Solitude 101: Six Excellent Reasons to Live Alone

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“I am not saying that there is anything better than mated bliss at its best, but I am saying that living alone is as good in its own way. But we have not quite given ourselves the permission to recognize that.” –Barbara Feldon

 

Humans are so conditioned to having companionship that they find the idea of living in solitude detestable.

The fact is, most individuals find the idea of living alone unimaginable and…depressing. Humans, social creatures that we are, crave for social interaction—even more so at the end of a long day.

However, it is not for the lack of experience that warrants such sentiment, but rather the lack of the will to do so. Being able to live alone is bliss and being at peace with it is even more satisfying. After all, where else could you afford an avenue for peace of mind apart from the comforts of your home? Moreover, you do not have to worry about a companion’s mess or perhaps their share of the rent as the responsibility lies solely in you. Resultantly, living alone would encourage you to mature in more ways than one. And while you might not realize the merits of it today, it helps you develop independence. While living without a companion is a lonely prospect to most, just think of advantages it would offer you. Total liberty and the freedom to do as you please to name a few, but there is quite a myriad more.

As according to the words of Marilyn vos Savant, you should be able to live alone, even if you do not want to and think you will never find it necessary. In this regard, if you have ever found an opportunity to live by yourself and are financially stable enough to do so, go ahead and check out that unit in Avida Towers in San Lorenzo.

Listed below are just some of the advantages of living alone:

 

1.) You can leave the dishes for as long (or as short) as you wish it

One of the most hated house chores we can all collectively agree on would probably be doing the dishes. Living alone means no one would perpetually nag you to clean them up or ask you to keep them. More often than not, only a visiting parent or a date coming over would prompt you to start loading them in the dishwasher. However, be wary as leaving dirty dishes out for too long can breed bacteria and harmful illnesses.

2.) No one would see your emotional breakdowns

Living with a roommate or other people tends to make us stifle our emotions and keep it in check—even when we are about to burst deep inside. However, living alone allows you to be at home and comfortable with your emotional breakdowns without having anyone to judge you for them. So, if you are having a bad day, you can lash out or cry it all out without fear of being mocked or judged.

3.) Your food is yours alone

You do not have to worry about roommates stealing your food or sharing your home cooked meals with anyone. Your food is solely yours. Furthermore, you can buy food without being judged by your choices. You can eat as much Chinese takeout as you wish without anyone giving you the side eye for your choices.

4.) You can indulge in weird bathroom habits

As you do not have to share the bathroom with anyone else, you can choose to be as weird as you can in there while having your bath or while using the toilet. You do not even need to fear being caught as no one else is with you which means you are afforded maximum privacy. If you so wish, you can even do whatever you wish to do with the door wide open and you still would not run the risk of being walked into.

5.) You can clean at your leisure

As you are not really affecting anyone with your mess and clutter spread around, you are free to clean up whenever you wish. So, if you have had a long day at work and just wish to relax, you can do so. Similarly, if you wish to dedicate your weekends to relaxing and sleeping then you can put off any cleaning chores until you are ready to do them. There is absolutely no pressure on you or anyone nagging you to get a move on and do the laundry already.

6.) You have a lot of personal space and time for self-discovery

Living alone is an avenue for self-discovery—so much so that you will learn so much about yourself during the time you spend on your own. Sure, it can be quite the challenge to adjust at first (especially if you are used to co-dependence or living with companions), but the resultant skills would be all very much worth it. Emotional and personal situations would be a lot easier for you to handle and you will find yourself growing in your independence.

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Spot the Scam: The Five Most Common Real Estate Scams in the Philippines

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“Winners are not afraid of losing. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.”-Robert Kiyosaki

 

Scams are rife regardless of whatever industry it might be. In the world of real estate, it is so much more pronounced and prevalent—so much so, that even in this digital age wherein information is conveniently and readily accessed online, quite a lot of people still fall prey to it. After all, as technology advances so does the means of conning people.

