Shopping for off-campus student housing

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katipunanI glanced at the mirror , smiling and quite satisfied with my latest transaction for an off-campus housing accomodation for my 2 girls. As I inspected my makeup, I was horrified to see my right ear had white dangling earrings while my left had red earrings. Driving at 6:00 am is hazardous to one’s fashion sense. The landlady must have thought I was a nut case. Oh well. Hehehe.

My eldest girl is in her senior year and wants to be closer to her college. She’ll be involved with the school magazine and a thesis so it’s a busy schoolyear for her. Having to live in a dorm again was not an option at first. During her freshman year, she went through hell roommates , as she called them. Her ideal roommate is her younger sister because they know each other’s quirks. Younger sis will not get offended if older sis request the radio to be turned off and vice-versa. Armed with Ateneo’s list of off-campus student housing or dormitory facilities and a tour of the katipunan area, I visited a few of them.

Why oh why do some of these dorms provide double deckers for 4 people in a teeny-tiny room? The room looks like an army barracks. Take for instance, “Elizabeth Hall”. It’s brand new and has an interesting layout. Sure, it has a private bathroom and all but the room is so cramped because of the two double deck beds. MyPlace near Kentucky Fried Chicken is a luxurious dormitory facility but at 7,500 pesos or $147 a month (their cheapest rate) is quite expensive for me. Lauren specified that the room should only occupy her sister and herself. That added to the challenge.

esteban abada
We continue our search. There are dormitories along Esteban Abada st. which is parallel to Katipunan Avenue.

filipino dorm
This Filipino themed room is quite ethnicy but it had a dark aura around it. Perhaps , it was due to poor lighting.

prince davidA condominium at Prince David or Burgundy would be nice but still expensive. Lauren and I were about to give up when we discovered a nice house which had a vacant room for 2 persons. It felt like home. The room comes with an airconditioner, DSL line, complete kitchen facilities and standard dorm services. At a monthly rate of 4,000 pesos or $78.00 for each person, the rent fell within my budget. Look at it this way, if I hired a driver to drive the girls to school, his salary will cost me around 8,000 pesos a month, just as much as the dorm fees. It doesn’t include gasoline, his food and transportation expenses. Living closer to the college is a better option for the girls. They will learn to be independent , attending to their laundry, cleaning their room and cooking their meals.

Their mommy can relax at home, sitting pretty by the computer, right?

webs (100 Posts)

  • Or that landlady could think you have a very innovative fashion sense 🙂

    I have been lurking in your blog for a while, always meaning to leave a comment but somehow hadn’t gotten around to it. Just wanted to say I enjoy reading what you have to say. Your “about me” profile really affected me, you are a very courageous woman to have recovered from such devastating loss. You lived through my biggest fear; losing a child is something I can’t even think about.

  • Toe

    Lucky lucky girls! 🙂

  • hmm, don’t get ahead of yourself about the laundry…LOL

    I took mine home during the weekends….hehehe.

  • Jmom:Hehe for innovative fashion sense. Now if only the red earrring matched my outfit for that day. Yes I know, I somehow survived the greatest tragedy any parent can ever face. Nothing can scare me now.

    Toe: yes lucky.

    Dexie: The dorm came with laundry services. 35 pesos a kilo inclusive of wash and ironing. 🙂

    • A

      What dorm is this?

      I’m also looking for a dorm preferrably in Katipunan because I study in Philippine Science HS. I don’t like their dorm anymore, mostly because of my roommates.

      Your budget is quite close to my budget range too.

  • WOW laundry service and Php35 a kilo lang??? hahaha i’m so jealous i wish it were like that here too!

    dorm living is indeed fun. i haven’t tried it in manila since we didn’t live too far from ateneo and during the times we lived in alabang i had a fabulous carpool, but i have slept over at friends’ places and it was always such fun! living in a dorm now, it’s nice coz i’ve never really had the flexibility and luxury of going back to my room for a 4 hour break to rest or hang out or something. during my absurd 4 hour break in junior year, i would head home (we had moved to makati then) during the first part of the term, but the traveling was too tiring that i ended up crashing at a friend’s place instead.

    oh and yeah my friends would take their laundry home during the weekends too! 🙂

  • cris: I think a single denim pants might weigh 1 kilo. I ‘m sure laundry is expensive over there. My daughter enjoyed the carpool for her sophomore and Junior year and it was quite efficient but it seems she has to stay till 7 pm in school for magazine work and there is no carpool at that time. It was actually a last minute decision on her part. The younger daughter has no other recourse but to dorm because there is no carpool to UP.

  • celina

    hi. im am currently looking for a dorm too. but im on my own. im an incoming freshman at ateneo. i live in the south.. las piñas city. my house is really far and i think yea, a driver plus transpo expenses would be much more costly..maybe you can help me..if its okay.. i would really appreciate it.

    • joan

      Hi Celina,

      I’m looking for a dorm near Ateneo, too. I’d like to be your roommate if that’s OK. I hope to be able to find a place such as that described by Noemi that’s perfect for her daughters. I wonder how I could get in touch with you.


