Shortly after our civil wedding in 2013, Jet and I moved into our first rental condo in the Philippines. It was very small, only 24.21 sqm really, just a bit bigger than our bedroom in Jet's property in Taytay. Yes, it was so small but it was also the first time we lived together and we experienced a lot of firsts, especially for me--someone who never experienced living in a dorm in college.
And it was our own space and we loved the privacy.
We lived in a one-bedroom unit in SMDC Light Residences, the SM property in front of the MRT Boni Station in Mandaluyong. I was then working for an events company in QC so I only needed to take the train to work. But when I transferred to Accenture in mid-2014, whose office was just a short walking distance from the condo, the move actually made more sense.
When we first moved in, the Light Mall and the front parking for the condo were still in construction. I remember doing our grocery at SM Megamall and having to wait in line for the cab to take us back to the condo. UBER and GRAB were non-existent then, if they did exist, we didn't know about it yet and in general, commuting is horrible in Manila. But now, it's so much better because you can just go down the elevator from your unit and there's an SM Hypermarket at the mall.
But we loved the condo, despite its size. The pools were amazing and when we first moved in, Airbnb didn't exist yet, if it did, very few knew about it. That meant fewer guests using the pools and only homeowners and long-term tenants were allowed. In short, we had the pools to ourselves and we did laps early in the morning. The condo gym, even if it's small, is well-equipped with the basics. I remember taking boxing classes at the gym with 2 coaches who became friends eventually.
When Jet flew to Malaysia for work, I had the condo all to myself for less than a year. I've never had a long distance relationship before, so naturally, I felt lonely. But my work kept me from feeling depressed. I packed my social calendar with weekend dinners and activities with family and friends. Sometimes, I have wine/whine nights with close friends at the condo. It's amazing how 5 people can fit in such a small space, really.
It was also the first time I lived alone so naturally, I had to step up my game so I won't run out of clean underwear/clothes or go hungry. I tried cooking but there were weeknights when I was so busy that I don't even want to eat. But I still end up buying 2-piece chicken from Mini Stop and eat it for 2 days with Bread Pan dipped in yellow mustard on the side. And when I wanted to treat myself to a nice meal, I go to Shangri-La Plaza and pick a restaurant.
Sharing some of the photos we took during our stay in our first condo rental as a married couple.
P.S. I'm writing this blog 3 years late because, you know, life. And we're now living in a 2-bedroom condominium in Malaysia. <3
This was the time when I first started preparing meals for two for the first time.
So naturally, I tried going Nigella Lawson on Jet, haha.
Eggs in a (hole) square with sauteed pork cutlets and potatoes. And of course, cheese and cereals (because I got addicted to Quaker's Twinkles Fruits).
Pancakes (mixed, because I still didn't know how to make pancakes from scratch) with fruit slices.
Another pancakes breakfast. This time with egg omelet and cheesy French baguette.
Weekend lunch. That time I tried making Vietnamese Banh-mi from scratch.
When Jet flew to Malaysia, this became my normal weekday breakfast. That's mineral water in the vodka bottle, by the way. And oh, lemon water.
Couple dessert (or midnight snack).
Solo midnight snack, hehe. Twinkles Fruit with whipped cream and fruit slices.
Baguio strawberries from our parents. Lasted 1 week because we're frugal.
Sometimes, when I'm too tired to buy food, I eat these with wine. #condoliving
That time I cooked Mexican beef tacos from scratch.
#HIMYM Moment. The Pineapple. This one came from a Tagaytay trip.
What condo living looks like. You save the sachets of cream and sugar from McDonald's because sayang.
Mom and Dad gave us this angel statue and welcome plant as housewarming gifts. We named the plant Manhattan.
Another plant from my Mom's garden. We named this one Queens.
The latest addition to our condo plant collection. This one is called Brooklyn.
Jet gave me a desk plant once and I left it too long in the sun and it burned to a crisp. So naturally, our parents wanted to see if the 3 plants would survive in the condo with me. When I moved out of the condo and moved to Malaysia, they all moved back to my Mom's garden. The plants nearly died on my watch. But they're all grown up now.
The very first "food item" in our condo fridge.
View from our bedroom window (facing facilities).
We always enjoy our stay at SMDC Light, despite the ruckus every morning (from EDSA buses), that we always stay here for short vacations in Manila. 🙂