Work Camp #1 Clean-up and 1-Row Bamboo Fence

This day marked the first work camp at out lot 😀 After buying the necessary tools last week, we were all excited to start the work camp – or so I call it. The following accounts are chronological and the participants are added as we go along.

First to arrive (at 8 AM) were Jeilt (my sister) and I. We started the clean-up but with so many tall bushes, banana trees, and little bamboo branches, it was difficult to determine where to start first. Fortunately, half of the property is grass-free as it is being used by some people to create hollow blocks.

My cousin, Sandy, arrived next (at 9 AM). A few minutes after she arrived, Bobby and Gabing (our next-door neighbor) arrived (at 10 AM) – closely followed by Inday (my cousin) and Emil (Inday’s nephew). Ian (my brother ) and Luz (Ian’s girlfriend) arrived at 12 noon while Darly (my cousin) and Divine (a household help at Sandy’s house) followed soon after.

Mama Eve (my mother) arrived at 1 PM and the last to arrive were Weweng (my cousin), Sean (Weweng’s son) and Jenny (Weweng’s wife) at 1:30. All in all, there were 14 of us working. Uncle Joe arrived around 2 but he didn’t help because he had some other commitments and went away in after a few minutes.

Not to be left behind, Jumper (Inday’s dog) and Twingkay also joined the gang 😀

Before lunch time, we were already able to clean up a significant portion of the lot and the bamboo trees which will later be used for the temporary fencing. It was more of a family picnic with some work. By the time 5 PM arrived, we had already cleaned up the right portion of the lot and a row of bamboo fence at the north side of the lot 😀

Jeilt - first scenes

Jeilt - first scenes

the ladies - keeping the fire burning?

the ladies - keeping the fire burning?

The first fence

The first fence

Guard dog - Hey, I'm guarding that circle thingy!

Guard dog - Hey, I'm guarding that circle thingy!

On Residential Lots

Bobby and I are always reluctant to obtain a loan for any purpose – even for a house. Loans just add to money that goes to other people than ourselves – of course! Our plan is to put off trying to get a loan if we can save enough money for the lot.

That plan backfired on us because the lot (691 sq m) which we planned to buy for P550,000 is now priced at P691,000 – mere months into asking for the lot price {sigh}. I guess that lot is not meant to be for us – and allow me a little sour-graping in saying that the road going to the place was very bad, anyway 😀

That same plan gave us another opportunity, though. It also allowed us to understand what Mommy Len said, “Things don’t always go as planned”. We had planned to buy that lot for so long that I was already thinking of it as our lot 😀 Still, since its price suddenyl skyrocketed, we had to think of other options. After all, we are thinking of buying a lot to build a house soon – no loans, if possible. That is when a lot in Bacong went up for sale – by Bobby’s best friend.

It is only around 402 sq m but that is already a big one, really. Plus, it is only worth P320,000 – something that we already have! Now, that must be something that was really meant for us 🙂 So, with the papes being processed and all, I’d say that we already have a lot to call our own, with no loans at that! I’m thankful for a lot of things: that Bobby and I worked hard for this piece of property that we can now proudly call our own, that a certain Uncle Dogbert aka Dieter has always encouraged – and pushed – us to make the effort entirely on our own, and that we have a family who supports us in this endeavor and promises to help clear the bamboo trees in the lot and spray the mango tree in the property.

Of course, I am thankful that Bobby’s friend put the lot on sale. Plus, the water station is located just a few meters away from the property – and the beach is about 3 minutes (by motorcycle) or 15 minutes (on foot) away! Give that as a plus to beach freaks like me and Bobby and you’ll a have a deal! Also, the property has a good right of way and just a minute away from the cemented barangay road, anyway.

So, here I am smiling at out good fortune and the blessing that came our way. Oh, my sweet naysayers can still find something to say despite this good fortune – like how little the lot is, and all – but we’re hoping that we can save enough money to start building a house by the end of the year 🙂 – pictures to come soon! Oh, some months away, anyway 😀

Bad Philippine Housing Loan System

People from advanced countries take for granted the fact that they can easily buy a house. People from my country, the Philippines, have to rely on the somewhat incompetent housing loan system – even wh

en this is a government institute under Mr. Vice President himself! Those who can really afford to buy a parcel of lot then build a house on cash are of course not going to agree with me but for us who can’t afford, then this is our plight.

I just found this sort-of dream lot near my parent’s (and parents-in-law) house. It is about 691 square meters – and located right beside the road. It’s worth only about Php 795 per sq m or about Php 550,000 in all. Now, that is a good deal considering that most undeveloped lots located near the road sell at about Php 2,000 per sq m.

Bobby and I have some cash from savings and donations (Uncle Dogbert?) but it is still not enough to cover that amount {sigh, can someone grant me a loan, please?}. I am crossing my fingers that by the time that we do have that cash, the lot is still for sale 😀

Anyway, I was glad that the government has this housing loan system they call PAG-IBIG which grants housing loans to people like us in the working class. With big hopes, we attended the seminar last November 27 (of 2008). We had to fill out a Member Status Verification Slip (or something like that) so that they can verify if we are eligible to obtain a loan. That is just the very first step which will determine if we can proceed to transacting with the lot seller. This also means that the loan process has not commenced yet – we have to wait for that MSVS. We were told that it would take them 1 or 2 weeks to process that and inform us if we are eligible for the loan.

After two weeks, I called up the office and was informed that they were on an “offline” mode and were not able to process the MSVS. Every Thursday after that, I would call the office in the afternoon just for sure – the answer is always the same: “Sorry, Ma’am, but we are still waiting for the papers to arrive. We are still on offline mode.” And to think that the country’s vice president (Noli de Castro) has been showing ads on TV about that governent office being the answer to housing problems in the country or something similar to that!

So, somewhat impatiently (but I have no choice, right?), I call the office at 4 o’clock on Thursdays – without fail. It’s more than two months since we last attended the seminar. Maybe they had been wrong about the verification process being done after 2 weeks – maybe they meant two years!

Can someone give me a loan now? 😀 If only it’s as easy as that, huh? Let’s just say that I would still need about Php 300,000 right now. Hmm, maybe I should try a “Piso Para sa Bahay” kind of fund raising? 😀 If only the government can improve the housing loan system – I’d have that lot soon {sigh}.