When it comes to deals, a good rule of thumb to always keep in mind is if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sounds easy, right? However, if it were so easy, why are people still falling victim to these illicit and dishonest schemes and ploys nowadays? Well, probably because owning a home is not only considered as a keystone of wealth and stability, it is almost every Filipinos dream—a fact that is being capitalized on and exploited by charlatans and deceitful schemers. In this regard, prospective homebuyers should be a little bit more meticulous and thorough when it comes to choosing who they deal with—whether that may be property managers, real estate companies or real estate agents. The burden of responsibility in double-checking their prospective transactions and the legitimacy of such individuals is then, therefore, borne by the buyer. After all, no one can really be conned if every prospective homebuyer exercises his or her right to exhaustively check what they are getting into in real estate deals.

To prevent yourself from being robbed and conned out of your hard-earned money, it is best if you are made aware of the most common scams utilized by these fraudulent individuals here in the Philippines. Moreover, your protection against these scammers is buttressed by the research and validation you make. So, before closing a deal, be very sure you know who you are dealing with. If you are looking to buy a condo for sale in Makati or elsewhere, make sure you are not falling for any of the scams below:

 

Pre-Selling Scam

A common and rather widespread real estate scam in the Philippines is the pre-selling scam. Today, with condominium properties being a ubiquitous presence in the country, it would only be inevitable for scammers to see this as a real estate investment scam. Over the last decade, the real estate experienced a boom in the condominium property industry and as a result, we can see condominium properties in almost every nook and cranny in major cities. Pre-selling scams occur when developers do not follow the mandated rules as regards requisite permits. Alternatively, they may choose to attain these through illegitimate and dishonest means. To lure prospective buyers, developers would pre-sell their units at incredibly low rates with the promise of timely turnover dates. To sweeten the deal, they would even provide excellent incentives. Unfortunately, the scam occurs when the expected turnover day nears, the development is still not done. An extension is then repeatedly done until such time that the homebuyer would give up on it.

 

Double Sale of Property

As gleaned from the title, this scan occurs when a property in question is bought by two different buyers. It commonly occurs when the first buyer neglects or fails to register and transfer the title to their name to which the crooked owner would then sell it again. In effect, two buyers would now have the same title under their own names.

 

Bait-and-Switch Scheme

This scheme is a little more insidious and deceptive as prospective buyers are unaware of what they are really getting into until it is far too late. This scam is put into effect when real estate agents advertise real estate properties that they are not authorized to sell. Either the properties are handled by a different agent or are not really for sale. To entice buyers, these properties would be given incredibly low price tags which in effect, are considered baits. However, upon further inquiry, unscrupulous agents would then claim that the property is no longer for sale or has been sold. In this regard, agents would then offer their very own listings which are either pricier or less attractive than their previous offer (designated as the switch).

 

Insufficient disclosure

Such scam happens when a real estate developer or agent willingly, intentionally and knowingly withholds crucial information about the property from their prospective buyers. This information can range from anything an unclean title to the property being pending in litigation. In any case, the information withheld is vital enough as it would leverage a prospective homebuyer’s decision on buying the property. Should this information be disclosed, potential clients may think twice before buying. Some properties may come across as attractive and promising, but upon contract signing, you would be surprised to know information about the property you did not know then. Tax delinquencies, encumbrances, hidden charges, structural facts such as poor property foundation and the like are among of the less than desirable things you might find.

 

Individuals posing as real agent artists

Regardless of what industry you are in, you will always come across your fair share of con artists. The real estate industry is no exception—especially considering that a successful venture in it can be incredibly lucrative. Another common scam related to real estate in the Philippines is for an individual to pose as a real estate agent—a con artist if you may. It is because of these agents that the country experiences so many real estate frauds. In fact, they are to be blamed for most of the frauds related to real estate in the country. To give themselves the veneer of legitimacy and authenticity, they would exert efforts in creating professional-looking websites and put up listings that they have seen online and copied. Unfortunately, after they have successfully conned you into paying a security deposit or an initial payment, they will be gone before you know it.