  • Celina: you can get a map from Ateneo Student Affairs

  • elaine

    Hi Celina,
    Check out this dorm’s website:

    It has a really nice garden and features several amenities.
    ‘hope this helps!

  • prince R

    Your daughters are so lucky. They must be very thankful of having you as their mom. They give me real reasons to envy them.
    You see, i’m a 15-y.o. boy living in My Place dorm. And if you’d ask me how in heavens I came up peering into your posts, it’s like this. I was searching for this dorm’s website for no reason. Then i came across your blog.
    How I wish my mom were like you to your daughters. That she drives me off to school, look for a nice dorm for me to live in, have so much time for me. And that she doesnt just rely the things a mother does for her only son to my aunts and guardians. Sure she provides me with my material needs… But i’m craving for a mother’s…uhmm…touch i think is the term..

    Lucky girls!!

    • Roy

      Hi there. May I know how much the rates are at MyPlace Student Accommodation? Hmmm, say for double or triple occupants in a room? I just visited the website but it isn’t working.

      I have been residing at Prince David for years now, however, my brother is transferring to Ortigas, and so I am looking for a place to transfer that’s not gonna cost me as our current place.

      I’d appreciate your response. Many thanks.

      Kind regards,

  • Elaine: Dormitoryana is a nice place. I wanted my kids to stay there too but unfortunately , the 2 bedroom was taken. My husband used to dorm in that place before the renovation. He stayed there till 1984 while studying law at UP. Then I think it became an all girls dorm after the renovation.

    Prince R- Myplace is a nice dorm. I think I might have been a too much hands-on mom but I’ve learned to let go . Am not really sure they are thankful but I hope they are. Mothers do the best they can. I know I can’t take care of their needs full time. I don’t know your circumstances but maybe you can let her know how you look forward to her “motherly love”.

  • I never experienced staying at a dorm since our house has always been so near–we live in UP village, so UP is just 3 minutes away, Ateneo about 10 (without traffic). I remember I was once in a hurry and drove my brothers and sisters to school (Ateneo & Miriam) in five minutes flat (that was early in the morning, right before the usual Katipunan schoolday morning traffic).

    Of course, commuting via jeeps and tricycles will up that time to about 30 minutes, given the long routes and stops.

    What’s great about living so near is that one can always go home during long hours in-between classes to eat and sleep (and try to fight the temptation of not coming back for afternoon classes).

  • @jangelo- we sold our first home that was near quezon city and bought a country home in sta rosa laguna. too bad . now the kids have to dorm . but it teaches them to be independent. At least L just walks to school and my other daughter M takes the katipunan jeep to UP. It’s quite convenient to live near the schools talaga.

  • Mimi

    Hello! I came across this post because I am an Atenean currently living in a dorm on Esteban Abada St.
    My roommates and I are really on edge right now because of certain problems in our dorm, and we are thinking of moving out soon. I don’t want you to display the address where your daughters are living, but I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how/where to find a similar place to live…It seems to me that it is not one of the dorms on the accredited list.
    You know, it is so tough to find a safe, clean, and relatively cheap place to stay in this area. The landladies make a great sales pitch but when you actually live there you discover hidden/magically rising charges and not-so-nice treatment. Ahem. I do hope your kids aren’t experiencing the same. It is so stressful! 🙁

  • MEiA

    hey! i saw ur blog.. well i hope my mom is like u. u see i just turned 18 and my mom still doesnt want me to live in an apartment for security reasons. Im currently staying at myplace ryt now, the place is great! i dnt have any worries but my roommate is driving me crazy! she talks to her boyfriend on the phone inthe middle of the night and well her uhmm… cleanliness is questionable. I know im messy but i cant take ppol leaving their dishes on sink for a week.. I wanna get a room on my own. Can u give any advice on which places to check, i really need it or ill snap on this inconsiderable person. It’s a hell living with her and theres nothing more i want except get her out of my sight!

  • @meia- maybe you need to talk to your mom regarding the cleanliness issue of your roomie. I think dorm has rules like that. You could request for a change of room if that is possible. You are in a nice place already. Other dorms around katipunan is not as nice as My Place. My daughter’s dorm is already full so I can’t help you there.

  • Alvin

    where did you get the room? i’m really having a hard time finding a place/ room for rent that has amenities like the room you got for your daughters. it’s really hard especially when your parents dont help you at all.=( [walking along esteban abada is not a good idea]

  • maganda

    hey! i read your entry. can you indicate the name of the house and where it is located? because yes, it’s hard to look for a suitable dorm/house in katipunan. tnx! i’d appreciate it! btw, you’re doing well with your blog.

  • neriz

    i live in elizabeth hall…in addition to the “crowded” rooms, management sucks! most of my friends already left. too bad i cant find a decent place near UP diliman/along katipunan ave…where’s that dorm? ^-^

  • neriz

    i came across with your page coz im doing a “product development” paper about our dorm… i suddenly felt like browsing your page (coz didn’t feel like writing anymore)…i took a glance on your son’s page… and before i noticed it, im already crying 🙁
    you are so strong.

