Personal Residence #1 – First Week of Renovations (April 10, 2019)

Well, it’s been roughly 1 week now since I obtained the keys to my new personal residence in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Manila. I’ve still got plenty of work to do, but as the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

Here’s an update to some of what’s been going on over the last week.

First things first, I needed an air conditioner installed, especially as we are now ramping up into the summer months of the year.

I went with a Kolin window-type inverter, 1.5 HP rated unit, selling for ~$560 USD; I would have preferred installing a split type inverter model, instead, but one thing that I’m quickly learning as it pertains to living in/owning a condo unit is that you don’t always have all that much control over the way things are done.

Dem rules are dem rules, so you gotta play by the association’s terms.

As someone who grew up in the suburbs, to be perfectly honest, I really don’t mind all that much with how strict things are governed here because I’m still too enthused with the whole concept of living (and owning property) in the city for the first time in my life. Perhaps later down the line, I’ll want to move away from the city entirely, and re-root myself to somewhere less busy, but we’ll see how the future unfolds…

In any case, there are indeed lots of different rules/guidelines, and this is sure to differ greatly from one residential tower to the next. In my own particular situation, the association made it crystal clear that I’ve got no other option than to go with a window-type unit, so that’s what I did…

After removing the top cover, here’s what the “guts” of the air con unit look like.

Delivery + installation costs came in at ~$36 USD from the appliance store where I bought the air con unit from, which seemed reasonable.

Mounted and good to go!

The Kolin inverter unit is somewhat loud, but not unbearable (and I’ve definitely experienced much worse from other nearby rental units). Again, a split type inverter A/C configuration would have been preferable, but unfortunately, that option isn’t possible for me. Typically, I’m finding myself allocating the following for my air cooling needs:

  • A/C about 30% of the time.
  • Floor standing fan 60% of the time (especially at night, when I’m sleeping).
  • Nothing 10% of the time.

Ok, with the air con installed and that crucial item crossed off the list, it was time to go shopping!

The following bed frame + mattress were “on sale” (~$1,400 USD for the pair, if memory serves, so kinda pricey and above my budget), and although I liked it much (I now have a better idea of what I’m looking for), I ultimately decided to just wait until the fall/winter to purchase a new bed.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have near-imminent plans to return back to California, so in the interim, I’m more than content to just sleep on the foldable mattress I bought on Day 1.

Instead, I picked up some basic tools, since you never know when you might need em…

Some more stuff I purchased… Those flip flops (for indoor use, only) were ~$1.40/pair!

I did want to spurge on one of those fancy motion sensor trash bins, but damn, they go for anywhere from $100-300 USD/each.

Too rich for my blood, so alas, let’s just pick up a combo pair for less than $10 USD at the local “Home Depot”.

That’ll do for now…

Also, I picked up some cheap garbage bags from Daiso for less than $2 USD, and a (crappy) shoe rack for ~$12.50 USD at Ace Hardware.

I splurged about $200 USD for this American Standard rainfall shower set, but unfortunately, I bought the wrong type (I need one designed for single point use), so had to return it for another (cheaper) model.

Oh well, no American Standard for me… Instead, it’s ecosense that I’m rolling with (I have no idea where this brand is from, never heard of it before).

In any case, the above shower set was ~1/2x the price of American Standard, and it still looks quite sturdy (hopefully).

Next, I went browsing for a new bathroom sink/mirror/cabinet combo; I’m seeing lots of stuff from different vendors going for ~$400 USD/set.

60% off? Probably not, just standard fare around here…

Another option, selling for about the same price (but faucet NOT included) as shown above.

A third option, “Rustic White” or so it’s called. I might go with this one…

Still deciding…

Next, I went shopping for a dining table + chairs.

These particular chairs caught my eye.

Not only were they super comfortable to sit in, but I also thought they looked quite stylish.

Price tag wasn’t too outrageous, either, checking in at  ~$110 USD/each.

I mean, for comparison sake, let’s try and look for some other options on the market, like the stock available at Crate & Barrel.

Yeah, this sucker goes for over $200 USD/each, so 2x the price relative to the chair I highlighted above.

Some more options, none of which were cheap…

The chair on the left goes for as much as ~$355 USD/each.

Yikes, right?

I mean, that’s roughly ~4x the price of my preferred chair…

So yeah, first option ftw! I picked up four of em, indeed.

I then swapped out the “too yellow and warm” lights for some daylight LED bulbs (which make for a profound and drastic improvement to the ambiance/mood the unit gives off).

In addition, I decided to pair the chairs with a glass table I found on the discount aisle for ~$370 USD.

Here’s me unboxing the leg pieces associated with the glass table, upon taking delivery.

And the glass itself, which arrived in a separate box.

Easy enough to put together, just heavy as ffff!


Baboy Inc (aka FI Fighter Studios) is now open for business!~!

It’s a pretty big table, but I figured I would convert it into a hybrid (dining table + workspace), helping me get some more bang for my buck.

Most (if not all) the stuff I bought is “Made in China” hence the lower price tags, but hey, still plenty good enough for a scrub like me.

And that’s all for the first week of home ownership!

I haven’t even started thinking about the kitchen remodel yet… Then there’s:

  • Washer/dryer combo unit
  • Refrigerator
  • Big screen (Smart) 4k TV
  • Sofa
  • Etc.


Yeah, and I’ve been eyeing one of those 27″ iMac w/ 5k retina display for awhile now, too!


Likely, I’m going overboard here with my spending and in all honestly, as fun as all this stuff is, deep down, we all know (myself included) that making $$$ is infinitely more fun + satisfying than spending money.


Right now, again, I’m just trying to get situated and setup in my new digs, but after that, seriously, my focus has to shift back to figuring out ways to make (a lot) more $$$.


Let’s make it happen!


Still, this current experience has been noteworthy and already a memorable one for me, so I’m still gonna try to enjoy it, as best I can.


Thanks everyone for all the well wishes, support, and words of encouragement; it really means a lot to me and it’s so awesome to be able to share all this with you readers.


Fight On!

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1 year ago

Thanks for sharing Jay. Long time reader here. I’m a little confused on why you feel the need to be so frugal and make more money. I mean I get it more is always better. However, if you had say (insert large sum of money here: ~$10M) more would you really want to live your life that differently? Maybe then you wouldn’t feel the need to worry about the automatic garbage can or to get even more money. But I mean come on you’re a multi-millionaire at this point and homeowner right? You’re basically set for life off your investments.… Read more »