Gone malling

Published November 6, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

Deck the halls
of our malls big and small
wall to wall
as you crawl through the sprawl
In November ‘til December
‘tis good to remember
how an invisible corona
failed to dismember
the jolly and merry in our hearts
for Christ is born
and hope springs for the weary and worn.

It’s an affirmation of our way of life – what anthropologists and sociologists might call our culture – that malls are an integral part of that life, that civilization. Now that the signal has been given – more hours available in the malls starting Nov. 15, one week and two days from now – let us celebrate their return, fullscale, to the urban scenario, the lights, the people, the shopping, the excitement, the joys of impulse buying (for which malls are designed to encourage)!

Caveat emptor. Don’t let down your guard. Keep your distance. Keep your mask on. Dart in and out as quickly as you can when visiting the men’s or ladies’ bathrooms. Disinfect with alcohol or soap and water, as often as needed.

Most of all, choose your mall(s).

The ones to like feature high ceilings and domes, bright and airy with the promise of good ventilation. Their parking basements are well lighted and their security guards can answer the simplest of your questions.

My friend was pleasantly surprised after her first two minutes at Estancia Commons. After all these years it was fun discovering that her shopping landmarks, SM Store and Unimart supermarket, were here together at opposite ends of the ground floor. From the success of Greenhills, Ortigas has struck a winning combination.  

The mall that doesn’t look like a mall is Ayala’s UP Town Center, where shoppers can pretend they’re crossing a plaza that happens to be studded with shops. Out for shopping or just a walk under the sun, adults and teenagers can be seen here in their best (and maybe oldest) sneakers, usually paired with “walking shorts” – is there any other kind?  

Shoppers who hate crowds love Podium in Mandaluyong and Aura in Taguig, both of which emit a “high end” vibe. What’s not to like about the gracious spaciousness, the orderliness that evoke a sense of cordiality while one indulges in such mundane actions as looking, desiring, and paying?