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Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Shopping with Misadventures

Aloha Everyone,

The SM Mall of Asia (MoA) opened in 2006 (17 years ago) on reclaimed land in Pasay, Metro Manila. Currently, it is the largest shopping mall in the country and claims to be the fifth in the world.

Owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings, it comprises of 16 anchor tenants, approximately 663 shops that include 217 dining establishments.

MoA is frequently used as a site for parades, special events such as New Year’s Eve countdown, sporting competitions, etc.

The mall is a tourist attraction and welcomes a daily average foot traffic of about 200,000 visitors. Today, being a weekday and while there were families carrying Christmas purchases, the place was relatively empty. 

We were able to purchase a Barong Tagalog for J.J. (Formal Filipino attire for men). His sister, Bambi and her husband Tony) are celebrating their 50th anniversary this Sunday. The invitation stipulates for men to wear Barong Tagalog. 

Misadventures happened on the round trips from our hotel. Grab driver on the way didn’t say a word. He wouldn’t respond to J.J.’s instructions but he had a Google map on his phone and at least we could tell he was going in the right direction. After advancing a few feet, he slammed on the brake. So whenever his foot hit on the brakes, we are thrusted forward. The driving distance was about 5 miles but it took us an hour and 15 minutes. I tried to prevent myself from getting sick. It was an agonizing ride.

On our return, we took a cab. The exterior was rusty and had dents. This driver was chatty. He was outgoing and cheerful. He blessed us for our health, happiness and holiday cheers. But he also didn’t know how to drive. He spent his time grooming his hair when he was not stepping on the brake.

His license number “44” should’ve been a clear warning. Fortunately, we returned safely but crumpled, feeling hot, dusty and unclean. We put all our clothes in our room’s washing machine and I took a long shower!

Aloha -- Cathi