, Johnny Walker Black Label, and Southern Comfort!

5/31 (Wed) – Jolo’s birthday salubong!

  • Jingkay’s 10th year P&G anniversary dinner at Locavore with LMN friends! Food was so good!

6/1 (Thu) – Locavore dinner for Jingkay’s 10th Anniv in P&G!

  • Reiprieza’s samgyeopsal party last Friday evening. This was our “farewell” dinner for Rep as she goes home to Cebu (for good)! Ok, maybe not yet – she’ll be back on the last 3 days of June before really going home for good. Oddly, I don’t have any pictures of this evening because I was busy with the grill. In the evening, we had a few bottles of beer while watching Black Mirror and playing Naruto on the PS4.
  • On Saturday, I didn’t do anything but study Japanese and also watched Samurai Gourmet on Netflix without the subtitles! It was fun, and I actually understood around 60-70% of the conversations. The rest was just gist.

Zubuchon Makati

This episode of No Reservations put Zubuchon on the map not just in Cebu, but in the entire Philippines as Anthony Bourdain dubbed it “The Best Pig Ever”. Cebu is home to the best lechon (roasted pig) in the Philippines. And competition is tough. I’m just happy that Zubuchon finally put up a branch in my second home, right in Makati. That meant a couple of things:

  1. Cebu lechon is just around the corner – I don’t need to fly to Cebu to eat it!
  2. My friends and office mates can no longer pressure me into buying lechon for them, since they can now get it themselves!
  3. This could be the start of more Cebu food coming into Manila

I paid Zubuchon Makati a visit one rainy Sunday evening and it was exactly how I expected it to be. Perfect! Skin is salty and crispy, the meat – juicy and seasoned beautifully.

Look at this piece of heaven

There are some Cebuano goodies for sale too!

There are a lot of other choices on the menu, and these are all the same as the ones they offer in Cebu. I’m so happy I finally have a place to go to when I get homesick. I heard there’s a branch of Tatang’s Lechon also somewhere in Makati – I have yet to try that one out.

So happy this pig flew all the way!

For those of you who want to give one of Cebu’s best lechon a try – head on to Zubuchon Makati at 135 Talisay Street (in between Yakal and Malugay) in Makati. They’re open from 11AM to 10PM – there’s a lot of space but they do get full on peak hours. You may call them at 0956-477-1999 for reservations. There is parking so don’t worry about bringing a car!