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Home Design: Five Things that Make Your Home Look Dated

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“The magic thing about a home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back” –Wendy Wunder

 

We all love incorporating design elements into our homes.

After all, it is the highest form of personalization and it effectively gives character into your homes. In this regard, we tend to buy decors; furniture and other home treatments that would help improve the overall aesthetic of our space. Unfortunately, if we do not update our home decors often or simply have a thing for trendy home treatments, our homes can look incredibly dated. True, your enthusiasm for interior decorating might be commendable but you need to have the right eye for it. After all, you would not want your guests to walk into the front door and think they have gone back in time or gotten a blast from the past with your extensive dated home décor collection.

If there are several things in your home that leave you scratching your head or else have you contemplating what you were thinking, there is a likely chance you are using dated designs. In any case, take a gander at your condo unit in Avida Centera or elsewhere and see if any of the things listed below are present:

 

DIY Pallet Furniture

At some point, pallet projects were all the rage and it is easy enough to understand the appeal. However, they key word here is “were” as nowadays there is such a thing as too much pallet. One or a couple pallet pieces are generally okay but if your home is dominated by wooden weekend projects, it is time to reevaluate your design options.

Too much iron

Wrought iron staircases were once considered beautiful and elegant. In fact, having one in a home was heavily regarded as the height of wealth and sophistication—an epitome of elegance, if you may. Although there is nothing wrong with them, you have to ensure that they are making the right kind of statement. If you are unsure, it is best to skip it altogether and opt for something more contemporary and timeless.

Overwhelmed by copper

Once upon a time copper was a thing, but make no mistake the copper trend is officially over now. If you think decking your homes in copper accents and treatments would make it look rustic, you are very much mistaken. However, if you have a long-standing love affair with copper, ensure that it stays in the kitchen and just use authentic copper cookware instead. Metallic and matte finishes such as silver knobs, black picture frames and brass candlesticks are great as well.

White appliances

White appliances are just not aesthetic—especially the stark white ones. They give your home a post-apocalyptic feel or would make it look reminiscent of the fifties were most of the kitchen appliance were colored in white. Today, it is all about chrome and stainless steel or sleek slate and matte black finishes. Sure, they look far more technical and industrial than your average kitchenware, but it gives your kitchen that streamlined and contemporary look. Moreover, it gives your space that touch of luxe and sophistication. Another added bonus is that they are far easier to keep clean, so maintenance and upkeep would not be so much of a hassle.

Blackboard walls

For quite some time, they were trendy and they looked great and apt for kids’ rooms—where they should stay. You might think having a chalkboard wall in your kitchen would make a great statement, but all it would do is effectively add more chaos to your everyday life by inevitably adding more chalk clouds. Let us face it, chalk residue is not exactly hygienic and should go nowhere near your food. In any case, swap out the kitchen chalkboards and replace them with a diminutive but impactful message board on the kitchen counter.

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Home Buying 101: Five Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a Home

“Twenty years from now on, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

 

Buying a home, regardless of where it might be, is a keystone of wealth. As it is considered a universally fundamental need by all of us, it is understandable that a lot of meticulous thought goes into buying one—particularly if it is your first flat. Furthermore, as your home would probably be one of your life’s most significant and expensive investments, it would only make sense to ensure you get the very best for what you can afford. In any case, whether you are planning on buying a condo in Avida Towers Cebu or elsewhere, here are some questions you should be asking:

Do you offer discounts

As most developers are looking to close the deal with prospective clients and homeowners, many of them are more than willing to shell out discounts. However, you do need to have a flair for negotiation. Do not hesitate to ask for this or you might just miss out. Alternatively, while there is no discount, there might be other offers and incentives such as pre-selling promotions. In some cases, your unit might come with free furnishings depending on where it is.

Is the reservation fee refundable

If you do not wish to incur penalties or other incidentals, ask your developer whether the reservation fee is refundable. After all, you would not want to waste money should you decide not to push through with the sale. Elect to have it in writing so that you have a written proof. Incidentally, knowing whether a reservation fee is refundable or not will tend to affect your final decision in choosing a home as well.

