Where to Find the Best Dormitories around U-Belt

Carmina Bayombong

It’s dorm-hunting season again! As classes will start a few weeks from now, you’re probably beginning to worry about where you could find a dorm or a space to rent. Don’t worry! There are a lot of options available for students like you.

There’s a multitude of dormitories within the U-Belt that you and your classmates can take advantage of if you’re looking for a dorm to rent. Whether you are looking for an apartment, a bedspace, or a “con-dorm,” the university belt has a lot to offer that will surely suit your budget and preference.

Of course, you should consider some important factors in deciding which dorm you should get — such as the area’s accessibility to your school, the security within the vicinity, and of course, the monthly rent. To help you get started, here are some suggestions that could help you find the best dorms:

Condo-sharing units along Espana and Taft

If you prefer living in a con-dorm or a condo-sharing unit, Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City and Espana Boulevard in Manila City are nestled with this type of lodging. Some of which are the Sun Residences, The ONE Torre De Santo Tomas, and The Grand Espana Residences. These condominiums are within walking distance to different schools like UST and FEU and also to many commercial establishments such as food hubs, internet cafes, and supermarkets.

Studying in UE, CEU, San Beda, or San Sebastian? You can find con-dorms along Mendiola, Recto, and Legarda. Jeepneys, bus stations, and LRT stations are also within the vicinity to help you reach your school faster.

Consider the accessibility of the place you’ll be staying in. You don’t want to be late for class!
If you’re studying in Intramuros, you could try scouting for condos for rent along the neighboring streets of Manila City Hall and the Philippine General Hospital.

Cheaper condo-sharing units are also available in the streets of Paco, Pedro Gil, and Faura, such as Qbix Condo, CityLand, and Suntrust condominiums if you’re on a tighter budget.

Normally, condominiums have useful amenities like convenience stores, study lounge, and cafeteria, making them very appealing to students. For con-dorm units, it’s pretty standard to expect rates that range from 3000 to 4000 pesos per month, excluding the utility bills such as water and electricity.

However, one downside of living along Taft and Espana is the tremendous traffic during rush hours made even worse by flood during the rainy season.

Traditional bedspacing in Sampaloc, Manila

The traditional room-for-rent or bedspacing option in a family house still exists in the streets bordering the different universities in the U-Belt. Usually, these are the houses that have “room for rent” or “wanted: bedspacers” posted on their gates or doors.

If condo-sharing or apartments won’t fit your budget, just scout through the residential areas near your school and look for signboards that say: “We accept boarders,” “We accept bedspacers,” or “Room for rent.” Ads like these are also available on social media platforms such as the “dorm hunters university belt” group on facebook, rentpad, and locanto.

You can score a place for as low as 1800 pesos a month inclusive of the utility bills, but you might need to check if the place is safe and well-maintained. Does it have fire exits or fire extinguishers? Is the street properly lit during nighttime? Or is the house situated within the vicinity of a police station, hospital, or a fire station?

However, keep in mind that this kind of lodging has stricter house rules. Curfew hours are usually imposed and you won’t typically be allowed to bring appliances other than your gadgets such as cellphone and laptop, and you might not be allowed to receive visitors.

Zipmatch has rated the Sampaloc District in Manila the most budget-friendly neighborhood along the U-Belt, particularly in the area of UST. Sampaloc District includes the streets of Loyola, P. Campa, P. Noval, Tolentino, Dapitan, Lacson, among others. But just a heads-up, Sampaloc is prone to flooding during the rainy season.

Renting with a purpose

If you wish your money to be spent for a greater cause, this might be the dorm you are looking for. Strategically located at the heart of the university belt is the Kapatiran Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI). Funds raised from rent payments are used to fund community development and charity programs of the Foundation.

KKFI’s is located in P. Paredes Street in Sampaloc and the room rates range from 2,270 to 4,300 per person and it’s within walking distance to almost all of the colleges and universities in Manila City.

Along Lacson Avenue, just across the UST, is the Holy Family Residence which is run by the Congregation of Religious of Mary. This dormitory transforms the dormitory into a school during Sundays.

University-accredited and partner dormitories

There are apps like rentalbee that you can use to find dorms near your university.

Some schools, such as NU, FEU, San Beda, and UE, have partnered with rentalbee to assist students in finding the best dormitories for them.

Through this platform, you could easily find your preferred areas to rent online and save you time and energy in searching. All you have to do is type in the name of your school in the search bar and a list of suggestions will be given to you, including maps, price, and facilities of the dormitory. This is very helpful when you want to compare one dorm from another.

U-Belt is a busy area, so dorm-hunting requires you to be more creative and resourceful in exploring your options. It will surely test your patience, but it will all be worth it when you finally find the one that meets your needs and preferences.

Found the perfect dorm, but still don’t have the budget to get it? InvestEd offers dormitory loans so instead of worrying about traffic, you can now focus on studying and getting a degree. Check it out here.