Monday, October 7, 2013

What’s Missing in our Local Philippine Malls (A Post About my Favorite Commercial Areas in Singapore - Part 1 of 2)

Like most Filipinos, I too, love going to malls.  I'm not very picky with the type of establishment I would visit.  Big ones, little ones; they really don't make any difference as long as (1) they're clean, (2) equipped with working air conditioners, and (3) are full of stalls and shops with interesting items for sale.

But ever since visiting and staying in Singapore (that mecca of commercialism and anything shopping-related) for a while, I find that there are a few, make that, a lot of things I wish we had in our local malls.  I'm not talking about the presence of more well-known international brands here (since I believe that Manila will slowly be littered with these shops very soon, anyway).  I'm talking about the installation of various conveniences and services that make it so much easier for shoppers to go about their business in the Lion City.

What am I talking about?  Well, here's just what I think is missing in our local Philippine malls.

Me in front of the old Borders bookstore at Wheelock Place, Singapore (circa 2008)

Green, Open Spaces

Well, for starters, there are some malls here that provide green, open spaces for shoppers to enjoy.

Green space at Changi City Point mall, Singapore

Not only do they serve to beautify a space, they also provide a refreshing place to relax in between shopping excursions.  They break the monotony of drab concrete structures; letting in a breath of fresh air within the confines of a major city.  Impressive!

Play Areas (Free-of-Charge)

Parents who shop with their kids in tow know how tedious it is to get any shopping done what with unexpected tantrums and other outbursts one can expect from tired little ones.  So it's actually nice to know that some shopping places here in Singapore provide really nice play areas for use free-of-charge!

Play area at the Tampines mall in Singapore

A dry, clean, and safe play area is all well and good.  But if you ask the Little One, wet play parks are more her style.

Wet play park at the Tampines mall in Singapore

And this, folks, is exactly the reason why we always have the Little One's swimming suit (plus more than the usual set of change of clothes for her and the Husband) with us whenever we're out.  We never know what type of play area we may find where we're going.

The Little One loves spending hours on end playing with her Dada in these play areas, giving me some much-needed alone shopping time. And did I mention (well, let me do so again), it's free!!!

Decent Baby Changing and Breastfeeding Areas

Another bane for parents is locating a decent baby changing room.  I don't know about you, but I am extremely disappointed with the baby facilities I find in Philippine malls.  More often than not, the changing table is placed inside an already cramped ladies room or, if I'm lucky enough, inside the disabled area.

But here in Singapore, mall operators sure do know how to treat harassed parents well enough by providing clean, huge rooms solely for the purpose of taking care of baby's "dirty" business.  They even provide a quiet place to breastfeed, too.

A typical baby changing and breastfeeding area inside one of the malls in Singapore

At the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, they even go a step further with the installation of these adorable kid-sized toilets.

Kid-sized toilet at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Just the right height for little ones.

Edible food court food

I admit, I used to be a food court snob.  I just could not understand why food court stalls in the Philippines aren't able to serve decent food.  Yes, there are good ones; but they're very few.  The exception to the rule, in a way.  It just came to the point that I decided it was better to stake my hard earned money on other places instead.

But here in Singapore, I found it surprising that food court dishes here are edible.  In fact, most are delicious!

Food Gallerie at the Marina Square mall, Singapore

Sure, there's still the bad ones; but, thankfully, very few.

Now wouldn't it be nice if our mall operators could be a little less stingy with their structures?  J


Changi City Point
5 Changi Business Park, Central 1
Singapore 486038
T      +65 6511 1088

Marina Square
6 Raffles Blvd.
Singapore 039594
T      +65 6339 8787 

Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave.
Singapore 018956
T      +65 6688 8868

Tampines Mall
4 Tampines Central 5
Singapore 529510
T      +65 6788 83

Wheelock Place
501 Orchard Road
Singapore 238880

Be sure to catch my Favorite Commercial Areas in Singapore series:
Planning to visit?  Drop by my "Getting Around Singapore" post (click here) for more details on how to get around the Lion City.


  1. Yes to more green and open areas. :) And to more playgrounds too!

  2. Nice naman ng play area and changing area. Ang dami pa kulang sa tin. Hay!

  3. Your right ms jane i think trinoma lng ang may concept na may nature kembot ang mall

  4. You are correct here. There's is so much thing na dapat i-improve ng mga malls natin. Buti na nga lang at nagtayo ng malls si Ayala kasi napilitan yung SM na magpaka-sosyal na din at maglagay ng mga green spaces. Ang pangit ng SM malls, sa totoo lang.


SG | An Aerial View of Sentosa Island

Sentosa is a well-known island resort in Singapore. They're quite famous for their expensive luxury landed properties, exquisite hotel...