Our funny house

I live in a townhouse that is part of a bigger subdivision in Pasig City. Built in the 80’s, our unit has three big rooms upstairs and a huge living room facing the compound’s garden. But like its residents, our house is getting on in years.

For the past several days, we find ourselves blanketed in darkness, while our neighbors along the townhouse row sparkle with electric energy. My first thought when our little black-out happened was, “Oh no! Did we pay our electric bill?” Thankfully, we did – but which leads to further cause to worry. “If we weren’t cut off by Meralco, then why the heck don’t we have electricity?”

It was a mystery even for house expert and constant companion Fort Jose. A Meralco technician said it was not their problem. He advised us to get a professional electrician. And we did. Professional Electrician said our electric wiring is safe and sound but that we need a newer fuse box.

Soon enough, our “mini-blackouts” became the backdrop of jokes. “Fort, wala na namang ilaw.” “Ay, baka ginamit ng maid ang microwave.” “Ang init!” “Eh, bakit di ka mag-aircon?” “Kasi pagnagbukas ng isa pang appliance, baka magbrown-out na naman.” And this in a house that has three main occupants.

Fort said our fuse box will be replaced on Monday. Meanwhile, our funny house is like a lighthouse in reverse. It is easy to spot where we live amidst the lighted enclave of townhomes. We are in the middle, sitting in temporary darkness, whenever someone turns on an appliance more than our old fuse box could handle. Every old house has its own share of stories – but ours may be literally too dark to tell, for now. :-)

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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  • http://none Rey Bustos

    What happened to your house electricity supply?
    Houses Electrical fuse boxes or power supply distribution boards are designed to withhold expected loads thru demand factor calculations and should last for a long time (unless too many circuits were added) same as the other houses around, since yours is the only house having a problem. It may not be on the on the fuse box, it may be from one of the appliances.

    an OFW electrician, thanking you for supporting OFWs.