You know, for a year or more now, financial times have been really bad worldwide. The mortgage crisis has thousands of families in America losing their housing. Banks are failing all over the world. Food prices are soaring. Oil prices have skyrocketed, although in the past couple of weeks, they are falling back down to more realistic levels. Stock Markets all over the world have been on a wild roller coaster ride. It would seem that financially, we are in a very uncertain time.
The Philippines has been sort of an economic basket-case for decades now. People are hungry, going without food. Many of the poor get little or no medical care. Frankly, the number of poor people here is seemingly uncontrolable. With the added economic instability turning into a worldwide phenomenon, you would think that the Philippines would really be in terrible shape these days.
However, it doesn’t seem to be the case! Davao is booming. Some other areas that I frequent in Mindanao are booming right now too. General Santos City has really seen some huge economic pluses lately, even while the fishing industry, which has long been the main-stay of the GenSan economy, has been on the downturn.
Here in Davao, over the past year or so, three new malls have been announced, and construction has already started on two of them. All three of the new malls will be located on J.P. Laurel Avenue with two in Bajada, and one in Lanang, probably within 2 to 3 Kilometers of each other! Actually, when these 3 new malls, there will be 6 malls that I can think of within a 5 to 10 minute drive of each other:
- Chime’s Mall – Only about 1 1/2 years old, as I recall
- Gaisano Mall
- Victoria Plaza
- Abreeza Mall (Ayala Davao) – One of the new malls under construction
- Robinson’s Cybergate – Another of the new malls under construction
- SM – they are constructing a second Davao location in Lanang soon
And, these 6 malls are not all of the malls in Davao City. We also have other malls too, about 4 more that I can think of.
Frankly, I don’t see how Davao can support this many new malls. We’ll see, though, how it works out. I hope that they will all do well, no doubt about that. One thing that is unique for the new malls under construction is that they each will be a mixed-use area, with mall shopping space, and also call center areas where BPO/Call Center operations can locate. Davao has become one of the leading areas for Call Center operations in the Philippines over the past couple of years, so this is a wise move by these developers to include these spaces. From what I can tell, by including this mix of spaces in the development, the developers are aiming to create sort of a “self contained city” in the mall area, where people can get all of their needs accomplished all at one place. Imagine, a person can go to his place of employment and have everything needed within walking distance!
So, while the world is in economic turmoil, it seems like Southern Mindanao is booming. Let’s hope that it lasts!