Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Crazy Month

This has been a crazy busy month. We just got back from a two week family vacation in Hawaii (which was awesome--Hawaii is one of my favorite places in the world). It was great to be back in the states and to see all of my sisters and father. Hawaii is a lot like the Philippines.....it is just cleaner and has a much, much, much better infrastructure. Otherwise, the two places are quite similar: great beaches and jungle and really nice people (although I think people from Hawaii have to be some of the sweetest in the world). We did some shopping for our new house there including buying ceiling fans. The fans are 110V so this may turn out to be a mistake depending on how difficult the conversion is but we were able to buy 16 Hunter brand fans for the price of eight fans here. I also received an amazing red Kitchen Aid from my mother (again 110V but the price was $300 there versus the $585 it sells for here) as well as a fantastic set of Henckels knives from my father.Our new house is progressing. It is not completed and is behind my dream schedule (although right on time via the contract). The day before we left, we bought our oven and range. The range will be put in the bricked area above and we are having a chimney type hood (I do not know how to describe it. Once completed, I will post a picture). A really psycho blue was used for the kitchen which I adore. Buying the ovens was a little bit of a pain because I am unfamiliar with the brands so we were kinda shopping blindly. Total for one oven and a range (both cast iron) was just under P100,000 (about $2,250) which is insane. I miss the inexpensive appliances of the states.
One thing I love is the little vent outside for the oven hood (pictured above). How cute is that! These little details are a lot of the reason we went with the design company we did; they take the smallest details into consideration and make them beautiful.
Our foyer ceiling is complete and just needs the chandelier installed. My computer monitor is showing the picture as a wonky red, but in reality, it is a very true red and the wood is very dark brown, almost black.

All the interior and exterior doors have been installed and I am loving them. One of my favorite parts of the house. The doors were all handmade (which apparently can be less expensive than premade doors). They are solid wood and very heavy.

Yesterday was my first time seeing the driver/boy's room. I had not been up to the roof deck area as no stairs had been installed and the ladder the workers were using scared me. Above is the bathroom for the driver/boy which is fairly standard. I am posting this namely for my sister's who, like me, are a little creeped out by the idea of household staff. Although there is nothing luxurious about the bathroom, there is nothing wrong with it either. I could very comfortably shower there.

Above is one of our air conditioning compressors. We exclusives used split type air con which means the unit is out side. We have placed most on the side of the house in discreet areas (nothing bugs me more that a beautiful home with an ugly air conditioner sticking out of the wall) and this one is placed on the roof deck outside of the driver's room.

We opted to use terracotta tiles for the two lanais as well as the entrance. The center tiles are malaga tiles which are essentially painted cement tiles. These are the same tiles used above the range in the kitchen. This is the most recent picture I have of the front which is from November 07. For some reason I have not taken any newer pictures of the front. The most important item to acknowledge is the giant ugly prison wall has been removed and replaced with a lower, more friendly looking wall. I will have to remember to take a more recent picture of the front this week.

We also completed a lot of our furniture shopping (I think we spent too much time doing it....a salesman at a store saw us and said, "Hi! You usually shop at our Trinoma branch!" Once the sales people start to recognize you, I think it is time to start winding it down and making the purchase). I will later do a more detailed post about the shopping excursions.


Anonymous said...

i came across your blog and as i was reading it i can't deduce whether you like staying in my country or not. i hope its the former. having house help is more of an option - why have them if you feel uncomfortable? no americans i've come across with in the US have house help except probably the uber rich.

Christine said...

The house is beautiful. It's coming along really well! It's looking more and more like a home. I love the red and black ceiling! I'd love to see more pictures of the pool area if you don't mind... I could give you a professional opinion of the err... quality of the facilities...

kikas_head said...

I think that we will likely opt not to have house help and instead employ a person to do the laundry once a week. I think that you are right--part of my discomfort stems from the fact that no one I know from home has house help.

Overall I really like the country but there are aspects that I am still getting used to and some that I may never fully embrace. I realize I can be somewhat negative on this blog, however this is one of the few outlets that I can express my discontent about some things in the Philippines without inadvertently hurting someones feelings. But yes, I really enjoy the Philippines!!