In case you didn’t know, two of the 10 largest malls in the world are located in the Philippines which are SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia. Aside from that, there are many other big malls outside its capital city. Now, the question is – why is our country teeming with big malls? Apparently, the impact of expanding urbanization has increased the appeal of malls to both locals and businesses. But why do Filipinos flock to these malls? Here are some of the most common reasons why many Filipinos are absorbed to this mall lifestyle.
Free air conditioning!
Since the Philippines is located in the tropics, it hosts a hot climate making it sunny all year long. If you are in England or Australia, you can take a nice stroll anywhere outdoors because the weather is cool and you’re free from the UV rays of the sun. Here, especially during summer, if you go out for a walk, you will end up bathing in your own sweat in just a few minutes. That’s an effortless warm up for exercise! No wonder why many Filipinos flock to malls all the time.
Better customer experience
Back in the day, malls in the Philippines only housed movie theaters, food courts, and supermarkets. Now, many of them are already connected to condos and offices which make them more accessible and thrive all the more. Many of these malls are also strategically built near transport stations, making them places of respite after dealing with heavy traffic. Unlike other malls in the world, malls in the Philippines also go above and beyond in giving the mall a human feel. There are certain occasions in the year when malls entertain their customers by making their employees dance every top of the hour. Plus, there are porters that will help you carry your things. That is why Filipinos choose malls since the customer experience is way better than others they can find outside.
Lack of parks and secure public spaces
Before the advent of malls in the Philippines, urban parks, landmarks, and playgrounds used to be places where the public can mingle and roam. Over time, as the private owners and cities neglect these public spaces, the security that came with it also deteriorated. That’s why fewer and fewer people would go to them as they didn’t only become less appealing to stroll and congregate in but they also became less safe from petty thieves. This happened at the same time when shopping malls became increasingly popular places among locals.
Today, there is a resurgence of well-cared-for parks like eco-parks. But, ironically, they are also made by companies that built shopping malls.
More secure than other public places
You don’t see that much security guards in other public places except malls. To ensure the safety of customers, guards screen out the “undesirables” like beggars and people that carry guns and drugs. Filipino guards not only guarantee your safety, most of them are also friendly and will welcome you with a smile and say polite expressions like “Good Morning, Maam/Sir”. There are also emergency buttons found in car parks in most malls that will deter bad elements from harming or robbing you of your things. With that, shopping malls in the Philippines are indeed safe places to go in.
They’ve got it all!
To be considered a mall, it needs to have a variety of retail stores and other facilities. Well, shopping malls in the Philippines are more than just regular shopping malls. They have got it all- from different shops that you can shop on, banks for your financial transactions, supermarket, clinics to government agencies to fulfill your obligations as a law-abiding citizen.
They make it easy to be a responsible citizen
Malls in the Philippines often have government agencies inside that make it more accessible for Filipinos to process their documents and pay for state insurances. No need to endure the long queue in government agencies to settle or process whatever government related document you need to fulfill. If your passport is already expired and you want it renewed, you can just go to the mall branch of Department of Foreign Affairs. The same goes for driver’s license renewal, rather than endure the heat and rub elbows with a fellow motorist in the outdoor office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), why not wait inside the mall where there’s still a long queue but without the sweaty people and the humid environment.
Road shows, events, and sometimes mini-concerts
In the Philippines (or even elsewhere in Asia), malls are the go-to places for most road shows. Road shows in the Philippines are common especially during festival seasons because it’s where most people at! In fact, back in the days, local celebrities hold mini-concerts in malls for free! This basically started the whole concept of mall tours of celebrities when they premiere a new movie, launch an album, or etc.
Leads you closer to God
Get your spiritual fix every Sunday by attending a church service in the mall. Yes, you read it right! Malls in the Philippines often have church services or Catholic masses every Sunday morning. It’s a practical way to spend a family day in one place. Right after the weekly mass, your family’s favorite restaurant is just a few steps away.
Window shopping: a favorite hobby
With money or without, Pinoys just love window shopping. This is because most Filipinos are always after bargains and money saving deals. Also, it’s one way to speculate, gauge, or experience an item without having to actually buy it. It gives us the opportunity to come up with a better decision about our object of interest, and maybe save our hard earned money for something more worthy. After all, Pinoys are known to be a “sigurista.”
Malls in the Philippines offer the convenience that no other establishments could. They are not just shopping havens and a refuge from the hot sunny weather but they also streamline many day-to-day transactions, making life a lot easier for Filipinos. With that, there’s no other country in the world except the Philippines whose population embraced this kind of lifestyle.
This post was written by Reymart Sarigumba from iPrice Group.