Some Filipinos love to shop to their heart’s content as a stress reliever and personal reward.
All year round is a shopping season for everyone, and malls going on a sale can happen almost anytime. We all have our favorite malls and shopping districts that we usually go to. When we get bored of them, we venture to brand new places, though sometimes they are disguised in old and forgotten malls that once ruled over those we visit today.
Here are five of the oldest malls in the metro that are still there, just waiting for you to give them a visit again.
1. Tutuban Center (Divisoria, Manila)
The so-called little brother of 999 and 168, the Tutuban Mall is one of the major buildings in the de facto shopping capital of the Philippines, Divisoria. Looking at the façade of the mall, you can’t help but admire its architecture. Expect no less from a former PNR station transformed into a
mall. Being in Divisoria, the mall is full to the brim with stalls and stores, in between the surviving columns of the antique train station. A night market opens to the public at dusk with plenty of food choices. But with the rise of 168 Mall and the more recent Lucky Chinatown, shoppers tend to visit these places rather than going deeper into Divisoria and eventually to Tutuban Mall.
2. Isetann (Main Branch: Carriedo Street, Recto, Manila)
Isetann Mall is one of the signature landmarks of Manila, founded in the old shopping district Carriedo. But despite Isetann being located in the busiest place in the metro, it doesn’t receive much love despite is welcoming orange color and gigantic structure, towering over its neighbors.
Still, when you check what it has to offer, Isetann still got its charm and a wide variety of items to choose from. The mall also has a lot of franchise at its helm that will surely not disappoint. Whenever you’re in Recto, check out this place. If not, there are still four other branches out there to see.
3. Farmers Market (Cubao, Quezon City)
If you have yet to visit Farmer’s Market, then you surely are missing something. Seriously, if one were to visit Cubao, one of the gates in and out of Metro Manila, Farmer’s Market is the place where travelers are likely to find themselves. It is a common passageway for everyday commuters, and because of this very nature that this mall gradually lost its shopping brilliance. Thousands of people cross the mall every day yet donot really stay or even shop. The next time you’re there, take a moment and appreciate the place. There’s the classic stores for clothes and other stuff, and the famous Dampa Market for food choices especially seafood and freshly cooked dishes.Cubao houses one the best food malls in the whole metro, and it is Farmer’s Market.
The next time you’re there, take a moment and appreciate the place. There are classic stores for clothes and other stuff, and the famous Dampa Market for food choices especially seafood and freshly cooked dishes. Cubao houses one the best food malls in the whole metro, and it is Farmer’s Market.
4. SM Clearance Outlet (Quiapo, Manila)
The place is formerly known as simply SM or Shoe Mart because it wass the only one in the whole Philippines then. When SM branched out throughout the country, this building saw a fewer number of shoppers and thus became a clearance outlet. What makes this place still a must-see for shopping is its year-round sale, simply because it is a clearance outlet.
Things out of the trend anymore or kind of defective are all brought here to be sold at the much lower price, so if you’re not that conscious of catching up with what’s hot and have the temperance to spend a lot of time looking for a great deal, this place is perfect for you.
5. Harrison Plaza (Harrison Avenue cor. Pablo Ocampo Street, Malate, Manila)
This mall right here was built in 1976, making it the first and oldest modern shopping mall in the Philippines. For many years this mall attracted a lot of people because of its wide variety of food shops and clothing lines. When its doors opened again to the public, it added an SM Department Store and the classic Rustan’s in its list of shops.
Being modernized every now and then to cope up with the trend, Harrison Plaza retains its antique feel to it, and visiting the place is a breath of fresh air from your commonly visited malls out there.
It’s not bad to visit someplace else for a change, and these big, aging malls are still standing against the test of time in the service of Filipinos who love to shop, and as a reminder of our rich culture.(Luke Godoy)