What are the standard finishes included?

While your developer is going to inevitably show you model houses and units, you cannot reasonably expect that your finished home would look precisely like them. They are just a preview of what your homes might look like once it is finished. To ensure that you and your developer are on the same page, it is best to know what is included in the property you are buying. This means taking note of the finishes you might often overlook such as the kitchen accessories, window types, type of floor tiling, door design and the like.

Can I customize my unit?

Everyone wants to give their homes a bit of character and personality, but this is not exactly possible all the time. Ask your developer if it is possible to incorporate some changes into the design of your unit and if you can change some of the layout. If you have bought the property during the pre-selling stage, there is a likely chance that it would be accommodated during the construction, but it usually comes at an additional cost.

When will the building be fully completed?

While the date of completion is not a certain date, you should have an idea of when your developer expects to complete his project. In this regard, you would be able to adequately plan your move-in and expedite the process as well. Furthermore, if you move in without the entire building being finished just yet, there is a likely chance that you would be dealing with the noise and distraction of the construction work going on outside. Apart from knowing when your unit would be finished, it is also a good idea to ask when your developer reasonably expects to finish the building as well.

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Five Signs You Are Not Ready to Move in Together

“A couple who go on living together merely because that was how they began without any other reason: was that what we were turning into?” –Simone de Beauvoir

So you and your partner have been together for quite some time now. You have both been contemplating the next big step, but are not yet ready to tie the knot just yet. Instead of marriage, you and your partner wish to try and test out the waters first by choosing to live in one house for the meantime. Sure, moving in together sounds like a blissful idea—a milestone in your relationship if you may. Unfortunately, while sleeping and waking up next to your partner sounds like a quixotic and dreamy scenario, if you are doing it for the wrong reasons, you and your partner could potentially face issues and complications down the road.

In any case, if you and your partner are looking for a place to move in together—such as in Avida Towers Centera perhaps or elsewhere, it might be wise to revisit and reevaluate the reasons why you are both doing this. If you find any of your reasons listed below, it might be best if you waited a little longer until you moved into a single residence together.

1.) You are doing it because it is financially easier

Romantic and cheesy scenarios aside, you and your partner are thinking of moving in together because it seems like the practical approach. Living together with your partner means that you would have to pool your resources together to defray day-to-day expenses and from your standpoint, it seems like a financially sound idea. However, no matter how counterintuitive this might sound, you should never commingle funds unless you are both legally tied down. After all, you would not want to develop a consumer-based framework for your relationship that basically relies on economic ease.

2.) You have a volatile relationship

Sure, it is healthy for couples to have disputes now and then—after all, it encourages relationship growth. However, if you and your partner are constantly fighting day after day, it might not be a good idea to live under one roof. If you think that living together would magically put an end to your disagreements and wrangles, you are in for a rude awakening.

3.) You do not see them as your potential spouse

If you, as an individual, are a firm believer in marriage and cannot see your partner as someone you might potentially tie the knot with, moving in together would be pointless. Although marriage is no prerequisite for moving in together, it is a prospect or a foregone conclusion for individuals who do want to get married. If you do not see yourself sharing his name, or see yourself giving her your name, then what is the point of moving in together?

4.) You are doing it under the impression that it would strengthen your relationship

Before moving in, you should already feel strongly about your significant other. If you are doing it purely because you think it will strengthen your relationship ties and make you a stronger couple, then you are doing it for all the wrong reasons. If you think you and your partner are not quite there yet, there is no reason to force yourself (and your relationship for that matter) into a space that you are not quite ready for.

5.) You are too shy of your basic bodily functions whenever you are around your partner

When you live under one roof, some bodily functions such as burping, farting and even pooping are inevitable things that would happen to your partner. If these are things you are still shy about, you might want to put a hold on the whole moving in together phase. In any case, your relationship might not even be mature enough for that phase yet.

