“Condo living is perfect for people who are always on the go,” says Gino de la Peña, a commercial model, TV host and actor.
“If you’re just starting your career, or if you’re always busy, a condominium unit is perfect for you,” adds Gino, whose current address is a high-end 43-story building in Taguig City.
He explains further: “This lifestyle is really for those who want everything ASAP, not like when you’re in a subdivision. I used to live with my mom; I remember every time I had to do my groceries, I’d have to drive for 20 minutes. Here, everything is five minutes away.”
Gino points out that a condo unit is very easy to maintain. “It’s easy to clean; you need a maid only once or twice a week. It’s also easier to move around in a condo. There is no second floor to climb to, to get your stuff. Everything is within reach,” says the cast member of GMA 7’s afternoon fantasy series “Paroa: Ang Kwento ni Mariposa.”
Gino, also one of the contestants in the fourth season of the reality show “Survivor Philippines,” appreciates the security aspect. “Plus, the building administration does all repairs for you; whereas, when you’re maintaining a house, the repairs are all at your expense.”
Gino moved in to this three-bedroom unit four years ago. In 2011, he took in two roommates. “I feel like we’re characters in the TV series ‘Friends.’ This place is usually filled with people. We rehearse here for our Bible ministry every Tuesday. It’s a place where most of my friends can drop by when they’re in the Fort area,” says Gino. Obviously, being surrounded by a lot of people doesn’t bother him. “I have my own bedroom. I can always lock the door behind me when I claim some ‘me’ time.”
Gino hired a “friend of a friend” to design the unit interiors. He personally picked furniture pieces in beige, brown and gray shades for a “cozy and comfortable look.” Some walls are textured for that “modern style and bachelor feel” that Gino wanted.
Because he is a knife enthusiast, storage space was a problem for Gino when his roommates moved in. He had to put away many of his knives in boxes and transfer them, along with several clothes, to his parents’ home in Corinthian Gardens in Quezon City.
“Nothing much has changed here since I moved in, just the paint on the walls,” says Gino. “I like it very much here, more than other residential buildings in the area. It has the perfect view of the Fort and Makati City. I think that’s what we’re really paying for.”
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Photos by Jim Guiao Punzalan