Sunday, December 30, 2012

You cannot escape the ‘mall culture’ in the Philippines

It is not a secret that I am not a fan of spending my time inside malls but I can also understand why this has turned into a very popular phenomenon in the Phillippines called: ‘Mall Culture’ aka ‘Malling’

Inside the mall (Ayala Centre in Cebu):

Many malls have incorporated gardens and parks into their design such as this one in Ayala Centre, Cebu with the addition of the Ayala Terraces outdoor eating and recreation area.

In the tropics it is hot all the time with a temperature average between 32C and 40C during summer season and 25C and 30C during rainy season. Throw in the noise and air pollution into the equation, no wonder people prefer to stay inside the malls even if they are not going to shop, eat or do business inside. They just stay inside, hang out, go malling.

Malling has truly become a culture in the Philippines. It is a national pastime.

Some articles I found about this topic:

UK Trade & Investment (2012): Retail in the Philippines
Inquirer (2011): The national pastime
Brunei Times (2009): Let’s go malling
Reuters (2008): ‘Malling’ consumes shoppers in the Philippines

So when we were in Cebu, Dutchman and I could not escape these airconditioned oasis. We mostly did the following:

1) Shop (at SM, Ayala and Robinsons) – we did not have a lot of time so we were always rushing and even driving from mall to mall.

2) Meet and Eat ( with friends, relatives and family) – the malls are a favourite place to meet by everyone so Dutchman and I have given in. I guess it is easy for everyone as it’s a place in the centre of the city, with accessible parking and with many restaurant choices.

Meeting with my cousins in Ayala Centre at their favourite place to eat: Lemon Grass (Vietnamese-Thai Cuisine restaurant) and later having coffee at UCC Coffee.

I met with my BFF as well in the same mall and wrote earlier an entry about it here: Spending time with Rock BFF in Cebu

Dinner with the family here a few times. My brother and his wife had to leave for an engagement in Cambodia, so while they were gone, we made sure to entertain the smart aleck nephew that was left behind. I call him smart aleck because he is far too advanced in IQ and EQ for his age. He is just 6 years old but thinks like an adult. I hope he can follow a school soon that specialises on individual accelerated learning. 

We ate at Cafe Laguna in Ayala Terraces. We were so hungry I forgot to take pictures of the food, instead I only have pictures of the aftermath and the desserts, haha.

Dutchman and I even went to SM Mall to watch James Bonds Skyfall movie, and we also had dinner here with smart aleck nephew. 

Nevertheless, there is one thing I have regretted, I was not really able to shop. My original plan was to shop a whole day. It never happened. I had an hour here and there and had to always squeeze in last minutes.

Viva malling in the Philippines! =)

Travel Period: October-November 2012
Destination: Cebu City (Cebu), Philippines

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