 

Mind Your “Apartment Manners”

Being on your own doesn’t mean you can go around the area and trash the place. You need to build a good reputation. A good reputation will help you get along with your neighbors. It makes the landlord proud of you. Most of all, you learn to live accordingly.

You need to cultivate manners. Being a twenty-something at the Lerato for rent is classy, but nothing beats a tenant with manners. Nowadays, renters and homeowners are much focused on traveling. They forget to provide a sense of community because they are not bent on settling. Still, people with class would rather have apartment decorum before expensive upholstery.

Manners are easy to learn if you give time to it. Here are five civilities you can practice:

Sending warm greetings to neighbors

It feels nice to receive a “good morning” with a smile.

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Why don’t you try doing the same to the people next door?

Offer a smile and nod to acknowledge their presence when you encounter anyone from the building.  That way, they can warm up to you. Bid them a good day and remember to say please or thank you every time something comes up. A sincere greeting now and then is the easiest way for people to like you. Plus, they will remember you for your pleasant attitude and friendly demeanor.

 

Spending time with family and friends

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It may not be your neighbors’ business, but having no one come to your home may send warning bells. Neighbors can get suspicious of you.

It’s unusual to have no family or friends come over, even just once.

To avoid suspicion, invite your relatives and friends over the weekend.  You may not have the luxury to meet them in your hometown or at the usual hangout joint, but your apartment is free. Bring the festivities at indoors. Host a dinner or slumber party. You can also offer your place as a chill-out spot for the barkada. You can suggest a potluck on food and drinks if you’re not the type to cook.

 

Keeping your apartment tidy.

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Consider other people in the vicinity, especially if you live in Lerato. If you are not aware, your home extends to the other areas of the complex like the fitness area, pool, gardens and parking lot.

 

Practicing neatness and order doesn’t stop at your unit.

Try not act like a privileged neighbor who has an au pair which follows your every move. If you have to dispose of your trash, properly segregate and wrap it. Take note of collection dates and don’t leave a week’s worth of junk at your door. Don’t expect others to dump it for you. Stocking the junk will leave an unpleasant smell. Neighbors will come knocking at your door.

At the same time, don’t be a slob behind closed doors. While no one can see the state of your rental on days you are in a rush, the stress of having a messy space can affect you. What’s worse, you never know when maintenance will visit. Better keep the place clean at all times.

When people come over, remind them of the rules in the building. It’s best they follow them to avoid penalties. It’s hard to get branded as misfits.

Organizing and making the space personal.

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Space is limited in a rental. It doesn’t have the comforts of a house, especially when hanging clothes. Have a space for hanging delicates in the kitchen or corner space instead of the balcony. Place these pieces of clothing out of the way.

Try to personalize your living area.

Add decorations that will bring out your personality. A cozy interior provides a breather from the pressures of work and daily life. Inspirational pieces will break the monotony of the space and motivate you in the walls of your home.

 

Prioritizing your health.

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Spreading virus and bacteria especially in confined spaces is possible. The elevator, function rooms and communal are possible breeding grounds for harmful diseases.

Be a good neighbor by taking care of your health so you won’t be the one to start an epidemic in the area. Stay active and make use of fitness amenities in the complex. The moment you find yourself with signs of any sickness, take some rest. If it doesn’t go away, visit your doctor.

If you start practicing these five manners, neighbors will start being cordial to you. Ditch the habit of being a flighty millennial and embrace the warmth of belonging to a community. Attend to your manners and your apartment’s building will be the oasis you crave.

Home Is Where The Heart Is: Five Ways to Make Your Home More Inviting

“The greatest investment and greatest fair deal and enterprise is family, cozy homes. A cozy home is based on cozy people. Cozy people are not brought and imported; they are made from the time of birth to the time of infinity.” -Harbhajan Singh Yogi

 

Home is where the heart is.

