Shopping at SM City Philippines

The Famed MALL  of ASIA owned by SM Prime Holdings (Photo courtesy of http://www.sm-shoemart.com/)
The Famed MALL of ASIA owned by SM Prime Holdings (Photo courtesy of http://www.sm-shoemart.com/)

Whether you're just window shopping, hunting for sales items, frequenting and eating at the food court, ice skating, launching new products, witnessing a concert, having a date or just go malling with friends and family, the chain of SM City shopping centers in the Philippines meet your expectations to explore a chain of stores housed at a single location. The idea of spending the whole day exploring different departments of the supermart preempted the owner of the this chain of malls,Mr. Henry Sy, the richest man in the country,  to make it like a big community.The design is suitable for shopper, never worrying where to park their cars and ensure their safety because of the presence of CCTV cameras and security personnel.

One shopper said that she cannot even finish browsing at the array of shops, ranging from electronics, clothing apparel, the food and beverages section among others, in just one day.

So, hubbers from around the world, allow me to tour you with the SM phenomena happening in many key cities of the country.

SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Manila

A markerMall of Asia, Pasay City Manila -
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay, Philippines
[get directions]

The haven for visiting tourists and venue for big concerts showcasing major talents from around the world.

SM City North EDSA Main Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City (Photo courtesy of Gretch Bacayan)
SM City North EDSA Main Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City (Photo courtesy of Gretch Bacayan)

SM City's Humble Beginnings

When I happened to visit the SM Mall of Asia, the third  largest supermarket in Asia, I was oriented by the taxicab driver whose route was that big mall at the reclaimed area (from the Manila Bay) in Pasay City then the crowded Baclaran at the nearby Paranaque City, all in Manila regarding the owner of that fabled chain of stores.

The driver told me that the first SM City was built in Cebu City in Visayas, under the former name of Shoe Mart. The SM signified the first letters of the family names of business partners, first and foremost, from the Sy clan.

The late 70s saw the construction of the first Luzon branch at North EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue). With the acquisition of vacant and swampy lands in the area, Mr. Sy and his business partners expanded the promise of the leading retailer stores in the country.

Foreigners and locals enjoy malling at SM branches around Manila or even in many key cities in the provinces.

For us, Naguenos, the management of SM City Naga launched the moniker called My City, My SM.

SM City North EDSA

A markerSM City North Edsa Quezon City -
SM City North EDSA Annex 1 Tunnel, Quezon City, Philippines
[get directions]

The People...PEPS UP Food & Style c/o Caterer-MPCF-Naga Instructor Jem Baldemoro
The People...PEPS UP Food & Style c/o Caterer-MPCF-Naga Instructor Jem Baldemoro

PEPS UP Food & Style

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sesame Seed BallsBicol Express CanapesBiko or Sweetened Sticky RiceBoat Tart (made from pili nuts)EmpanadaGalleta de GatoKutsinta 1 - usually made from cassava flourKutsinta 2Nilubak or Sweetened Mashed BananaPancit Bato-originally from Bato, Camarines Sur, hometown of Miss Universe 2010 Fourth Runner Up Maria Venus RajLaing Pizza - unusual toppings using dried leaves of taroPili cake - signature sweet delicacy from BikolPuto or Rice or Flour CakeSinarapan - smallest fish in the world only found in Lake Buhi, Camarines SurTilapia Fillet FriesToasted Siopao - Bikol's or Naga's variation of the usual steamed siopao derived from Chinese cuisine - This is the bestseller in the city
Sesame Seed Balls
Sesame Seed Balls
Bicol Express Canapes
Bicol Express Canapes
Biko or Sweetened Sticky Rice
Biko or Sweetened Sticky Rice
Boat Tart (made from pili nuts)
Boat Tart (made from pili nuts)
Empanada
Empanada
Galleta de Gato
Galleta de Gato
Kutsinta 1 - usually made from cassava flour
Kutsinta 1 - usually made from cassava flour
Kutsinta 2
Kutsinta 2
Nilubak or Sweetened Mashed Banana
Nilubak or Sweetened Mashed Banana
Pancit Bato-originally from Bato, Camarines Sur, hometown of Miss Universe 2010 Fourth Runner Up Maria Venus Raj
Pancit Bato-originally from Bato, Camarines Sur, hometown of Miss Universe 2010 Fourth Runner Up Maria Venus Raj
Laing Pizza - unusual toppings using dried leaves of taro
Laing Pizza - unusual toppings using dried leaves of taro
Pili cake - signature sweet delicacy from Bikol
Pili cake - signature sweet delicacy from Bikol
Puto or Rice or Flour Cake
Puto or Rice or Flour Cake
Sinarapan - smallest fish in the world only found in Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur
Sinarapan - smallest fish in the world only found in Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur
Tilapia Fillet Fries
Tilapia Fillet Fries
Toasted Siopao - Bikol's or Naga's variation of the usual steamed siopao derived from Chinese cuisine - This is the bestseller in the city
Toasted Siopao - Bikol's or Naga's variation of the usual steamed siopao derived from Chinese cuisine - This is the bestseller in the city

My City, My SM

The latest program launched by SM management is My City, My SM...where it dominated the September festivities in Naga City with regards to the tercentenary (300 years) celebration of devotion to INA (Virgin of Penafrancia).

Bicolano enterpreneurs, big or small participated in the recently concluded launching and a culinary arts instructor, at the same time, caterer, in the person of Jem Baldemoro, agreed to credit his photos on his catered native Bicolano snacks and dishes. His catering outlet, PEPS UP Food & Style showcased, not only the food presentation but how its is prepared in the most ingenious ways utilizing local materials, much to the delight of fellow Naguenos and food tasters.

