SM City North Edsa honors pioneer tenants in 25th Anniversary Gala

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Friday, November 26, 2010

It was a night of glittering magnificence as Metro Manila's elite, business men and kibitzers converged at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City for the 25th Anniversary Gala of SM City North Edsa.

SM City North Edsa caps its 25th Anniversary Celebrations with a gala evening honoring its pioneer tenants. The event paid tribute to 53 business partners who joined the mall from Nov. 1985 to Dec. 1986 for sharing the vision of SM Founder Henry Sy, Sr. and the Philippine shopping center history in the process.

The event was hosted by Johnny Liton and Bernadette Sembrano and featured performances of Eric Santos, Yeng Constantino, Jet Pangan, and Gino Padilla among others who celebrated the meteoric growth of SM.


The night was a splendor of guests in their fineries and jewels. The event was even more spectacular as the guests were serenaded and bedazzled by the performances of talents and artists. Stars that span the 25 year history of SM North Edsa also performed numbers reminiscing the country's history that is intertwined with SM.

In the Gala Night, SM Founder and Chairman Henry Sy, Sr. together with SM Prime Holdings President Hans Sy, paid tribute to the tenants who took risks and made a difference. Many of these tenants, captains of industry in the Philippines, believed in Sy's vision and have grown with SM.

"We decided to go against the odds and open a store in SM because we felt that the brand was ready to move ahead," recalls Bench Founder and Chairman Ben Chan.

Ricky Reyes said he decided to open a salon in the mall on November 1985 because: "I am a very adventurous businessman, and I could see the trend leading to the popularity of shopping malls."

National Bookstore's Presy Ramos recalls: "We believe in Mr. Henry Sy, Sr.'s vision. National Bookstore always had the greatest respect and admiration for him. We were more than happy to accept his offer to open a branch at SM City North Edsa."

Jollibee's William Tan recalls the time he was scheduled to meet with Henry Sy, Sr. about opening a branch at SM City North Edsa. "I was told that they scheduled the meeting at 12:00 midnight, and when we reached the place we were surprised to still see Mr. Sy in the office with his staff. We were amazed at SM's dedication to work, and thought that despite the odds, the mall would be a success."

Sy found his inspiration for SM during his frequent buying trips abroad during the 1950's and 1960's. The country was, however, in the midst of a major political and economic crisis when North Edsa was being planned in the 1980s.

"In 1983, we were building SM City North Edsa, our first shopping mall," Sy recalls. "Many people at that time said I was crazy. They said that the mall would not succeed, but SM City North Edsa was an instant success when it opened on November 1985," he said.

For comments, suggestions, violent reactions, invites, indignant rebuttals and what-have-you email: (Ian Ocampo Flora)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on November 26, 2010.


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