Top 10 Malls in the Philippines

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Malls have become a part of the life of the average Filipino. Filipinos shop, dine, stroll, and unwind in these 'gifts to society'. While its definition has continuously changed over the years, malls and the minds behind them continue to push the limits of practicality. They are now transforming to become one-stop establishments for everything including shopping, leisure, entertainment, health, beauty, and even recreation. At the pace mall developing in the country is going, it will not be a surprise if the Philippines becomes the mall capital of Asia.

To better provide you with a peek of the finest malls in the country, WikiPilipinas has come up with the list of Top 10 Malls.

10. SM North

The granddaddy of Philippine malls, SM North EDSA just had to be in the list as it provided the first generation of Filipino shoppers a clear picture of what a mall should be. Accessible, entertaining, and convenient, its opening in 1985 signaled the start of a revolution in Philippine retail, and more importantly in Philippine leisure. Residents of nearby cities such as Quezon City and Caloocan, and even surrounding provinces in the north like Bulacan and Pampanga were drawn to this fully air-conditioned 'park, ' and since then, patrons never stopped flocking the mall. Now, SM North is one of the most visited and most densely populated malls in the country. The four-level shopping bazaar houses more than 500 retail shops, service stores, restaurants, and twelve movie houses. Time and again, SM North has expanded its operations having added Cyberzone, Hypermart, and The Block to its offerings. But the expansion doesn't end there: annexes that will feature the second IMAX movie theater in the country and the Sky Garden are currently being constructed. These additional attractions are scheduled to open in 2008.

9. Robinsons Place Manila

The only Manila mall in this list is Robinsons Place Manila, situated at the heart of the city in the Malate-Ermita border. A favorite hangout among students, professionals, and foreign tourists, Rob Manila, or RP, caters to all its patrons by providing them with everything they need, be it expensive or affordable. And despite its continuous expansion, RP maintained organization by sectioning the stalls into different wings and atria, giving the shopper an easy experience.

8. Robinsons Galleria

Nestled in one of the busiest districts in Metro, Robinsons Galleria is a popular hang-out of yuppies and students from around the area. Galleria is not the typical mall swarming with boutiques and people, rather, it is a cozy space filled with a collection of great stores such as Bench, Penshoppe, Cardams, Dorothy Perkins, Nothing But Water, People are People, Nine West, and Shoe Salon. And with a themed set-up of these stalls, you won't need to punish your legs just to find one item. Nevertheless, they have an assortment of products people need. Tired of shopping? Have a hearty dinner at TGI Fridays or Mangan. And if you love books, then the design, ambiance, and content of their "Bestseller Bookstore" is definitely the stop for you. Want to know the latest trends in fashion without flipping a magazine? Then their 50th Avenue is just the catwalk for you. In fact, most of the items in Philippine fashion magazines can be found there. Situated beside other great malls like Megamall ang Shangri-la, Robinsons Galleria truly is a mall to visit.

7. Gateway

Like the garden situated on its heart, the Gateway Mall is an oasis amidst Cubao's chaotic environ. It is named as such since it is strategically installed at the junction of the MRT and LRT2, making it very accessible to any commuter. Gateway features shops of famous brands from Marks and Spencer to Lacoste, from Nike to Hush Puppies. An open garden-restaurant is set in its center, giving diners a breezy outdoor feel, and the surrounding restaurants complete the mood with their wide array of specialties. Gateway also has great movie houses, including the Platinum Cinema – a movie theater with Lazy Boys for seats. And as it continues to receive praise from patrons and newcomers alike, its name firmly reinstates Cubao as a perpetual business zone. Gateway could have placed even higher on our list but its short list affordable food and retail choices came in as a factor. Nonetheless it is one of the best malls in the country, and truly a Gateway for all.

6. SM Megamall

The SM Megamall is just the break the working folks of Ortigas need. The mall knows what attracts the crowds: a wealth of products, endless hang-outs, and even a skating rink. In addition to having a fantastic collection of stores, Megamall also provides shoppers entertainment, with its huge arcade and karaoke bars. And with 12 movie houses, you're sure to find something worth watching. Megamall boasts five floors and two wings of shops, stalls, and boutiques, definitely a shoppers paradise. When you and your friends get tired of shopping, you can always make your way to the skating rink and practice your inside axels. The extremely functional Megatrade Hall on its top floor also gives Megamall edge over the other malls in the city. And though the Mall of Asia is comparably the larger in area, it still competes with the mammoth in terms of patronship. The young and the old, the restless and the stressed-out - everyone has a place in SM Megamall.

