The first few months I lived in Dumaguete, I stayed in an apartment called Villa Priscilla. While it had a swimming pool – which is very rare for apartments in the city here – that’s literally the only good thing you can say about it. It was too old, too uncared for, too far out, and definitely too expensive. But the pool.
So had high hopes when I gave my 30-days notice to move out and started looking for a new place. But I was quickly frustrated because the prices jumped on so many places in the city, or there was a long waiting list to get into the couple really nice, modern, close-by, and affordable places I found.
The Amru Gateway Residence in Dumaguete
I spent a couple of hours each day for a whole week bicycling around different neighborhoods and knocking on doors, asking around, and looking at every place that had a For Rent sign. I also checked Airbnb, Facebook groups, Google, and sent messages and emails, but all to no avail.
So when a neighbor casually mentioned that he and his wife were moving to a nearby place with a weird name, Amru Residences, I didn’t think much of it. In fact, I thought it wouldn’t be so close to my current apartment when I went looking the next morning, but it was only about two blocks away.
I liked it from the start, put a deposit down that day, went back and got my passport and the rest of the funds, and moved in that Monday!
Amru Gateway Residence is brand new – in fact, I’m the first occupant in my spacious studio apartment. On my entire two-floor wing of studios, there are only two people occupying apartments that I can count!
On the other side of the building, there are bigger two bedroom apartments. I applied for those, but there’s a waiting list, which is no problem because my current place is very comfortable.
I got a good-sized studio with a ton of cabinets and storage, fully furnished with built in desks, a nice television, big min-fridge, brand new window AC, bench, desk, and bed – all for 10,000 Pesos, or $200 a month. I had two options: a bigger room with a fantastic view of the park and the mountains behind it, or my room facing the front that didn’t have a park view but a small balcony. It’s not big enough for really sitting out there, but it’s super nice to keep the door open or put a drying rack out there for clothes.
I quickly found that the staff at Amru are incredible, too. They’re super helpful in the main office and the gal went out of her way to get my own personal wi-fi connection hooked up within two days when the company said it would take weeks. The y have 24-hour guards that are friendly and diligent, and even give me a ride to town on the back of their motorbike once and a while.
So what’s the downside? There isn’t much, except the studios don’t have a kitchen, but there is a brand new shared “dirty” kitchen, which is a common Filipino thing where the kitchen is outdoors but covered. My unit also didn’t come with a water dispenser (about $80), a microwave (about $50), or dishes, glasses, etc. (about $20). But those are negligible costs, and I’ll get to keep that stuff as I move. Like I mentioned, the unit is only a couple of blocks from my old place, which I found to be very isolating as it was hard to get a trike or transport at night. Amru may be a little of the same, but it’s only a 5-minute walk to the main street where you can always get a trike, and the security guards are helpful enough that they’ll call a trike for you ahead of time.
Great place and for $200 per month ($300 for the 2-bedroom unit!), I foresee being here a long time! Keep following us for more updates like this on world travel.