This is a familiar adage that sagely proclaims that our homes should be a form of sanctuary—a haven if you might, where we are called not only to rest our bones and weary bodies but somewhere we can feel safe and comfortable. Our homes should not only be structures made of bricks and stones but that place where every single one of us can look forward to going after a long and tiring day. As it is, the best memories are forged in a home that cultivates a cozy and inviting atmosphere—one that beckons visitors to come in, have guests linger for a little while longer and make family members never want to leave. Indeed, a place such as this would give you the fondest memories and a relaxed lifestyle.

However, how does one create an inviting home? How do you ensure you can cloak it with an inviting aura that entices people to stay? Whether you have a condo in Manila or a flat elsewhere, here are some of the creative ways you can create that inviting atmosphere:

1.) Let your front door and entryway set the inviting tone

An excellent way to establish an atmosphere that beguiles is to set the tone first. In doing so, you will not only be making a good first impression, but you would create enough interest for your guests to discover more about your home. Elevate your curb appeal and never underestimate the inviting power of a front door and entryway. Install a welcome mat and a few potted plants by your front door. Furthermore, you should make sure that this area is clean and devoid of any clutter.

2.) Use color and other design tricks to pull eyes through your space

In designing an inviting space, consider your guests’ perspectives. With this in mind, you should pay close attention to utilizing a creative design at the farthest point of view. An excellent example of this is to install a painting on the far wall just across from your front door. Emphasize this design piece by adding more fun art and lighting beside it. This design aspect alone will intrigue your guests and would pull them through your home all the while inviting them to explore your space.

3.) Have as many leafy, long, trailing and green plants

Incorporate natural elements into your home and make it seem eco-friendlier by strategically placing green, long and trailing plants all over the place. Potted plants not only make your home seem a natural, but they also enliven the space by bringing life to it. Additionally, the abundance of plants promotes a relaxing and calming ambiance that would be ideal for individuals looking to have a little relaxing space after a long and busy day.

4.) Personalize at least one furniture piece

One way to make your home more inviting and a lot more unique is to have at least one personalized furniture piece. This furniture piece can be anything—from a reupholstered furniture designed in a fun fabric or artwork you made yourself—let this be the distinctive feature of your home that sets it apart from the others (and keep it from looking like the inside of a catalog). Furthermore, personalized furniture pieces or design pieces make for excellent conversation starters as well.

5.) Have good smell linger in your home

One great way to make a significant impact on your guests is not only to stimulate their visual senses but their olfactory sense as well. Rid your house of any bad smell and have a signature scent you can have lingering in your home. If you want to take the natural route, place a vase full of fragrant flowers and it will do the trick. Alternatively, you can use potpourri as well. If you have a sensitive nose and are adverse to fragrances, then at the very least make sure your home does not have any bad smells lingering about.

Five Important Things to Know When Living Alone

“True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what is right.” -Brigham Young

So, you have graduated college, established a career and are now prepared to embark on your life’s next milestone. You have saved enough money to finally live on your own and away from your family to discover new heights and reach your fullest potential. Indeed, living alone can be quite a thrill. The freedom and independence that come along with it are nothing short of exhilarating. However, while living alone means no one can prevent you from doing anything and everything you like, it does not mean that it comes without a set of responsibilities. Before you start scouring the metropolis for prospective Manila properties you can live in, know that living alone means having to fend for yourself. After all, you only have yourself to rely on so it would be understandable to expect a degree of answerability to yourself as a consequence.

For some, the responsibilities that do entail in living independently may be too cumbersome to handle, while others may flourish in their solitude. Regardless, if you have even given living alone some consideration, here are things you should know and expect:

1.) There will be unplanned expenses

No matter how meticulously you partitioned your monthly salary for utility bills, groceries and the like, know that there will be unplanned yet inevitable expenses. No, these are no the things you buy on a whim or an impulse. There are likely events that would cost you to fork some cash to maintain a semblance of livability in your home. An example of this is an appliance breaking down on you or some plumbing repairs that would need to be immediately taken care of. These are things that cannot wait until the next month for repairs if you want to live comfortably.