  • hi! i’m also looking for a new place in katipunan. what’s wrong with elizabeth hall? i might be moving in there. shouldn’t i?

    my place costs too much. i used to live in dormitoryana but my laptop, money, and jewelry were stolen in my room so i’m looking for a new place. really scary, what happened.

    what’s happening to katipunan? my friend said she witnessed a kidnapping the other day in front of red ribbon and that there was a hold-upping incident at another time. scary. but i really need to find a new place.

    • Sad that it happened to you, but Im sure dormitoryana’s management does not want it to happen as well. But if your looking for a new dorm, try at Oracle Residences, its new. Along katipunan as well, beside yellow cab. Mas safe for sure doon coz they have their machine that scan fingerprints, I already inquired medyo mahal but with all those amenities ok na. My nephew will be staying there. Check it out.

  • Shane

    hope there’s a lot more topic in this site. I’m just looking for the answer on my “baby theses” regarding the problems of students living in a dormitory or boarding house or apartment. Well, I’m just hoping for some familiar you know, questions that are already answered.
    Anyway, thank you for some ideas.

    • misah

      I can give you one. Living separate for the first time away from a family authority makes them think that They can do anything. New found freedom sometimes may make them strong depending on how they were brought up, but this can destroy them also. Youngsters behavior are usually erratic, most are very indecisive and impulsive. Most of them also try to show their peers that they can do anything so they do’nt think before they act. These things may either make them or break them. If they can easily be coerced, that would be a problem. Living with others whom you really do’nt know can also be frigthening specially for those who were sheltered and pampered. They might be bullied and worst treated inhumanely. Hope this helps

  • Kevin

    Hi, Can you suggest a dorm in Katipunan that’s really cheap? I’m trying to find one 🙂

  • angelle

    hi. can you help me finding a dorm that’s near UP or ADMU. because i might be going to either of these universities. i plan to stay in myplace but i actually don’t have any idea of their rates. but i heard its really good there. 🙂

  • bevien

    where is that nice house which has a vacant room for 2 persons?
    i’m interested. :))

  • coco

    hello po! :] i’m an incoming freshman in ateneo and i’m also looking for a nice dorm since i wasn’t able to register for an in-campus dorm in time. my parents are also having trouble with limited budget since i have three more siblings for them to worry about… i’d really like to know where this nice house is… thanks! :]

  • alyssa

    hi po! :)) incoming freshman po ako sa ateneo and i only have one relative living here in manila. i would be staying at their house for the first semester but the problem is, their house is located in Pasay City. I’ve tried traveling and the journey is really, really tiring. it would take more than an hour for me to reach ateneo. my parents and i don’t have any other choice but for me to stay there since the dorm inside ateneo is quite expensive for us. we didn’t even had a chance to look for affordable but nice dorms because we live here in the province. by the second semester, i would really like to transfer to an affordable but a nice dorm like that. i’m really interested with this nice house. could you please tell me where this is? it would really be a big help for me and my parents. your response will be highly appreciated. thank you! =))

  • Alodia Bethel

    My friend and I will be taking the Bar examinations this September 2010 and will be having my review in Manila — at UP-Diliman — for the period of April to September.

    I am interested in and looking for just ONE room to share, with private toilet and bath. The second picture, with the “poor lighting”, can you refer me to that place? I thought it looked cozy. Could you also share the place of where your daughters were staying during their college day?

    It would be very well-appreciated. Thank you.

  • Deyn

    Hey. 🙂

    I’m also an incoming freshman in Ateneo.
    I’m from Pampanga so living at home is out of the question. We checked out Dormitoryana already and I really don’t feel much excitement for the place.
    I have a reservation for the on-campus dorm too. But their rooms are not that …well, let’s just say that sharing a single room that’s fully painted in pink with 3 other people isn’t really much of a tempting idea.
    My Place, Oracle residences, and Studio 87 has rates that are too high for me.
    Will you please tell me in an e-mail where you found this nice apartment?
    I would appreciate it greatly. Thank you.

  • dian

    hi there! can you tell me where this dorm is? im desperately in need of a new dorm…

  • Anonymous

    my son is an incoming freshman in Ateneo. Can you email me the address
    of this place? Thank you very much. Your blog is very informative and helpful.

  • Anonymous

    my son is an incoming freshman in Ateneo. Can you email me the address
    of this place? Thank you very much. Your blog is very informative and helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Hi po. I’m also looking for a place po where I could settle that’s close to my school, Miriam College. I’m very thankful that I’ve stumbled upon your blog. With your permission po, can you please e-mail me the address of the place? Is it safe there po?

    Thank you po very much. Waiting for your reply. 😀

  • Carina Tan

    Hi, I’m an incoming third year Atenean and I’m also currently looking for a place to stay hahaha XD Can you perhaps share the address of the place you found for your daughters? Sounds perfect! 🙂