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Cube & Condo: Tami Acena


“I moved into my condo a year ago, on June 12, Independence Day,” shares 27-year-old Tami Acena, a creative partner at digital agency Propel Manila. Like most Pinays, Tami lived with her parents for a while post-graduation, and eventually moved out to share a flat with other girls. While communal living with other women was fun, she never let go of her dream to strike out solo. She says, “Independence is very important to me. I like the idea of being able to live on my own, especially in the Philippines where it’s not common to leave the family home before 30. Knowing I can take care of myself gives me a sense of fulfillment.” Here, she dishes smart advice to help you find—and keep—your own place, stat.

Moving Out 101 with Tami

1. Two words: Save up!

“If you plan on renting a P13,000 studio like mine, you need at least P50,000 to P70,000 to cover the basics: Rent deposit and basic furniture like your bed, a fridge, and an electric fan. You don’t need a lot of stuff in the beginning. It’s nice to see your place evolve with you.”

2. Scout like you mean it.

“I asked friends who live on their own for referrals. I also called brokers, searched online, and I walked around the area near my office to find ‘The One.’ In the beginning I thought it was beyond my budget, but wala eh, the whole package made sense considering it’s only 10 minutes away from my office with nice amenities, like a gym and a pool.”

3. Think of a theme…and make it happen.

“My condo’s concept evolved from my first for-the-house purchase: a birdhouse key holder. It gave me the idea to make my house a ‘nest,’—nature-inspired, with a lot of forest-y touches, like a plant from my dad, a lot of brown furniture, tribal prints, and floral accents.”

4. Mix old and new.

“I brought my stuff from my parents’ home, like my bed and study table. But the rest of the furniture are new. This approach gave my place an eclectic vibe which I like.”

5. Make your place you.

“Make your home an extension of your personality by decorating it with things you made. My paintings are here and the place is full of knickknacks and art works that reflect my interests: nature, the ocean, crafts, books, and vinyl toys.”

Explore Tami’s cozy crib and check out her décor tips by clicking the gallery link on the photo above!

Photos: Jico Joson
Hair & Makeup: Ara Fernando for L'Oreal Professionnel

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