I always knew I was gonna end up alone. Just kidding. I don’t want this to sound as morbid like that but now I’m pretty sure I’m not cut out for co-habitating with just about anyone. I left the condo I’ve been renting with 5 other folks for more than three years and transferred to an urban dorm just a few meters from Globe Asiatique Tower. I found Space Edsa after a few clicks and links on the web.
What’s an urban dorm, you might ask? I don’t know since I have never experienced the typical dorm. Urban dorm is trying to have this impression that it’s a better derivation of the traditional dorm – pertaining to the bedspaces availed by students who are typically on a tighter budget. Urban dorms advertise themselves as more upscale, thus more expensive. Rooms and common areas are fully air-conditioned, with hot shower, with wifi, equipped with a modest gym, with large TV screen and basic kitchen appliances like microwave, and utilizes RF card and CCTV cameras for security.
Maybe apart from this blog entry, all articles I’ve read online regarding Space Edsa are ones posted by bloggers invited when Space Edsa was still newly-built and was just being launched. I’ll try to show what it’s really like living here, consequently, touch on living in urban dorms in general. Here’s what someone who experienced Space Edsa for a month, when it’s already fully operational.
Space Edsa has a fully developed website and a Facebook account. It’s not hard to contact them for inquiries and the men in-charge of room viewings are very accommodating. To reserve a “bed” or a slot, you just have to pay and sign for a renewable 1-month contract, fill out their form and present one valid ID. One-months’ worth of rent is the only deposit they’d be asking. If you’re lucky, you may also avail of their prevailing promos and move in with just 50% security deposit (like me).
Space Edsa can be fully booked at times but since the contract is on a per-month basis, that also means that dorm-dwellers can come and go fast. All occupants sleep on double-decks and it’s the lower deck that gets occupied first (only Php100 more expensive than the top bunk).
Location, Dwellers, and General Atmosphere
It was built on 2016 and is located on top of a 7-11 store just a few meters away from VRP Hospital. It is along EDSA, with entrance at Sierra Madre St., right side south-bound. By bus, you can get off at Reliance in between MRT Line 3’s Shaw and Boni Station. Conveniently and strategically located for young professionals working in Ortigas, Makati or up to Pasay area. The co-ed dorm dwellers are usually yuppies or student who share the common areas but with separate sleeping areas and of course, separate shower and comfort rooms.
People are generally aloof with each other. You can sense that with an hour of stay in the common living room. Dwellers are just there to silently eat, charge their gadgets (power outlets are aplenty which is a thumbs up for me), or work and study more.
One notably good thing is that your valuables here are safe. You can leave your gadgets while charging. I can even see some spacers comfortably leaving money on table tops, too.
The staff, except from the female one who seemed to act as cashier, were all friendly and accommodating.
You can find the rates of the room at www.space.com.ph. I was able to rent the last slot on a 4-occupant room (top bunk) because that’s the only slot available when I transferred. The rooms can be for 4, 6, or 8. I initially had this impression that since there are slim price differences between these rooms, the room good for 4 would be the best option. Generally, the lesser people you have to share with, the better. Or so I thought. Check it for yourself but in my opinion, the room good for 6 may sometimes offer a larger common space inside the room for your personal belongings. All beds are of the same size so the common space is the determining factor.
There are power outlets in the room but if you occupy the top bed, you should be bringing your own extension cord. You can bring in a flat iron for clothes but that would be for additional Php300 charge.
I was told by a kind and emphatic roommate that there’s a good reason why I still found that bed available. No renter can stay – and on my first night, I found out why. It was so darn cold! The aircon vent was directly on top of my bed with not even a 2-meter distance! Space Edsa advertised that blanket and bed sheets shall be provided already so I was complacent that I didn’t have to bring my own. I was literally freezing that night with blanket as thin as shown above. I even had a scarf with me then. To be comfortable on the succeeding nights I literally bury myself inside thick socks, jacket, bonnet, and thick blanket.
I had issues with the lights too. There are two lamps to lighten up one room. My roommates were so used to switching on the particular lamp just above me because that bed has always been vacant for so long. I did not hesitate to change that rule since I am the one renting that space. It should be my call whether to turn it off or on at night because I am the one directly affected by it! For reasons you’ll soon find out below, I had to apply sunscreen even at night because of this lamp.
