Many Filipinos work abroad hoping to provide for families and prepare for their future.
To further squeeze meager income they receive from their monthly wages, they give up personal luxury and comfort so that the bulk of what they receive is sent home. This includes adapting to the cramped, crowded, and often noisy environment of shared apartments. These are dwellings that are often extended beyond their capacity so in the process, saves tenants the burden of
While flat-sharing is good economically, several possible issues could come up between you and your roommates — who may or may not need a written contract on ethics as part of house rules. Soon, roommate problems may emerge, and here are some of the main culprits.
Your roommate steals your food.
While you did everything — bought the ingredients, prepared the utensils, cooked, and patiently waited — someone else ate it as you blinked (went to the bathroom, changed clothes, etc). As the domestic home is traditionally populated by members of the family who naturally share food, the mentality gets carried over even on dwellings people who cohabitate because of work or other arrangements.
Your roommate fails to settle rents on time
You often have to remind him or her that rent is past due. Sometimes he or she pays up, but on certain occasions, this roommate seems prepared with excuses all the time: delayed salary, just sent the entire month’s wages to family in the Philippines, loaned the money to a friend. And the list goes on. So you sometimes end up paying the entire rent, utility bills, and other expenses in the house.
Your roommate has bad hygiene habits.
He or she doesn’t do regular laundry, showers daily, or brushes teeth. As a result, you tolerate this person no matter how disgusted you are just for the sake of civility in the apartment. Becoming a roommate is a perfect way to discover one’s habits and uncover dirty secrets. They may look dignified and well-dressed outside, but roommates often
tell show their true characters by the way they behave in the house.
Your roommate takes your belongings.
Shampoo, cooking oil, spare coins, or toothpaste, nothing gets spared. This flatmate saves more money at your expense. You just bought a dozen eggs, six-pack beer, and rolls of tissue, but they exhaust faster than you can consume. Sharing the expenses — buying eggs and equally dividing them — could be a solution, but your roommate consumes more than he or she is entitled to. You can only wish this person does not use your toothbrush or wears your clothes.
Your roommate damages your things but doesn’t replace them
When sharing apartments with other people, you may encounter tricky situations. For example, you once lived alone and provided your own set of cookware, furniture, and appliances. Now here comes a new roommate whom you agree should not have to pay his or her share of the household items you bought. But one day, you noticed the television is no longer working and remembered that your roommate just had a Netflix binge on his day off yesterday. You ask him about the problem, but he offers an alibi, not a solution.
Your roommate beats you to the toilet and spends an hour there.
Just as you were preparing yourself to go to work and had to do your assigned household chores such as wash the dishes, arrange the mess on the table or do a vacuum cleanup, he or she spends most of the time in the bathroom at the shower or other personal necessities. You could spend another half-hour while he or she does his or her routine. This could easily turn worse if you are sharing the toilet with several others, with a few of them requiring longer alone moments.
Your roommate leaves you with restless nights.
You wish the day would end in a comfortable sleep, with you or your roommate snoring or not. But your roommate schedules his or her chat with the family at bedtime, or can’t modulate voice during a phone conversation or prefers to sleep with lights on. You could only wish a serene surroundings by 11 pm, but your housemate just arrived with tales to share, so you can expect a delayed slumber and a grumpy day at work the next day.
Your roommate is fond of collecting someone else’s ‘trash’
Trash is relative, depending on who you ask. Some roommates gather whatever they can salvage from the neighborhood dump: discarded books, computer keyboards, used pairs of shoes, or anything that can be part of the next batch of the balikbayan box. Such a habit made it more difficult to move around your already cramped room.
Your roommate leaves notes instead of talking to you
This passive-aggressive behavior is exhibited by some roommates who can’t seem to man up and be civil about potential tensions in the house. Left the flat iron plugged in. Music too loud at midnight. Failed to return the nail cutter. Forgot to pay your share of the expenses. You may have done one or more of these things. A simple verbal reminder might have solved the problem. But for some reason, this roommate prefers to leave a sheet of paper with a handwritten note posted on your desk or stuck at the fridge.
In the age of mobile phones, your roommate might just be sending you SMS instead of speaking to you personally.
Your roommate brings people over without telling you
Some roommates treat the room as if they exclusively use it. So they bring over people, some of whom you don’t know personally. As a civilized being, you treat them with respect and serve them food, offer a place to rest, fresh towels, and so on. But without being told in advance, you are shocked to arrive home and find strangers hanging out in the living room, eating at the dining table — or sleeping inside your shared room.
There are more other nasty experiences overseas Filipino workers who are forced to settled in such shared apartments or shared rooms to save costs and squeeze their monthly incomes. But while such occurrence is unpleasant, they also teach us valuable lessons about humility and contentment, the virtue of patience, and the motivation to strive further all in the name of success.