Christmas 2016: SM Megamall

Christmas 2016 at SM Megamall

Building A entrance, SM Megamall
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong

Having spent several Decembers outside the Philippines, I’ve encountered many overseas-based Filipinos say, “Iba pa rin ang Pasko sa Pilipinas.” – which I’d translate as “Christmas in the Philippines is truly special.”

Businesses that provide services that cater to overseas Filipinos and their families such as international money transfer companies and telcos cannot reiterate these words any more frequently. By now, the same words are secular gospel. Of course, to a family-oriented individual, holidays are spent best with loved ones and that’s why Christmas spent in the country with everyone else in the family is referred to as “truly special”. Filipinos could also agree that that the extravaganza put up by nearly everyone – especially malls – plays a big part in what makes Christmas here “truly special.”

I’ve been wanting to showcase the Christmas decorations from different establishments in Metro Manila  for a while now but since I dread actually going out when everyone else is on a holiday rush, I’ll settle for featuring just a few places in the metro. First up is SM Megamall – currently the Philippines’ largest mall in terms of leasable space. I decided to check Megamall out because of its status and because it’s right at the heart of Metro Manila (and just a few minutes away from my new place).

Pictured is the atrium of SM Megamall’s Building A with dangling Christmas balls in Christmas Red-and-White, Silver, and Gold. Christmas lights line the concrete part of the balconies. Classy!

Above is a picture of its gigantic Christmas tree on its Fashion Hall’s atrium. Here, the dangling Christmas balls are even more spectacular in size and simplicity. Of course, SM won’t be totally SM in essence if it goes without  a bit of tackiness here and there. Look a little bit closer and you see a stairwell, with rather overdressed mannequins! It’s nonetheless still a beautiful sight to behold.

What do you think about SM Megamall’s effort this year?

welcome to megamall

entrance to Megamall’s Building B (how creative)
Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Pasig

SM Megamall is a very long mall, from above it looks like two shoeboxes connected by something. Funny because SM stands for Show Mart. And yeah, every local knows the almost legendary story of how this humble shoe store turned into a collection of successful and highly profitable malls (not to mention some of the world’s biggest) located in major Philippine cities (several in Metro Manila alone) with branches overseas (China).

The mall is still undergoing a makeover of sorts. The flowy thing that covers the long path leading to the entrance is new. Of course the ads change all the time but they weren’t there initially. Before, the facade is a boring stretch of a horizonally oriented canvas. There are some improvements too within the mall’s department store section.

a bloodless duel

a fencing match, SM Megamall

Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Mandaluyong City

Upon its completion in the 90s, SM Megamall held the record for the country’s largest mall. Right now, another SM branch, aptly named SM Mall of Asia, in one of Metro Manila’s newest and hottest development spots- the Bay City area, a vast reclaimed land off Manila Bay, took that distinction. I just can’t resist long sentences, eh? SM Megamall however remains as one of the world’s largest and longest malls. And through its constant makeovers it continues to be one of the busiest malls in the country.

You can’t go wrong with the management and marketing capabilities of the group who runs the SM malls. And being located right smack in the middle of Metro Manila’s primary avenue, EDSA, sure does more than half the job in promoting it.

In this photo we have a fencing match between the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas. They held it in one of Megamall’s two atria (or atriums), large open areas that usually serve as a venue for concerts, activities such as this, and tons of promotion stuff. Fencing isn’t one of the sports I enjoy as a spectator. I tried to, even read about rules and such. It’s a university thing, I understand. And I do like swordplay but maybe in a previous lifetime I lost a real duel and before completely signing off I resolved not to like it at all next time around.

And yeah, when the referee said “Fence”, the girl spectator below me grew horns.