Boots Anson Roa's new home

MANILA, Philippines -- "My downsizing from a big five-bedroom home to a condo reels off a new chapter in my adult and widowed life. The whole process of downsizing was an exercise in detachment from material possessions accumulated through the years to just the basic and the elemental."

This was Boots Anson Roa speaking at the recent blessing of her new residence at Andrea North, Balete Drive corner N. Domingo, in New Manila. Her new place is an 86-square meter unit on the sixth level with a six square meter balcony. The two-hectare property is familiar to San Juan residents. This was the site of the Pepsi Cola plant. For the past two years, we would often drive by the place, and see signs of the development being done by Philippine Realty and Holdings until the place finally opened its doors. Today only 40 of the 320 units are occupied, says Boots, although very few remain unsold.

We have to admit that her decision to downsize caught us by surprise. We have always identified Boots with space and lots of rooms. Even after her husband Pete Roa passed away, the home was ever bustling with visiting grandchildren. Her US-based sister Vicky came over and stayed for months. But son Joey is the only semi-permanent fixture of the place. And there are the maids and the ever important secretary-assistant-Jill of all trades, Tutti. We were curious as to how she would manage.

As she toured us around, Boots gave a run-down of what her new environment offered. The roof deck has two major function rooms, gardens, a gazebo, twin Jacuzzis, and a kitchen. We attended Mass at the ground level function room and during dinner, we espied an almost Olympic-sized pool, a kiddie pool, and landscaped gardens. A gym will soon be serviceable in this area. Apparently, there is also a jogging trail which Boots uses during the early morning. This offers her a chance to socialize with neighbors who also get up early to walk their dogs. As pets are often banned in condos, we never did care for the condo lifestyle. But small animals are allowed here, so hurray for Andrea North!

Interiors of the condo unit of Boots were created by her designer niece Victoria Salviejo, who adopted the Eastern antique theme. The place is adorned with wall-sized mirrors which gives the illusion of more space. She also added cabinets and shelves for storage, put in a little office, and transferred Boots' choicest and best-loved furniture from the previous house. She brought in some of Boots' Asian furniture, which have been in storage, and bought very few new pieces.

Boots' 100-year old sofa, re-upholstered in green and gold, was matched with an ottoman, throw pillow accents, antique jars, and authentic Buddha statues. An old granite console table also does much to add character to the entire living area. A matching granite covered service table was ensconced in the built-in four sitter dinette, which is covered with an oversized glass panel. A framed mirror serves as a wall piece while the main décor is a center piece with orchid arrangement placed beside an authentic ostrich egg sitting on an ivory stand from Africa.

The master bedroom has a king-sized bed leaning against an antique oriental panel with embossed stones. There is a curio cabinet, oriental frames with encrusted stones, an Ethan Allen princess chair, and matching designs on drapes. The entertainment center from the former home is covered with additional mirrors. Boots says she often opens the windows at night to let the breeze enter, and so that she may wake up with the rising sun.

Weeks after the house blessing and house warming party, we spoke with Boots to check on how she was adjusting to her new place. After all, this was her first time to live in a condo. "Honestly," she tells us, "we don't miss the big house."

Apparently, downsizing has made Boots more independent and more adventurous. Various exploits during the past few weeks include riding the elevator to go home (she also fell asleep in the elevator after a particularly hectic day), driving herself to church after years of being chauffeured around, and getting caught by a cop for a traffic infraction. She now does the groceries herself, and we imagine cooking some meals herself. "It is a most liberating experience - having had the gumption and the will power to 'let go' of the excesses of our previous lifestyle. I will give more space and time to 'let God' manage my life. Downsizing to the condo has provided me a wonderful beginning."

Email the author at


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

    China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ... …

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

  • Filipina maid photographs "modern slavery" in Hong Kong

    By Emma Batha LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A Filipina maid in Hong Kong has published stark photographs of burned and beaten domestic workers to highlight the "modern slavery" she says has long been the city's shameful secret. "Hong Kong is a very modern, successful city but people treat their helpers like slaves," said Xyza Cruz Bacani, whose black and white portraits won her a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to start studying at New York University this month. It's common …

  • Want to buy a brand new car?
    Want to buy a brand new car?

    Tired of fixing your old car? Maybe, this is the best time for you to invest a brand new car. BPI Family Savings Bank, the country’s leading consumer bank, is extending its newest campaign “Bagong Kotse, 1-Month Libre” promo until June 30, 2015 which allows potential car buyers to avail of a car loan term up […] The post Want to buy a brand new car? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options