Until I came to Manila, I had never lived in an apartment before, always preferring the spaciousness of a house rather than the slightly claustrophobic nature of a flat. However, Manila does not really have that many houses on offer at an affordable price since most of the city, especially Makati, is taken up by big high-rise condominiums. The houses are usually to be found in gated communities, and they are usually too big and too expensive for one person, so I moved into a condominium and have learnt to love the comforts and luxuries that come with it.
Such residences are considered ‘serviced’ apartments, which makes a big difference: you have a concierge to greet you, put in an alarm call, collect your post or any deliveries when you’re not there, and generally be on hand for anything you need; you have security guards to ensure that no one comes in or out without being authorized to do so, and nobody can take away anything from your condo unless you have specifically given them permission; and you have a maintenance team that are on hand to fix anything that goes wrong, from broken door handles or any plumbing issues, to cleaning out your air-conditioning unit or replacing faulty light bulbs – and it’s all there at the touch of a button on your intercom system.
Most condominium units will also have their own gyms and a swimming pool. Having a gym in your own building is just so convenient, and it means that you can go a lot more often – any time of day or night – without it having to take up a large portion of your time. Best of all, if you go and just don’t feel up to it, you can turn round and be back home in a matter of minutes. It saves you money on gym membership fees, too.
The luxury and comfort of having a swimming pool is immeasurable; there’s nothing quite like easing off the tension and stress of a long day at work than relaxing in the pool when you get back home, or spending a lazy Sunday afternoon topping up your tan while reading a book. Also, it’s a very sociable thing to do, as you get to meet a lot of your neighbors.
Condominiums are safe, practical, very convenient, and actually quite luxurious due to the fact that most of them are fairly new. For me, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.