With the one-stop shop functions offered by SM chain of stores throughout the archipelago, from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, you'll agree with me that this super mart will be your priority once your family urged you to go out and dine or watch a important movie or shop for clothes or groceries, too.

SM City in Naga City

The near-completed SM City Naga seen upon entering the CBD II from the National Highway (Photo courtesy of Kilks2009) Taken 1 February2009
The near-completed SM City Naga seen upon entering the CBD II from the National Highway (Photo courtesy of Kilks2009) Taken 1 February2009

SM Naga City Map Locator

SM Naga City

This is the 34th SM City branch in the country...the SM City in Naga. Still owned by SM Prime Holdings, it opened last Labor Day, May 1, 2009.

It's the pioneer branch in Bicol and is considered to be the new haven for Bicolano businessmen, whether big or small.

Trade fairs, food exhibits, school competitions, concerts, product launching and more..these are the events that usually occur at the new shopping haven in the city.

There are many amenities that a shopper could avail of. First on the list is the food at cheap price, maybe because of the competition. Cooking contests and similar events attract shoppers to try their hands on new recipes being demonstrated by caterers and food enthusiasts.

Hey, you can also pass your idle time or day off playing Bingo. Who knows, you might win the jackpot. You'll never get it if you don't play.

Since telecommunications is a come-on these days or should I say, a distinctive lifestyle (like, I can never live these days without my cellular phone). Promos to avail cheap communication services are being offered by competing companies. If you avail of a certain plan, you'll get a free cellular phone, probably an iPhone.


SM Naga City's Spectacular Fireworks (3May2009) c/o semiborejon1976

Shopping conveniently at SM

There are lots of freebies offered by leading supermarkets in the country, like SM chain of malls. I'm sure you'll be interested to try any one of these:

  1. Unlimited free access of internet via wi-fi - It is called wireless fidelity. If you have a portable laptop or netbook in hand, you can pass the time inside the mall while sipping your coffee, whether from a Starbucks outlet or Coffee Bean Shop and at the same time, surfing the net without paying. Unsecured connections can also bring virus in your computer, that's the only caution when tapping the wi-fi services at the mall.
  2. Free taste - I'm sure you'll never resist the temptation to avail free taste or promo or new food products being vended at food stands or food courts.
  3. Free perfume - This is the most fragrant promo, ever, being offered by well-known perfume brands. Competition made them do it to offer such gimmick. Well, you entered the mall without scent. Now you can mix all the free perfumes available, from head to toe. Just don't overdo it. Insects are lured by certain perfumes, though.
  4. Free concerts - You don't have to buy tickets from Ticketworld just to watch a concert on stage. There are lots of free concerts presented inside the mall, like the SM City, these days. New talents,old songs...who cares for the famous ones, anyway?

These are some of the freebies and reasons you want to shop or just hang out in the mall. You can also avail of free demonstrations, like free massage, free facial treatment, etcetera.

There are lots of freebies to keep you hanging at the mall. Just don't get involve too much with the mall fever. Prioritize what you do.

For me, it will be a 'breath of fresh air' after concentrating on hubwriting at HubPages for a year.


Photo courtesy of http://vermontfbla.com/
Photo courtesy of http://vermontfbla.com/

Using Credit Card When Shopping

This applies to all supermarts. The convenience of carrying your credit card when shopping allows you to shop safely.

You don't have to be an impulsive shopper, though, because it can also salt away your savings if you rely on paying by credit card too much.

WIth the partnership going on between a banking institution and supermarkets, like BDO (Banco de Oro) and SM City, you will never worry of paying too much on your shopping.

Credit cards have shopping limits. This is to ensure that the client will never abuse its usage. The bank from which the credit line is connected can cut your service if you overdo it.

However, if you carry just a small amount of cash, then it's a must to avail credit card's help.

There are freebies that await you, once you shop and use your credit card wisely.

SM Naga Supermarket's Dancers c/o myccconcio

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Comments 8 comments

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

Wow- this is an impressive place. I'd love to have a chance to visit someday! I love the extra background you gave, too- and the pictures and videos are great.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

Simone Smith! I feel elated seeing your comment on my hub. Thanks to you!

Well, there are lots of good places, especially shopping centers (like SM City) that I'm sure you'll enjoy to venture when you visit my country, Philippines.

I will also recommend Glorietta Shopping Center at Ayala, Makati owned by other rich clan in the country, the Ayalas.

Amid bomb scare and other threats posed to every shopping center, there are more good than bad impression that you'll give if you're willing to shop here.

Thanks again, Ms. Simone.


earthbound1974 profile image

earthbound1974 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

SM Naga is now the most popular destination in the city. Me and my daughter used to visit the center every weekend for bonding time and more (eating, window shopping, etc.)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@earthbound1974: Thanks for the info..I'm sure parents with toddlers frequent the huge entertainment center of the mall. The concept of SM is child-friendly, so, more families make their bonding moments inside this supermart.


Jo 6 years ago

Hmm, as far as I know, sm city cebu is not the first sm city, because sm north edsa built earlier than on cebu.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

It started as Shoe Mart in Cebu but the acronym started on the first branch in Luzon, that is, SM North EDSA. Thanks for the added info, Jo. Much appreciated! :D


zorro 3 years ago

correction,. the fist shoemart was built somwere in quiapo.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@zorro: Thanks for bringing up your point. It helps clarify foggy data that I've collated regarding SM.

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