MALLS seem to be the thing for netizens nowadays. In a warm country like ours, spacious malls with comfortable airconditioning is daily drawing hordes inside these premises.
In Baguio City, the mall on top of the hill also attracts crowds for the warm temperature during the cold months, and relaxing temperature during the summer months. Besides, it offers spacious and secure parking spaces for reasonable fees.
Malls offer a variety of services where one can buy groceries, including fresh vegetables, meat, seafoods, clothing, waited restaurants, sit-in turo-turo food mart, hardware supplies and other household items.
There are also spaces for banks, realty and insurance agents, and medical and dental clinics, among others. Movie houses are also accessible in other malls elsewhere in the country.
They are “One-stop-shop” locations that save time for anyone who needs to do a medley of errands within a limited period. And perhaps, it is a place to stroll, window shop, and while away time.
In the near future, Baguio City may have a second mall at the site of the city market. For decades, it is known for its orderliness and cleanliness that no tourist leaves this summer capital without buying an item or two as souvenirs from the well-stocked stalls.
This second mall is proposed under the leadership of Mayor Ben Magalong and Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, who presides over the City Council that gives the go-signal for the project. Protests from some quarters have been raised, but it appears that the new venture will push through and proceed as envisioned by the city administrators.
La Trinidad, the capital town of Benguet Province, may also have a mall inside the premises of the Benguet State University. It is a development plan of the school officials that may be made in consultation with town honchos who are responsible for the issuance of permits if such meets zoning ordinances.
So far, nothing is heard from the community unlike years before when groups of local residents opposed the construction of a “modern market” aka mall to be built at the Km.5 market plaza. The opposition won and caused the defeat of the incumbent town mayor in his bid for re-election.
The proliferation of malls in Southeast Asian countries, like our own, is a turnaround to the traditional Asian model of a market place. The concept, as everyone knows, is where goods are exchanged in barter or money in an open space.
Traditional market places still operate in rural areas under modest roofs, with or without garbage disposal systems, water supply; and maybe make-shift tabo-tabo rest rooms. Throngs of ambivalent vendors, in most cases, go beyond allocated spaces inciting irritants with market managers and their minions.
In the city, outskirt satellite markets were previously established in designated areas. One reason for setting up these mini-markets or talipapa is to decongest the flow of vehicular traffic at the business center. With keen interest, hopefully, they have served their very purpose in catering to the needs of residents.
Similarly, the practice of “Night Markets” was also adopted. It is held along Harrison road where business is conducted within a specified time at night, and day of the week.
“Night Markets” are extended shadow of the Asian market model.
In view of Asian migration in western countries, they have what is termed as “swap meet”. These are also held within specified time and day with a multitude of vendors and customers mostly Asians, and Latinos originating from South America.
Changes come and go. The magnetism of malls seems to come changing habits and our ways of life.