I’m not used to sleeping on beds this narrow and a double-deck at that. On my third night here, my cellphone fell flat-faced from the bed to the floor and had its gorilla glass totally shattered! Good thing my phone was left unscathed.
Rules on Space
You shall sign a Contract of Lease and there you will find the rules and regulations inside Space Edsa which are plain common sense revolving around respect. The sad part is, Space Edsa cannot implement these rules inside the rooms. Again, I’m just speaking here based on my experience. A friend of mine also moved in with me, in another room, and was comfortable. Maybe it’s just a matter of roommates and attitude, too. I’m mean.
When I reserved my slot, I took a quick view of the room and saw it this way:
I asked the staff who assisted me if the room (or at least the space I paid for) shall be cleared out. I found the room messy and so different from the rooms presented in their website. Panties and underwear were hanging to dry inside the air-conditioned room, plastics of garbage were hung on the door knob. But it was okay, I still proceeded since there are rules to be implemented, right? And the staff said it would be cleared out right?
I finally moved in with just a backpack for my clothes, a small blue drawer and a 3-layer shoe rack. There should be enough room for all of these 3 items inside the room had my space not been fully occupied by the 3 girls who were there before me. I asked the staff to clear out “my” space. After being answered on four consecutive times that the maintenance shall do it but fail, I gave up. I had to make do with this less than 1 square meter of space near the door. I occupied the inner double deck so initially I was requesting to have my items placed on the far end of the room but I settled for this instead.
Here’s the epic apart, when one roommate saw for the first time my drawer and shoe rack neatly arranged near the door, she said, “Hindi pwede yan! Hindi safe kapag may nangyari dito.” To which I acted like I heard nothing. My drawer and shoe rack settling in that very tiny space where they were unfairly allowed did not pose security threat to me. At most, four girls would just have to go out of the room during emergency, two of which would have to come down from the top beds, so it’s just two at a time. For someone who supposedly values safety so much, the room should not be left this cluttered and messy, nor even attempt to use fire-prone electric outlet extensions such as this.
There were more instances of me just shutting up when I wanted to burst out. I didn’t need to sleep every night at Space Edsa. I just slept there 2 nights a week at most and during those rare instances, I would be woken up at 1 am or on some unholy hour which I did not even bothered to check what time, by a co-spacer answering phone calls, chatting and flirting aimlessly. I mean it would have been forgivable if it was emergency but heck!
Should this stair-steps to the top bed be left empty? Who has jurisdiction here? During my entire stay, it always had these clothes hanging on it hampering my way up. I will always find my towel which is the only item I hang on the bed’s railings evicted from where it was originally placed where I left. Because what? It was distracting?
My roommates eat inside the air-conditioned room and there is no policy regarding this. The room would smell of vinegar, longganisa, or cup noodles and you can’t do anything because they’re used to it, had always done it that way and it’s not even against the rules.
Leaving any type of garbage inside the room is not allowed, though. But most times, I will find plastic of garbage blocking my locker or my drawer.
I had issue with the lights being left turned on the entire night. By the third week, I was able to negotiate to have the lamp directly above me to be turned off by 11 PM. This wasn’t followed all the time as the girls in the lower beds still easily switch it on as they please. I made no further comment as by the second week, I have already decided Space Edsa isn’t for me.
Comfort Room and Shower Room
The shower rooms are a different story especially at 7AM. It can be jam-packed and there were times that there are ques but nothing that couldn’t be resolved easily. Just wake up and shower just a bit earlier. Water pressure though satisfactory isn’t that strong with the whole of living spaces located on the building’s third floor. Space Edsa’s developer could learn a thing or two on the shower rooms of Fitness First with regards to the drainage and how the adjacent cubicle’s bath water and soap suds won’t annoyingly bathe you, too. Am I being too high-maintenance? Am I?
Kitchen and Gym
I did not use these 2 during my 1 month stay and items here are not mine, so not my story to tell. The tables are clean. Kitchen and gym are well-maintained and the spacers are disciplined in the common area.
Wifi is strong though there were days that it doesn’t work at all. Globe signal is strong inside the premises so on most days, 4G will do.
Space Edsa gets fully occupied because of this extremely high need for urban spaces and bad public transportation. Space Edsa proves that it can serve its intended purpose at a relatively affordable price. However, like all things, it may not be suitable for every one. Share your experiences in the comment section below. Let’s make reviews in the cyber world as fair and as realistic as possible, shall we?