Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Iloilo Accommodation: Ong Bun Pension House

Iloilo is the first on our list for our Western Visayas backpacking trip. Upon arriving, we asked the van from the airport to drive us to Ong Bun Pension house where we will be staying for the night.

Upon arriving, the pension's guard greeted us with a smile and helped carry some of our things. I personally noticed that he cordially greets guests as they pass by him which I appreciated. I also tried asking for directions from the lady at the front desk and she was more than willing to help. Employees are generally helpful. :)

The thing is, there had been some mix up with our reservation and the front desk officer was not able to find our reservation. The pension is fully booked except for 2 rooms, one with AC that can accommodate 4 people and a fan room with a two-person capacity. We went upstairs to check the rooms, it isn't much as expected, almost bare. Few minutes later, we were informed that a bigger room which is located right beside the front desk became available as the guest staying there checked out. After seeing it, we decided to take the room.

Prior to this trip, I researched on cheap accommodations in Iloilo. Since we're working on a budget, I know that accommodation is where we can save a big chunk of money. We wouldn't stay long in the room and would spend most of our time outside so a pension house would work. We just needed a place to rest our weary bodies after the days' activities.

Upon opening the door is a room with 3 single beds. There's a television, a bathroom, dining table with four chairs and a separate sink for washing the dishes, completely opposite to the room we first checked. There's even a closet with hangers. In addition, there is another door leading to a private bedroom (adjoining room) with two more single beds with own television and bathroom. Each room has an AC unit which are a bit noisy but nevertheless worked very well and were cold. Beddings are a bit old but neat and fresh.

The bathrooms don't have hot and cold shower, which is alright with us but might be a problem for some specially during the rainy season. The building is old and you'd feel it inside the room. I believe that the management can do some refurbishments or just simple repainting jobs. The window in the first bathroom was broken. Since we're not on the ground floor, we still felt safe.

With all those being mentioned and us just paying Php1000 for everybody, that's quite a steal. I would never expect something grand with that price. The only thing I didn't like is when I noticed that the bathrooms aren't tidy. It's forgivable that there are permanent stains on the walls (due to the building being old) but the tiles and bowls should still look and smell clean.

The corners of the ceilings also have cobwebs which showed that housekeeping can still do more to tidy up the place. Cleanliness is a serious business - especially in the hospitality industry, something I learned while working for one of the world’s biggest hotel chain for two years. I'm not sure though if it was just our room, the pictures on their website showed otherwise.

Ong Bun is on a central location, along Ledesma St, which makes it very accessible. There is an obelisk in the crossroad of Ledesma, JM Basa and Iznart Streets as a near landmark. They offer free wi-fi and have a mini restaurant on the fourth floor where we got free drinking water.

With everything that I mentioned, I wouldn't recommend or discourage you from staying in Ong Bun, it will really depend on your priorities and reasons for your travel. As of our stay, I'd still say it's more pleasant than not. After all, customer service and price is what matters most to me.

*** As of today, Ongbun had been refurbished. You can check my fellow Pinoy travel blogger's blog here to view Ongbun's new look. :)


  1. hi there, were you able to check out their suite rooms? I wonder if it is also included in this old building?


  2. Hi Webby! I didn't check out their other rooms. My review is solely based on the room we stayed however I do believe that the suites are located in this same building since they only have one building in Iloilo.

  3. hhmm any other budget accommodation aside from ong bun? gusto ko may hot and cold shower! hehe

  4. Tama! Masarap feeling ng warm shower after a day's exhausting activities kaso didn't have a chance trying other accommodation places. Pls suggest me some pag may nadiscover ka Chyng ha. I wanted to go back, I missed Guimaras (Inspired by your Guimaras post) and Capiz during that trip.

  5. oh yes! improved na yung rooms sa floor namin. pwede naman siguro you check the room first di ba.

    and don't be fooled by the facade of the building. super safe po ang ong bun! :)


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