The new SM Mall opened at long last after many months of delay. The 10th August was a very exiting day for a large number of people both from the City and the surrounding areas as they flocked in the thousands to get into the Mall early both to take pictures of the event and of the celebrities and some even went with the intention to buy things!
My dear wife dragged me along as she had never been to a Mall Opening and after today I am sure that she will never want to have the experience again as it was a bit chaotic to say the least.
Once inside, we wandered around checking on the different businesses which had set up in the Mall and I was a bit disappointed as most of them were the same as can be found in the other City Malls. Max’s Chicken is the first in the City but was pretty full so we gave that a miss. One of my favorites, Ace Hardware looked quite good to a hardware junkie like myself but the tool section was very small with a limited selection of tools, none that I need!
I actually got a bit of a sore throat in the mall as every smiling staff member greeted me and the wife and after 1000 plus replies my vocal chords were put under great strain. The wife seemed to have no problem as females are used to talking all day, and night!
There were live Mannequins on display and caused a few shocks when they moved, I noticed a few people cross themselves when they saw such movements!
I think that most of the City Schools must have had lots of absent pupils as there were large amounts of them still in uniform attending the opening hoping to see the celebrities etc.
When we got a bit hungry we decided to try the food court which is usually good in SM and the food on display looked good but the amount of people in line waiting was far too many so we settled for a quick Batchoy which was easy to get! I wanted a coffee with my snack but there was none available, there was beer, soft drinks and tea but no coffee, sorry for me!
I wanted to look around more but the mass of people made it very difficult to stroll so we decided to try again at a later date. We did go into the Supermarket section and saw what they had but most of the items which we need are available any where. There is a good selection of Cheese if people like that but for me I am quite used to the Kraft! This area was very busy so we did not bother to buy anything, we will leave that for another day.
Just now at 9.30 pm as I am writing this I can hear a very large Fireworks Display from the City, I am sure that this is a part of the opening ceremony and it sounds good and expensive! There is an outside area with a fountain where people can eat and drink but the people of Gen San have already decided that the fountain makes a good swimming pool, we will see how long this kind of behaviour is allowed to last!
This now gives Gen San 4 large Malls and for a Small City this seems very over the top but as I have noticed, most malls have there own clientele who buy what they want from their own choice of Mall. I am sure that even by now, some people will not visit SM very often as its not their preferred Mall. One nice thing with the Gen San Malls, they are all within easy walking distance of each other unlike Davao where you have to commute for ages to change Malls!
I will have to give it a few more walk-throughs before I decide how useful it is for me but that will have to wait until things get a bit quieter and I can walk around at my leisure and I can find somewhere that serves coffee!
One good thing about this new Mall is that it does provide jobs for lots of local people, well over a thousand I am sure so that in itself puts more into the local economy so good for SM and will Ayala be the next mall to move into the City!
Chris Dearne, aka "GenSan Chris" is a long term resident of the Philippines. Chris has been living in General Santos City since 1992! Chris owns a hotel in General Santos called Cambridge Farm Hotel, and also the Cambridge Dive Center, formerly Tuna City Scuba Center. Chris' interests include Scuba Diving, Instructing, and Formula 1 Racing.