Philippine Living: The Top Five Malls of Manila

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“The new shopping malls make possible the synthesis of all consumer activities, not least of which are shopping, flirting with objects, idle wandering, and all the permutations of these.” -Jean Baudrillard

Filipinos have a long-standing love affair with shopping malls—this much is evident from the myriad of shopping centers in almost every nook and cranny in every major city. With their unique relationship with these cathedrals of consumerism, it would be understandable for these malls to adapt to the times in order for it to thrive. Gone are the days wherein a trip to the mall would only entail the goal of shopping. Today, contemporary malls have incorporated a lifestyle aspect to their structures in such a way that it has consolidated most activities—and even hobbies into one place. Filipinos no longer go to the mall to get their weekly groceries, now, they go to the mall to catch a movie, have a cup of coffee, pay bills, attend conferences, appreciate nature, etc. Indeed, the modernization of Filipino malls has enhanced an ordinary Filipino’s shopping experience.

Here are some of the malls in Manila that offer their patrons a unique and more enriched mall experience:

1.) Greenbelt

Consisting of five shopping areas known as Greenbelt 1 to 5, Greenbelt is a shopping mall within the vicinity of Makati City. Owned by real estate and lifestyle magnate, Ayala Malls, it is one of the leisure malls in Manila that offer high-end shopping. By integrating nature into it’s design, Greenbelt’s exterior offers shoppers and visitors a unique scenery of seamless mall and nature blending.

2.) SM Mall of Asia

Known as the fourth largest shopping mall in the Philippines, and the 11th largest mall in the world, Mall of Asia (MOA for brevity) is a myriad of four structures joined by walkways. These four structures are the main mall where shopping and dining establishments are predominantly present, a two-story complex facing Manila Bay also known as the entertainment mall, and the parking spaces in the North and South which together have 5000 parking spaces for patrons. If you are looking to pass the time, MOA is the perfect mall to cater to your needs as it has so much more than stores and cinemas. It features a Ferris wheel, concert grounds and the like.

3.) Glorietta

Known to be a mall with a colorful history, Glorietta is a huge shopping mall owned and operated by the Ayala Corporation. Like Greenbelt, it is also split into five sections and has a wide array of dining and shopping options as well as an arcade, a cinema, gym and so much more. Though the mall may be marred by traumatic and scary incidents (such as a bombing in 2005, an explosion in 2000 and a fire in 2007), it has done nothing to tarnish the mall’s good name and popularity. Today, the mall remains a favorite among locals for its convenience, plentiful features and accessibility.

4.) TriNoma

If you are looking for a mall that has fully embraced nature and its elements, then you need to look no further than TriNoma. Considered as a direct competitor of SM North Edsa (as the malls are standing next to each other), TriNOma is a twenty hectare parcel of land consisting of four levels. One main feature of TriNoma that sets it apart from the rest of the malls in the list is its alfresco zones incorporated with water features which make it a truly relaxing and serene place to shop. Additionally, the gorgeous landscaped rooftop park’s will make for picturesque backgrounds for photographs.

5.) Gateway Mall

Gatewall Mall is tagged as a shopping complex that is unlike any other mall in the world. Found in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, it was awarded the “Shopping Center of the Year” both in 2006 and 2007 by the Philippine Retailers. Its many features include a Rustan’s Department Store and Supermarket as well as housing the largest branch of National Bookstore (Five levels of books, school, and office supplies).


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