2.) You need a decent amount of money

Suppose you have gone through leaflets and scoured the web for the ideal home and found one. To your surprise, it is just within your budget. Unfortunately, it might not be as simple as you think. Apart from the money you pay for rental dues, there might be a security deposit you would need to defrag as well. Depending on where you live, your landlord might even request a consigner for the least. To top all that, if you are going to live in an unfurnished flat, you would also need to have your own furniture to fill it up with. With all this in mind, it is important to have a decent amount of savings before deciding on living alone.

3.) Read your contract

If you are planning on renting out a flat, take note that you need to read your lease contract thoroughly. This is because the contents within are legally binding and if you neglect to read it, you may be inadvertently agreeing to something you actually do not. It might be tempting to skim over a lot of pages instead of poring over them then sign it at once, but you will be glad you did not do that if you find something you are not amenable to. Remember, should you break your lease, you are bound to pay up.

4.) You cannot take everything

You might want to pack every single thing you have in your parents’ house that you own, but know that this might not be possible. For one, the space you have might be limited and another thing, you will have more work to do and would have to expend more effort. Additionally, you might end up just filling your new flat with a lot of clutter as well.

5.) You need to spruce up

Living alone means cleaning up for yourself unless you want to live in a hovel. Everything you own would inevitably get dirty and the longer you put them for cleaning later, the more grime they accumulate. Apart from your dishes, you are responsible for your laundry and the general cleanup of your flat. So, if you want to live comfortably (and healthily I might add), it is best if you clean up regularly.

Hassle-free Move: Four Tips and Tricks to Make Moving Day Stress-Free

It is no doubt that moving day can be one of the stressful days you will ever experience in your life. Of course, collecting, stashing away and moving your entire household is no easy feat, so you are inevitably going to encounter a lot of stressors along the way. After all, in the years that you have lived through your old home, stripping it down of your possessions and packing them away can seem like a herculean task—especially if you have spent a significant number of years accumulating your belongings. However, there are ways of ensuring that your moving day goes on without a snag and without ruffling any of your family members’ feathers. Your moving venture might be a huge endeavor, but with a solid strategy and good planning, you can be assured that it would go smoothly for the most part.

So, whether your change of address is to a condo in Manila or elsewhere, here are some tips that will help you make your moving day easy and stress-free:

1.) Start weeks or even months in advance

If you live in a relatively small home with a meager number of possessions, you can start packing weeks before your moving day. However, if you live in a sprawling home with too many valuables to count, you might as well start as early as you can—even months prior to your moving date. Although your moving date may seem rather far, it is best to make some progress in your packing than be overwhelmed with the sheer number of things you have to do come moving day. True, it might be tempting to leave packing at the last minute—especially if you dislike living among boxes or have to use some things inside them. But you will be glad to have packed earlier than you should have. Just remember to pack the things you are not regularly using first and leave your daily essentials for last.

2.) Be organized

Being organized is key during your move as it aids you in staying on top of things. To make sure you stay organized during the move, have a list of all the tasks that you need to do and divide them in weeks. This would give you ample time to complete whatever is written on a particular week’s list. A typical organized moving day list would consist of eight weeks of their own respective tasks.

3.) Clean out the clutter

Clutter can not only induce headaches, but they are eyesores as well that would do nothing to prove visual aesthetics. If you have a lot of clutter lying around at home, it would be a good idea to start getting rid of them before you even start packing. In this way, you would feel a lot more organized. Additionally, getting rid of the clutter would prevent you from packing things you would not necessarily need in your new home—saving you from all of the frustration in getting rid of them once you unpack and get settled into your new place.

4.) Label your boxes and bags

To know where items to be packed should go and to easily identify which is which, you should label all of your boxes and bags. Apart from categorizing them and knowing what the contents inside are, this would also help you determine which boxes and bags are to be opened and unpacked first. Typically, this is best done if the box is labeled according to where its contents will be placed (labeled per room). However, it would also be ideal if you also wrote and included the contents of its label. Boxes that contain important and sensitive documents such as birth certificates, insurances, passports and the like should be placed in a secure folder and should have a different marking than the rest. Ideally, this folder should be in your person at all times.

