People Waiting For Jeepneys On The Side Of The Road

How Do You Bring A Filipino City To A Standstill?

While in Davao, something brought the entire city to a standstill. Traffic was truly awful the entire day, being backed up for miles in every direction. The jeepneys (Filipino public transportation) were full. Absolutely full.

People Waiting For Jeepneys On The Side Of The Road

People Waiting For Jeepneys On The Side Of The Road

What could cause so much chaos?

Some accident? Lady Gaga selling durian on the side of the road? The animals escaping from the zoo?

No. The opening of a new mall.

The New Mall

The New Mall

Yes, Filipinos love their malls. Heavily influenced by American culture from colonial times, malls here are a refuge from the hot, rainy, tropical cities.

With air conditioning a luxury, malls are a cool environment to pass a few hours or the entire day. Similarly, parks aren’t really big here at all. Perhaps it’s partly the security concerns, but malls serve as a public meeting place as well as a place to walk around and burn some calories. Sadly, all malls here have security guards that probe your bags with drum sticks to ensure you don’t bring something bad inside, and pat your back and sides to ensure you don’t have a weapon.

I went to the mall on its second day being open and there was a concert going on inside. Malls here generally have some kind of spectacle going on to attract customers. Unfortunately, it sometimes makes it impossible to have conversations due to the loudness!

Concert

Concert

The interesting thing is that, in general, all the malls here have the same stores. And most have a dedicated “Cyberzone” for electronics. Also a food court, of course.

So, although I don’t like malls.. at all.. I actually get physically sick when I go to malls in the US.. it was interesting to see how they are used here in The Philippines. I just wish there were other more healthy outlets available for the people here to meet and hang out in.

2 replies
  1. Maria
    Maria says:

    Adam, what did the food court have to offer?
    Typical western fare or were there local treats?

    I’m currently living in Austin, TX where live music is everywhere – even if it’s just a store employee playing acoustic guitar by the entrance. I seriously doubt if a neighborhood kid can open a lemon-aide stand in this town without offering some sort of live music as an aside. *grin*

    Reply
    • Adam Pervez
      Adam Pervez says:

      The food court offered typical Western stuff, like KFC, but mostly Asian options. Noodles, dim sum, Thai, Filipino, etc. A pretty good mix.

      I was in Austin last summer. I guess the guitar guys stay at home when the temperature is over 100 degrees. I didn’t see any 🙂

      Reply

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