When I was growing up in the province of Malapatan, Glan (South Cotabato then, became Sarangani Province now), my mom would want to buy something for the household she goes to Dadiangas then (called GenSan now). The only big stores I mean like a small mall, at that time was Kimball Plaza (I think built in late 70’s), it burned down around 2002 and Datu Complex. I think Datu Complex was closed around that year or two after that too. Before the sad event, people were just so happy shopping there. Going to those places when I was a kid the place its always jam-packed. Just think about it, since that’s the only few malls in town. The people that were shopping there were the people from the nearest towns like Marbel, Polomolok, Kiamba and the other side of the bay Malapatan, Glan and the smaller towns, and of course the people of GenSan.
At around Mid 90’s, GenSan was the boom town and too many malls were being built. KCC was built and it’s packed with people that the business were in retail (geared more for sari-sari store). Now KCC built one of the fancy mall in GenSan “The Veranza Mall”. It’s really like the annex of the KCC mall. SM GenSan, I think is the nicest SM mall that’s built in Mindanao. It used to be GenSan was quiet after sundown. Nowadays as if the city never sleeps. I’m happy that GenSan improved a lot.
I could say the same thing with Davao city. When we first arrived here to live in 2002, Davao just had a few nice malls. Its a bit better than GenSan I should say . It’s just simple malls not fancy at all. It used to be that the small neighboring towns comes here to Davao city to shop. Nowadays, those little towns have malls of their own already too like Toril, Tagum and Panabo. Living here for a long time now, I can say that no need for us to be going special trip to Manila if you don’t really need a super fancy stuff. You can almost find anything you want here. If your wife want expensive and branded stuff you can almost always get that here, I think. If she wants those super expensive bags or shoes that the famous people use, then you might have to go to Manila, HongKong or other Asian countries. It’s not a problem too for flight, some airlines now fly from other cities here in the Philippines to other Asian countries.
Other parts of Mindanao malls were being built too. I’ve seen it advertise on TV or the malls here they showed of the branches they have all over the Philippines. For sure Gaisano Malls dominates Visayas and Mindanao. Here in Davao, we have few Gaisano malls (2 here in the downtown Davao, 2 in Toril, 1 or 2 in Tagum, 1 in Panabo). The main Gaisano here in Davao city, they improved that mall a lot to compete with the other malls. Now we have 2 SM malls herein the city. Here in Davao, just near to our house we have SM mall, NCCC mall, S & R Membership Store and the new one now that were just opened a week or two ago. It’s from Felcris. They also own Chimes mall. Their brand new mall is called Felcris Centrale.
Most malls have grocery stores, department stores, appliance center, restaurants, post office and other shipping courier, pet shops, bakery, payment center for your house bills, banks, ATM machines, government offices, play area for the kids, riding train for the kids, conference rooms, theaters and many more features.
Really shopping nowadays got even better. If you have the hang of it, use the internet to shop. You don’t have to fight the traffic. Send it to your place. Use LBC courier, they almost ship to any place in the Philippines. That I know because we use them for shipping for our business.
Have fun shopping!