Dorms in the University Belt – FEU, UE, PSBA, San Beda, UST, UM – Manila

My daughter transferred to FEU in Manila, so we had to look for a safe, secure and affordable dorm within walking distance from FEU. We spent more time in looking for a dorm than in working out her transfer.  We looked at dorms near FEU, UE, UST, San Beda, UM and PSBA.

There are some insights that we learned about dorms and dorm hunting:

1)  Private bathrooms are not always an advantage. In some dorms that we visited, we heard some renters complaining that their roommates don’t help in cleaning their bathrooms. Well, they could always hire someone to clean their bathrooms, but that’s additional expense. In dorms that have plenty of common shower rooms and restrooms, these are preferable to private bathrooms as common bathrooms are cleaned by the dorms’ cleaners.

2)  You can go overbudget if you rent aircon rooms without submeters, or even with submetered rooms with roommates who insist on using aircon all the time. Without submeters, you’ll be paying for the consumption of aggressive electricity users, even if the bill per room is based on appliances used per room.

3)  Dorms have contracts with terms ranging from two months to one year, with discounts for longer contracts. Most have one-month deposit and one-month advance requirements.

4)  It’s so tiring looking for a lot of dorms, but if you’re patient and determined, you can still find an affordable but comfortable dorm. Wear flat and light sandals, and have pen and paper in handy for notes. When you’re comparing dorms later at home, you tend to forget some things, so it’s helpful taking notes.

5)  Most shared rooms feature double-deck beds, certainly to save space. Among the ones we saw, it’s only KFFI that provides single beds.

If our experiences could help you, then we’re glad to be of help. Here are the dorms we looked at:   (Rates are per individual)
P. Paredes St., corner Espana, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Tel. No. 7354663

Monthly rent: 1,800 (rooms on 2nd floor), 1,650 (rooms on 3rd floor), 1550 (rooms on 4th floor), with four people per room, non-aircon rooms; additional fees of 200 for electric fan, 100 for cellphone charging, 75 for light, and 50 for water; annual registration fee of 200.

Advantages: plenty of common bathrooms and restrooms, beds are not double deck, have windows, fairly wide concrete stairs, parents can call for login-logut info, very near FEU, lots of eateries nearby, including one eatery wherein one can buy food through a window from the first floor
The dorm is run by civic organization Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation, Inc. KKFI also runs Hugh Wilson Hall Dormitory along Lerma St.

My Main Comment: If I were studying and looking to help my parents budget their money, I’d consider this dorm. Aside from its nearness to FEU and to affordable eateries, the beds are single, the bathrooms and toilets are adequate, and it’s run by a foundation.

776 San Sebastian St. near corner Claro M. Recto Ave., Manila, Philippines
Tel. Nos. 733-80-61 loc 106, call Mon to Fri 10am-7pm

Monthly rent: 2,200 (4-person aircon room with bathroom, excluding electric and water bills), plus a one-time payment of 2,140 for maintenance fees for a six-month contract; 1,200 (4-person room with common bathrooms) plus one-time payment of 2,140 for maintenance fees for a six-month contract
Advantages: Fenced compound with a small garden with chairs and tables for guests and relaxation, eatery near the compound entrance, fairly wide concrete stairs, large mirrors near the stairs, mini-balconies

868 Quezon Blvd., beside FEU
Tel. Nos. 410-3743, 721-77-36, 0919-602-8101

Monthly rent: 1,200 (room for ten persons, five double-decks, electric fan, including water and electricity), 2,200 (room for two persons, but all occupied when we inquired)

Advantages: One of the nearest to FEU because it’s just beside FEU. If it’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella, you can reach the dorm without getting wet. We didn’t time our walk, but I think a walk from the FEU’s western gate to the dorm takes about two minutes. There are also plenty of affordable eateries nearby.

Features: Has a security guard (palabiro, has been with the dorm for years) and has a manang who’s very pleasant.
Concerns: Only a few common bathrooms — my daughter’s main concern.
My main comment: If I were a student who’s concerned about my parent’s expenses, I’d choose this dorm, especially if I’m school all the time, and use the school’s facilities most of the time, so I’ll just use the dorm for sleeping and getting ready for school.

1388 Claro M. Recto Ave., corner T. Alonzo, corner San Bernardo, Santa Cruz, Manila, Phil
Tel. Nos. 0906-538-5024, 735-5121

Monthly rent: 2,800 (2-person non-aircon room, one double deck), 3,100 (2-person aircon room, one double-deck, excluding aircon charge)

Advantages: steel closet per person, study table and chair per person, plenty of common shower rooms, restrooms, and long sink area, large lobby, a Mercury Drugstore on the first floor of the building (good for groceries and toiletries), building security guards, and a dorm doorwoman.

Concerns: One has to take a seven-peso jeep ride to and from FEU, although someone used to walking can cover the distance by walking. There are a lot to be encountered on the sidewalk though, such as vendors, street children, merchandise, pedestrians, pet hawkers, and the like.