5. Trinoma

The Triangle North of Manila, or simply Trinoma, is a breath of fresh air, as this up-and-coming Ayala mall provides customers a perfect escape from the bustling North Avenue and EDSA scene. Located just in front of SM North and right at the end of the Metro Rail Transit, Trinoma is envisioned to house more than 500 stores offering its clientèle merchandise of wide variety and fantastic rate. It was only opened to the public on May 16, 2007, but already, Trinoma is rising in the Filipino's list of 'places to go to'. It boasts fabulous architecture: multi-layered terraces, a reverse waterfall, and a luminous facade that changes color. It also houses one of the best movie theaters in the country. While already in the top 5 of our list, Trinoma is sure to climb up the rankings even more in the coming years - that's something everyone should look forward to.

4. Shangri-La Plaza

The Shangri-La Plaza, or Shang to its loving patrons, is one of the best high-end malls in the metro. Apart from its shapely architecture, what makes the Shang appealing is that it houses stores of all kinds, offering the latest in clothing, apparel, shoes, electronics, and sports. Clearly targeting the upper market, the Shang also provides some of the metro's best restaurants, which are situated on the mall's top floor and overlooking the city, providing the customer the perfect ambiance for fine dining.

3. Greenbelt

This fascinating mall is where the rich stop-and-shop and the rest just window-shop. Four different malls comprise Greenbelt. Greenbelt 1, the original building, contains stores, restaurants, cinemas, and the Onstage theater, a popular venue for concerts and plays. Greenbelt 2 is home to fine dining restaurants that serve delicious European and Asian cuisine, earning a solid following among Filipinos and foreigners alike. Greenbelt 3 features boutique shops, restaurants, cafes, and most of all, great cinemas that make it a hangout for any lavish spender. It also offers a breathtaking view of the Makati skyline. Greenbelt 4 on the other hand is the haven for those with expensive tastes. With shops like Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, Gucci, Prada, and Ferragamo, the unfamiliar will surely get lost in translation. What Greenbelt offers is a taste of the good life – variety and class – and these two are the reasons is why Greenbelt is our Top 3 mall.

2. Glorietta

There is something for everyone in Glorietta. Its four sections (numbered 1 to 4) house high-end stores and fancy restaurants for the can-afford, tiangges for bargain-hunters, cinemas for movie-buffs, a gym for the health-conscious, and even a couple of arcades for gaming enthusiasts. At the center of the mall is an open, circular atrium that serves as a venue of exhibits, expos, fashion shows, and concerts. Glorietta, with both classy boutiques and popular tiangges, fast food choices and fine dining options, is number two on our list because it is a stop for everything. But remember, hold on to your wallets if you're planning to shop there because you're sure to spend big time!

1. SM Mall of Asia

This mammoth of a mall is the largest in the Philippines and the 7th largest in the world. Its size and breadth may tire a would-be shopper even by just looking at it from afar, but entering the mall will give you an entirely different feel. Located by the Manila Bay, MOA, as it is more conveniently called, has an outdoor esplanade perfect for viewing sunsets and occasional pyrotechnic displays. Aside from the usual SM Foodcourt, Department Store, and Hypermart, a walloping 600 hundred shops can also be found inside MOA. Moreover, its restaurant and cafe options are as varied as the Filipino palette, serving Western, Eastern, and native dishes. MOA is also home to the first IMAX theater in the country giving Filipinos a taste of modern 3D film-viewing. A Director's Club suitable for small-group viewing (having 30 La-Z-Boy seats), a Premiere Cinema, and the CenterStage Cinema which can be used for live musical concerts and theatrical performances provide customers the complete viewing experience. The mall also features the Philippines' first Olympic-sized ice skating rink. Because of the complete package MOA offers – leisure, shopping, entertainment, and viewing – it just had to be the top mall in the country.

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