Limited space, a bunk bed, shared bathroom and kitchen, crowded room, less privacy and a strict landlady/landlord. All of that are the common situations in a boarding house, especially here in the Philippines.
I started to live in a boarding house after college when I started to work in Manila. It was my first time and everything was new to me. The environment, the house, the people I’ll be sharing with the small room and the set-up. I needed to wake up very early in the morning just to queue in the bathroom and even in the kitchen, I have to wait for my turn if I want to cook something. Every movement was according to schedule because I was sharing with other boarders like me who couldn’t afford to rent a studio type room or a single-room apartment.
My first month of stayed in a boarding house was difficult and full of adjustments. But after I used myself to that kind of living condition, I found myself enjoying my life away from my home sweet home, living in a small and crowded room. That was the time I truly became an independent, away from my family, living outside my comfort zone.
It continued when I worked and live abroad. Another boarding house, another set of room mates and a new environment. That time, I became used to it and it wasn’t difficult for me to adjust. I started to love living with strangers because I found another family from them. Though I was living in a small shared-room, the happy times I spent with my room mates was as big as a penthouse.
The best time for me while living in a boarding house was every evening because it was the time I spend time chatting with my room mates. We were sharing our own story, sentiments and secrets while lying down on our own small bunk bed. We talked anything and everything under the sun until each of us fell asleep.
Not so long ago when I came back from working abroad, I again found myself working and living far from my family here in the country. For the third time, I had to board again and live with my colleagues in a shared apartment. It wasn’t new to me that’s why I easily fit myself again with the situation. I’ve been lucky to always have a new set of family in the form of my room mates.
Now that I am already staying for good at home and having my own room, I somehow missed the years I spent living in different boarding house. Actually, what I do really missed are the memories and the people I lived with – my room mates who became a real family to me, the special bond we formed and the time we spend together living in a small space in which we already considered our second home sweet home.