What are the safe Manila shopping malls?
During your stay in the Philippines and in Metro Manila, in particular, you’ll find that there is no shortage of Manila shopping malls and places to shop. Whether it be designer clothes, shoes, bags and accessories or the imitation of these, the city has different types of shopping centers and areas for your different shopping needs.
Metro Manila malls
If ever a metropolis was to win an award for having the most number of malls, then Metro Manila would’ve won it by now — a couple of times over. Manila shopping malls are everywhere in the city and come in different sizes, shapes and types. From the spacious and exclusive looking ones to the blocky and bulky ones malls are scattered around the city and, although they greatly contribute to traffic in the area, they also generate employment and give residents and passersby a place to chill-out and shop during the day.
Glorietta Malls in Makati
The most prominent Manila shopping malls would be the Ayala Malls, located in the heart of the Makati Central Business District. The place is a virtual oasis in the midst of office buildings, traffic jams and hotels and is usually a walking distance from most of these.
The Ayala complex is divided into two mall areas, the Glorietta Malls , closer to the main thoroughfare known as EDSA and along Ayala Avenue, the Glorietta complex is a combination of 4 shopping malls interconnected through a central atrium, often featuring a show, concert, sale or some other activity. The Glorietta malls feature most of the more affordable stores, brands and food outlets, such as Mc Donald’s, Burger king, etc, the mall is also home to the Hardrock Cafe and Tower Records.
Greenbelt Malls across Glorietta
The other section of the Ayala Complex is the Greenbelt Malls , which is a series of shopping centers built around a central park and chapel. At the Greenbelt Malls you can find most of the expensive signature brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Feragamo, Hermes, among others. Greenbelt also features more casual dining restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, ice cream parlours, clubs and bars. Greenbelt is frequented by many expats and tourists and they are often found having dinner or coffee at the many al-fresco dining areas.
Trinoma in Quezon City
Outside of Makati, the Ayala Group also developed a Mall in the Quezon City area , connected to the last station of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) at the North Station. Trinoma is the newest Ayala Mall in Metro Manila and is generally a fun place to go to because of its selection of stores, food places (both fast-food and casual dining), central activity center, theatres and a garden at the 5th level where you can enjoy al-fresco dining beside a small garden complete with a small man-made river and fountains.
Other developments include Bonifacio High Street and Market Market in The Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Apart from the Ayala Malls in Makati, there are also the SM Malls which you can find everywhere. And when I say everywhere. I mean everywhere. There is at least one SM mall close to anything in Metro Manila and as such its fully-air-conditioned blocky structures are visited by countless people everyday. The SM malls feature more affordable local stores and fast-food restaurants and as such, are get pretty crowded most of the time, more especially during sales. SM Malls have always been designed for the utilitarian purpose of housing as many stores, restaurants and theaters as possible under one roof so don’t really expect much in the way of ambiance of even greenery. When you want to go to an SM mall just hop into a cab and tell the driver to bring you to the closest SM Mall, they’ll know what you mean.
Mall of Asia (MOA)
One of SM’s latest developments is what is called the Mall of Asia (MOA), which is the largest Manila shopping mall in the country, covering a number of hectares beside Manila Bay. MOA’s sprawling complex has features and stores for everyone. It has affordable restaurants, fast-food and casual dining; it also features stores for all budgets and price ranges, so if you’re looking for something you’ll probably find it there. It also has the I-Max theatre, an in-door skating rink and a number of open-air activity areas and a Hypermart, supposedly a step above the supermarket.
There are also the Robinson’s Malls , while not as numerous as the SM Malls nor as well-designed as the Ayala Malls offer an in-between experience for shoppers. There is Robinson’s Galleria in Ortigas, along Edsa. Robinson’s was one of the first Malls to be established in Ortigas and was formerly the centre of shopping in the northern and eastern portion of Metro Manila. It has since been renovated and features many affordable and exclusive stores and food places for its guests as well as a number of movie theaters. There is also a Robinson’s Mall in Manila, near the Hotel area of Manila Bay which is frequented by tourists and expats. Robinson’s Manila features pretty much the same things as the Ortigas mall just slightly bigger and with more stores and food places.
The Powerplant Mall in Makati
The Rockwell Powerplant Mall , so named because it was built on the site of a former power plant is also located in the Makati area beside Rockwell Condominiums and isn’t quite so easily accessible as some of the above mentioned Manila shopping malls therefore it’s not as crowded and the stores are more exclusive. It’s a good place for shopping, dining or just hanging out after a long day.
Greenhills Shopping Center
Located in Ortigas, the Greenhills Shopping Center is where people go if they’re looking for bargains and bazaar items. From shirts to shoes to pearls to mobile phones, the Greenhills shopping center has it all, and since it is been renovated, it is much more secure and comfortable. I am warning you though, it can get crowded especially during holidays and weekends.
There are a number of other Manila shopping malls but I cited these as these are the most secure malls which offer the most choices for visitors. Operating hours of malls are usually from 9am to 9pm, though others remain open until 10pm or even later during sales. Malls seem to have been integrated into Philippine culture and as such more and more of them keep sprouting up every year. Keep in mind that when you go into a mall during the weekends, holidays or even after office hours, it’s probably going to be crowded so just remember to keep your belongings safe and try not to get lost inside.
Don’t worry about public transport. There are jeepneys but getting to these malls are easier as all cab drivers know the locations of all these shopping centers. Also once you’re done shopping or loitering around, there are usually a lot of cabs available outside the Manila shopping malls orderly falling in line for passengers. Remember the tips for riding a cab in Manila.