Saturday, March 17, 2007

May SM na sa Bacolod!

My SM Experience
After almost twenty years of waiting, Bacolod is getting a taste of what its Ilonggo counterparts call the SM Experience. I remember during the 80s when Tatay was still working at Pepsi - Iloilo . Nanay would take me along to visit him. Each trip would start with a two-hour boat ride on board the Don Vicente, the Santa Maria or the Princess of Negros. Upon arrival, we would go to Ted's La Paz Batchoy at Delgado Street and then.... SM! We would leave our hefty bags at the package counter and move around the airconditioned space and choose from the wide assortment of goods. By the end of the day we would find ourselves with bagful of clothes and even grocery items to bring back home to Bacolod .
SM was like the ultimate department store to go to celebrate, to shop for good buys or even just to spend the time. SM was in every milestone in my life, actually! During my high school graduation when my parents arranged for us to go to Cebu . We went to the Taoist Temple , the Opon Shrine, the Basilica, a few other places and of course…. SM. During my college days, when Nanay would come to Iloilo to give me my allowance, SM was the most convenient meeting place. During the days when Miki and I were still dating, there was Sbarro, Shakey’s and the Food Court at SM. My college buddies and I filled two grocery carts with just about anything from the shelves and left the grocery all for the fun of it. Field trips to Cebu and Manila were never complete without a trip to SM. When I graduated from college, my relatives came by to attend my graduation and visit SM. When Tatay was accepted for a job abroad Nanay and I hopped on the next bus to Cebu to say our prayer of thanksgiving at the Basilica…. And go to SM. When I was processing Tatay’s death claim from his employer, I stayed with my relatives in Manila . I was able to go to SM Megamall, SM Makati and Savemore Marikina. When I was still working in Bacolod , I would visit Miki in Iloilo and spend the day at SM (SM City, this time!) and for all the times that my current work allowed me to travel to other places where there is an SM mall, I always found time to visit it. SM is like the Goldilocks of my life.
What they told me
Before the March 2 opening, everyone had a thing or two to say about the new SM. Some said that it was bigger than SM City Iloilo. Another said that the department store was bigger. Another said that it's bigger in floor area while another, in land area. One other claimed that it is second to Mall of Asia in terms of floor space. Now, I have been to the Mall of Asia and yes, it was big! Hmmm, iSM City Bacolod must be pretty big then!

What I saw
I finally got the chance to visit SM City Bacolod last March 9! It's located at the Reclamation Area and very conveniently situated near the pier and the plaza. At first glance, I saw the wide expanse of space that was devoted to the parking area. Then there was the two building blocks connected by an overpass. Hmmm, kind of reminds me of the old SM Delgado only 10 times bigger.

We entered through the west wing and made Ace Hardware our first stop. Then there was the carousel, the train stop, Watson's, Surplus shop, mall tenants and the grocery, which was more of a hypermart. I should say that it was just so wide my foot hurt just looking around for stuff to buy. Everything was a few steps away. 25 steps from the entrance to the fruit section, 25 steps to the weighing section, 50 steps to the wet section, a hundred and more steps to somewhere else.

After spending more than 10 minutes in queue. I was ready to go home. But then, we also wanted to visit the Department Store. And so we joined the pack to the escalator going up to the overpass. I would say that SM does not waste any space; it rented out the space in the overpass to food stalls and also to small tenants too! There were opticals, computer gadgets shops, salons, a children's playground and a lot more. People were lining up to try the sandwich at Plato Wraps and everybody was eating Snowpy Ice Cream.

At the North Wing was the department store and many more mall tenants. Unlike in Iloilo where SM is up to the 3rd level, here it's all in one floor so you basically get a good exercise moving from one section to another.

After the first trip
My first trip to SM Bacolod left me so so so tired. But the again, like the many Bacolodnons, I came back the next day and the next just for fun.

Let the Facts be Told
Turned out that what I've heard about how big SM City Bacolod was was so so not true! I surfed the net and got the facts straight from my reliable friend Wiki. Turns out, SM City Bacolod is NOT second to Mall of Asia in terms of floor area and land area. and it is NOT bigger that SM City Iloilo in terms of floor area and land area. I just wanted to let that out to dispel any illusions.

Check out some photos of our SM City Bacolod Experience.

Cool Slideshows


  1. Roxie dearest, you got that right: comparing it to the Mall of Asia in terms of floor and land area is definitely so not true.

    I'll have to check back on this but Henry Sy was quoted as saying that it was Bacolod's own version of the Mall of Asia.

    It's been a long wait, hasn't it? Everyone here is so starved for SM, it was jam-packed when it opened. The weekend crowds haven't quite thinned yet. :)

  2. so true so true! SM indeed has a way of drawing the crowd. makes me want to hang-out at Robs even more hehehehehe.

  3. And Robs has free wifi access, beat that SM hah!


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