My Main Comment: If not for the distance to FEU, I’d choose this for my daughter, as the price is just right considering that there are only two persons in a room, the room is wide enough for two study tables (which are missing in most dorms), and the shower rooms and toilets are new and clean. Mattresses are also provided and bedsheets are changed every week.

778-780 San Sebastian St., near corner Claro M. Recto, Manila, Philippines
Tel. Nos. 985-68-48, 734-95-88

Monthly rent: 3,000 (4-person aircon room), 5,000 (2-person aircon room), 2,500 (4-person non-aircon room), 4,000 (2-person room), excluding electric and water bills
Advantages: Every room has an electric submeter, private bathroom, and place for hanging wet underwear. Has reception area and security guard. Parents can call for login-logout info. This dorm looks newly built.

My main comment: If not for the distance to FEU and the overall total costs, I’d choose this dorm for my daughter. The building is new and clean with each room with a hanging area for wet underwear, fitting my daughter who has allergic rhinitis.

2206 San Anton St., Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Tel. No. 0928-275-4243

Monthly rent: 2,200 (4-person non-aircon room double-deck beds), 2,400 (2-person non-aircon room), 3,500 (4-person aircon room including aircon charge), 3,000 (6-person aircon room including aircon charge)
Advantages: The dorm manangs cook affordable food and there’s free wifi connection.

748 M.D. de los Santos St., Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Tel. No. 998-7165, 559-7824, 0922-8619798

Monthly rent: 3,200 (4-person aircon room, common toilet and bath), 3,500 (4-person aircon room with private bath and toilet), 2,100 (4-person non-aircon room with common bath and toilet), 2,400 (4-person room with private bath and toilet), electric and water charges already included, but aircon runs only at certain hours.
Advantages: Free wifi connection, security guard, reception room, fairly wide concrete stairs, plenty of common bathrooms and toilets

2nd Floor, San Jose Bldg., P. Campa cor Espana, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
above KFC
Tel. Nos. 0922-8847157, 09339551852, 711-2719, 711-4445

Monthly rent: 3,500 (two-person aircon room)
Advantages: along Espana, near FEU and UST, near KFC, McDo and other eateries
Features: Common bathrooms — This is an advantage for those who don’t have time cleaning bathrooms. There’s a small store for snacks and prepaid loads inside and an Internet station.
There’s also a Pacific Pod dorm on 507 Gastambide St. very near the corner of Claro M. Recto Ave. and Legarda, Sampaloc.

We were still looking at other dorms when my daughter’s friend from high school texted if my daughter likes to stay with her and another friend at an unfurnished studio-type unit along Espana. Although my daughter needs to take a jeepney ride from the offered unit to and from FEU, we decided to say yes, as it’s my daughter’s first time to live away from us, so living with friends could help. Besides, her share of the rent would be only 1,400 plus her share of the electric consumption. (When my daughter moved in, however, her  share increased to 2,100 pesos as the third person backed out.)

Update based on a flyer given to my daughter this February 2011:

926 P.  Campa St,  Sampaloc, Manila
Beside McDo Espana, near overpass to Morayta (now Nicanor Reyes)
Tel Nos: 734-0118, 346-4273

According to the flyer:

– Rooms for 2, 3, 4 or 6 persons
– 24 hour air conditioning, surveillance camera along hallways, and lady guard on duty
– Intercom inside rooms
– Bathroom inside room
– Elevator service from 6 am to 9 pm
– Public phones, audio-video programs and wi-fi in the lobby
– Individual cabinets and drawers with locks
– Individual study tables with wi-fi
– Automatic generator, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarms
– Furnished bed and foam mattress

Update as of April 2, 2011:

Here’s info on two dorms, shared by Kitin.  Thanks a lot, Kitin, for the well-organized info.

Hello again.. I just got home from dorm/apartment hunting.. kapagod pala talaga.. Anyway, about sa ALQ Condo Dormitory, very secured sya kasi bukod sa may security guard e automatic lock din yung entrance so walang basta bastang makakapasok. and yung lobby is hotel-like. very beautiful kaya lang they have 1 year contract so obviously, hindi ako pwede dito kasi 3 months lang naman yung review.

1070-1074 P. Campa St., Sampaloc Manila
5597932 / 09104947805

Units prices range from P6500 – P10,500

P6,500 – 2pax
P10,500 – 4pax

-Semi furnished rooms with wall fan
– Free Wifi (in the lobby)
– Private toilet and bathroom

Terms of Payment:
2 months advance, 1 month deposit

Nakita ko po yung rooms nila. Though medyo maliit, ok naman for 2 persons. I think I will rent this one. Pero and sinabing price sakin is P7,000 para sa rooms sa 1st floor and P7,500 para sa rooms sa 5th floor.

(infront of Daystar Econorooms)

I saw one room on the 3rd floor with aircon and it costs P7,500. Double deck lang yung laman nung room and yung aircon. walang cabinet and study table. plus yung walang private toilet and walang wifi…

So there.. sana makatulong din to sa paghahanap niyo ng dorm/apartment, etc…

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