And it’s not just for crewmembers of the USS Enterprise.
It’s also for every budget-conscious entity looking for decent living space within the areas near, beside, and/or adjacent to the University of the Philippines.
The task might not be as difficult as resisting the Borg but the challenges remain formidable enough to shock a starship captain into attention.
To stake your claim on a clean, well-lighted place that has a fully-functioning flush toilet within the UP/Teachers’/Sikatuna Village area, one must have the charm of James Tiberius Kirk, the fortitude of Jean-Luc Picard, and the balls of Kathryn Janeway.
Wily landlords, devious property managers, and suspicious building superintendents are all out there, offering monthly rents that would spark outrage among the Ferengi.
High prices are, of course, part of the overall strategy, a gambit designed to separate the insane from the desperate, the tightwad locals from the moneyed Koreans, many of whom have taken over pocket neighborhoods within the area. But that’s another story.
If you’re an apartment hunter looking for long-term yet temporary refuge within the area, it can’t hurt to have a little good luck and good karma on your side.
However, depending on them too often may result in consequences that can severely distort your time, space, and rent continuum.
More than five years ago, my wife and I found – and immediately took – a one-floor, two-bedroom affair within Teachers’ Village.
Situated within a gated compound, the unit sported new dark green tiles and a fresh coat of paint that was on the creepy shade of yellow.
Rent was reasonable for two adults and a fat cat. The fact that the owner’s son’s family lived right beside us left us with no doubt that we made the right choice.
But that was until we received the electric bill a month after.
It was huge.
We entertained the notion that our cat may have taken liberties with our airconditioner since he wanted to replicate winter weather to which he was accustomed.
An electrician my in-laws hired to check on our cables – and our power consumption – disabused us of our cat’s guilt.
He discovered that the compound’s water pump was directly wired into our apartment’s electric connection.
Our meter went full throttle everytime anyone staying within the six-unit complex peed or pooped.
As soon as we collected and secured evidence – colored photo print outs of our electric meter – we stormed into the landlord’s office, demanding reduced rent and an explanation.
We got the former, never really having cared about the latter.
Although the dispute was settled amicably, my wife and I decided to leave after the six-month contract expired.
Only after two big moves within one year were we able to find a place that suited us perfectly.
But then again, I may be speaking too soon.
After all, we might decide to move again and venture into places where no one among the three of us has gone before.