Backtracking for Backpackers

Bedspacers…or backpackers? I guess this is a reaalllly new concept for my sister, and I can hear her arguing to the max against the idea. She’d rather stick to having (student) bedspacers. Maybe when I’m permanently based in the Philippines, I can look further into this. I don’t even know about tax classifications or any repercussions in diverting from original plans of straight yearly leases. This is the up-and-coming headache that I’m dreading to face.

My place needs a specific clientele with a maximum capacity of 4, preferably just 2. It’s somewhat strategic since I have malls, schools, hospitals, etc. within a 5-mile (or kilometer) radius. By Philippine standard, most that can afford the unfurnished 1-bedroom unit for $200-$250/month (depending on the exchange rate) are the dual-income family earners that are somewhat established, which usually come with 2 children (if I’m lucky). What comes with the package? Somebody has to take care of the household, the 5th wheel which could possibly be a maid, an aunt, a mother, or a grandmother. For a wonderful family, I am prepared to stretch the maximum to 5. Another hurdle, the unfurnished units are in the 3rd floor…tough for Grandma. I even lost a few pounds just going up and down the stairs when I was there for 6 weeks. Rent-wise, steep for starter couples either.

Summer of July 2007 that we vacationed in the Philippine (not that we have gone anywhere other than our house and my brother’s house, another family hub), I decided to furnish the 3 one-bedroom units on the 2nd floor. I knew I cannot compete with hotels since we’re right in the middle of the crowded city life–with regular folks. The cities in Metro Manila barely sleeps…life goes on: people working different odd hours, tricycles milling in every streets and alleys of the subdivision, and before you know it you’ll be waking up to the sound of the peddlers (that is if you’re not sensitive to the noise and you had a good night sleep). Oh, did I mention the neighbors? Listening to the on-going activities can be both ways though. This is real living in the Philippines, and not many foreigners could get used to the hustle and bustle of ordinary life here. The provinces could be different. My best friend from one of the Visayan islands swears that his province has a lot better air.

Let me backtrack 4 years ago when my husband and I decided that we will be retiring in the Philippines. We had only two weeks then to find a place to retire. Even if I had instructed my family there to have ready ‘lots for sale’ to inspect, I still scouted the internet for real estate information since I had been gone away for almost 2 decades without ones going back. I had come across a few interesting sites before that I still found lately when I got busy learning the ropes of blogging–much improved and with more elaborate information. I’m pretty sure they could be more helpful to backpackers.

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