Where to Dine in UP Town Center

There are some Ayala Malls, but UP Town Center is something special. The idea is that for the students, workers, and residents around the area to have a place which would respond to their needs and wants. The 7.4 hectare UP Diliman East Campus property will be reconstructed to become a hub of opportunities and businesses. Aside from the stores and restaurants in this establishment, there are a lot of events and activities held in UP Town Center. UPTC, as fondly called by their visitors, is open every day, from 10 in the morning until 9 in the evening every Sunday to Thursday, and until 10 pm during Friday and Saturday. Some stores have their own schedule so check them out as well.

To give you a quick food trip in UP Town Center, here are the ten places where you could (and should) try dining at:

Silantro Fil-Mex

Images are from the websit: Silantro Fil- Mex

Silantro Fil-Mex, Silantro for short, is known for serving Mexican food infused with Filipino taste. You’d get delicious food and fine service with a good price. Since the place is superb, expect a lot of people dining so if possible, get a reservation before you visit.

What you should try: Beef nachos, Beef Quesadillas, Chicken wings, Seafood Paella (and you can order alcoholic beverages too!)

St. Marc Café

Images are from the website: St. Marc Cafe 

If you’re out for a quick snack and some refreshing drinks or desserts, St. Marc Café is your go-to. This specialty bakery and patisserie is a well-known place from Japan. They envision and work towards satisfying the needs of their customers, as well as making them “need” some more.

What you should try: Little Fuji, Kyoto Delight, Mango Fantasy, Nara, Matcha Latte, Freshly Brewed Coffee, Egg Salsa, Chococro, Salmon Cheese Potato, Carbonara

Cold Stone Creamery

Images are from the website: Cold Stone Creamery

Serving the finest, freshest ice creams, cakes, smoothies and shakes for 25 years, Cold Stone Creamery is really something. This international franchise from Arizona has a signature way of delivering ice creams as it’s created on a frozen granite stone.

What you should try: Berry Berry Berry Good, Birthday Cake Remix, OREO Overload, Midnight Delight (and you can also create your own mix)

Pepper Lunch

Images are from the website: Pepper Lunch

ペッパーランチ Peppaa-Ranchi is a “fast steak” restaurant in Japan and was established in 1994. The customers can cook their food choice of beef, chicken, pork, and salmon over an electromagnetic plate which is heated up to 260 degrees Celsius to make sure that your meat is perfectly cooked. You can also pick your seasoning and sauce – Amakuchi or the brown honey sauce, or Karakuchi or the garlic soy sauce.

What you should try: Beef pepper rice, Shimofuri pepper steak, Salmon pepper rice, Beef BBQ Yakiniku with egg

Rodic’s Diner

Images are from the website:  Rodic’s Diner 

Since 1949, Rodic’s Diner serves nothing but the best beef tapa and garlic rice. They are known for being a budget-friendly restaurant for classic Filipino food.

What should you try: Tapsilog, Kare-Kare, Sisig with egg and rice

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

Images are from the website: Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen 

As what the name suggests, Mama Lou’s offer yummy Italian cuisine along with a relaxing ambiance. Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen started in 2010 and still delivering good food which they are known for.

What should you try: Spinach and goat cheese pizza, Italian sardine pasta, Gnocchi, Vesuvio, Take the Cannoli

Backyard Kitchen + Brew

Images are from the website: Backyard Kitchen + Brew

If you are looking for a chill place to eat or grab some drinks alone or with friends, Backyard Kitchen + Brew offers good food, drinks, and company. It also has an artsy interior to add to its ambiance and comfort. The servings are enough for you to share, but you might want to eat it alone because the dishes they give are nothing less than perfect.

What should you try: Slow roasted pork and beef belly, Salted egg chicken skin, Buffalo wings, Tinapa and Quinoa Salad (and alcoholic drinks as well.