Settling In: You'll Always Find What You're Looking For
I don’t really know when I first came to learn the phrase, You’ll Always Find What You’re Looking For, but it has become one of my Manila mantras. I use it when I am searching for grocery items, doctors or even living arrangements. In all her glorious vastness and dense population finding anything in Manila can seem like finding a needle in a haystack but I am here to tell you, you will always find what you are looking for. For this installment of Settling In let’s take a look at housing options in Manila, I promise that you will be pleasantly surprised.
A modern jungalow right in the heart of Cubao.
There is fantastic science behind the reasons why individuals are happy where they live and I am fascinated by it! I devoured, This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving Where You Live. The book presents strong evidence for reasons why communities thrive and suffer, how to become rooted and suggestions for creating place attachment (being happy where you live). A key element for place attachment is choosing the right environment to settle in. Some factors to consider: building vs house, nature, proximity to school, work, markets and parks.
Lighting is really important to me so when we found a house that was flooded in sunlight and didn't demand curtains, I knew we had found the right one. You can read more about our happy home here and on Instagram #ourpiñahome.
I recently had the most epic house visit and you have to see this hidden gem! My lovely friends, whom we shall call N&A, recently moved from Australia and coincidentally used OLX and Property24 to find their place. N&A went to over 40 house visits until they found the right one. Factors that were high on their priority settling in list; nature, close to work and affordable. Would you believe me if I showed you a hidden garden bungalow in the heart of Cubao? I kid you not, you have got to see the photos below to believe me.
N is an Australian designer based here in Manila. Her impeccable taste really brings the home to it's full potential.
NATURAL LIGHT The main room is flooded with natural and when peering out the window you are met with tree tops.
We started our morning at a nearby market, Sidcor Sunday Market, to pick up some eats for our jungalow luncheon. If you want to sink your teeth into Manila, start with the markets people! If you can, search housing proximity near markets, becoming a regular at a market and you are on your way to being part of a community! I love that I have a 'suman guy' at Salcedo Market. A place is nothing in itself, a place is what you think it is so make it a good one!
Kain Na Tayo!
Manila is definitely a big gritty city but since we are in the tropics, vegetation can thrive abundantly! It was important for N&A to have open space for their wee one to run around so when they found a home that had a garden they jumped on it!
The Garden! Yes, this is really in Manila. Yes, this is really in the heart of Cubao. I mean, look below! One of the boys found a coconut for crying out loud!
As I said before, you'll always find what you're looking for, even if it takes 40 house visits but it doesn’t have to. I've teamed up with Property24 to show you a few more options to help you settle into Manila. Here are some of my favorite picks below.
Child Friendly, Nature & Schools|
These two spaces are located at the Riverfront on Dr. Sixto in Pasig. There is a great kiddie pool and park. If you’re budget is for a condo this is a great space as the buildings are not too high and easy to access child friendly amenities. Acacia Estates is another community that is owned by the same developers as Riverfront but is located in Taguig. Taguig and BGC are prime spots for expats but often carry a heavy price tag, Acacia is a more affordable option. Both Acacia and Riverfront are located near many international schools. Domuschola and Reedley are a short distance from Riverfront and all the schools in BGC are a short drive from Acacia.
My middle son enjoy the swings at Riverfront in 2015
A child's dream scape at Acacia Estates.
The Grove is located right off the C-5 and is a Rockwell property, which makes it prime living. The green lawn space has me hooked! We have a number of friends who live here and if we ever consider condo living again, this will definitely be our top choice. Not lying, it is mostly because of that big green lawn! Look at that slice of heaven!
Location is big deal when finding a place in Manila. When we returned to Manila in 2012 we had a 1.5 year old and another one on the way. I wanted to live a walkable distance to other young moms, a preschool, park and near 'stuff'. We targeted Salcedo Village since it was the business district, not because we needed to be close to the office but because everything was in close proximity by demand. We spent afternoons at Ayala Triangle and Saturday mornings at Salcedo Market. I sent my son to Toddlers Teachers (now PlayWorks) and had a playgroup weekly. It was a great place to be for a young family.
Baby Oz stares down from 32 floors up in Salced Park.
We actually lived in this apartment building , The Salcedo Park, in 2012.
I know Manila can seem big, vast and intimidating but never underestimate the power of the internet. Joke lang, but in all seriousness, you will always find what you’re looking for and finding the right house to settle into has a lot to do with place attachment. Take your time and make sure your priorities are clear, who knows you may find your jungalow in Cubao just like N&A by searching on Property24. Happy house hunting!