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Why Filipinos Love SM?

This post is written in memory of Henry Sy Sr., founder of SM. Thank your Mr. Henry Sy for the inspiration you gave me in writing this post back in 2012. And thank you for bringing SM into the Filipino lives. Salamat po.




Stare at the logo of SM and think for a second on why this very simple logo became very popular to the Filipinos. White traces at the center of the blue letters are an elementary color combination that is now worth around 300 billions pesos. That is Henry Sy’s worth. He is the founder of “Shoemart” which is now known simply as “SM”.


On the Photo: SM City Clark as Advertised on a Hot Air Balloon



On the Photo: SM City North EDSA



Why Filipinos love SM?
Compared to decades ago, there are now thousands of reasons why. One of them is that it is a shopping mall for almost everything under the sun. As the SM slogan says "We've got it all for you." Walk back and forth inside the SM department store and its likely impossible that you cannot find your favorite item there. Software, hardware, fashion accessories, gadgets, computer, grocery, tools, foods, movies; everything is here. It all started from shoes and now there is the free wifi inside this mall that keeps people to love SM. SM Appliance Center, SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, SM Cinema, SMX Convention Center, SM IMAX Theater, SM City, SM Mall of Asia – it’s all that "SM" everywhere. Literally, yes, SM is all around the Philippines – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.


On the Photos: SM Trademarks of Today













SM is a one stop shop!
It’s actually SHOP – in big bold capital letters. Henry Sy is now 88 years old and he founded SM when he was 34. Henry Sy was Born on October 25, 1924 and he founded Shoemart in Manila on 1958. Here's a link to the full story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM_Prime_Holdings. In 2011, according to the annual financial report of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., SM’s net income is a whooping 9.1 billion pesos. Let’s leave that crazy math for now. That is impressive but we’re getting out of the subject matter – Why Filipinos Love SM? Here's more.


On the Photo: SM City Naga in the Province of Bicol



On the Photo: A Famous Park Place in SM Mall of Asia



Lots of Reasons to Love SM
SM is a very relaxing place. Aside from shopping, kids can play here for free. Internet hobbyists can surf the web for free with the aid of wifi technology. SM has free parking lots and they are secured (well, maybe not fully secured considering the intensifying act of terrorism going on these days). SM has an advantage card where you can earn points and which can be used to purchase items after sometime - when you earned enough points. SM is being decorated with colorful stuffs during Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday, Halloween, and during every “SALE” day (Does Sale Actually Exists? Read my blog on that.).

SM is where first date happens. This is where first kisses could have happened. That wedding proposal, it could have been here too. This is where friendship starts (and probably ends too). At SM could be is where that most romantic moment of your life could have happened - inside the cinema or a fine dining resto.

SM is so spacious that for a mall like the SM Mall of Asia, walking around can put your legs in pain. SM has thousands of different stores (or tenants) with different products being offered. At SM, you can pay almost all kinds of bills. SM is in partnership with BDO and there are many BDO ATM machines scattered everywhere inside the mall. (Can you think of the logic on why there are now ATM machines away from the bank?)

Where there is Robinson’s Mall, there is SM. Have you noticed that? Never mine if not. SM has jeepney terminals and there is certainly a trip nearest to your home. SM has a great architectural design and it’s amazing night and day. SM is in the trash bag that you’ve thrown away together with some non-biodegradable materials a couple of days ago (now, they replaced it with eco-friendly paperbags). SM has SM bonus; cheaper version of foods and other home products. SM is known to a kid as young as 3 years old. SM is everywhere in EDSA. Wow! I’m tired about mentioning SM. Aren’t you? There are thousands more to describe SM for sure and we might end up writing a novel if we continue writing them all.


On the Photos: Highlights of SM Mall of Asia - Architecture and Attractions









Convenience to shoppers, customers, depositors, payers, subscribers, movie goers and “tambays” (people who don’t have a job) is what SM has to offer. Perhaps on the previous paragraphs, it has been summarized that SM is almost everything. SM has new gimmicks every now and then. If you’re looking for quality products that are cheap, they are here.SM is in fact Divisoria's main rival in terms of cheaper products. (read my post about Divisoria, it's worth the read!) And for that very reason is why the Filipinos, most of us, love cheap things. They, including me, love SM so much for that. (Speaking of cheap products, read my "Made in China" article.)


On the Photos: SM the Way Filipinos Love It





What SM Really Means to a Filipino?
Filipino culture has significantly changed with the coming of SM into their lives. There are many malls in the Philippines but it is quite confusing on why there are still poor Filipinos who cannot even avail to go inside these malls. SM is generally the blending point of the lower class and the upper class people in the country. These days, you can even see Koreans, Chinese and Japanese walking in and out SM malls.

It may not surprise you if SM has been in China for many years already. SM is a gathering point or better be called meeting point (“Kita tayo. San? Sa SM.” – “Let’s meet. Where? At SM.”). This is the place where friends, classmates, families, former enemies, sweethearts, lovers and executives meet. If SM was founded in 1958, then it has shaped the Filipino culture into this style for about 54 years already. Imagine how many Filipinos became united thru SM malls. And by the way, SM’s slogan is “We’ve Got it All for You” (I think I've mentioned this already).

And also worth mentioning is the SM Foundation. This is the foundation, not known to many of us, has been there helping millions of Filipinos for many years. For those who have been the beneficiary of this foundation, SM surely means a lot to them.


On the Photos: SM Malls in the City and Province









Why We Love Shopping Malls?
SM might be a big threat to other shopping malls' investors and owners. SM could have been a part of a negative news sometimes in the past. But the reality is that SM is still there and continuously serving millions of Filipinos. There are Glorietta, Robinson’s, Pure Gold, Walter Mart, Ever Gotesco, Gaisano, Isetann, Shangri-La, 168 Mall and many other malls to be fair. They are all serving the Filipinos and they are as well part of the Filipino lives. Filipinos simply love malls. Despite of poverty, malls save a poor day of a Filipino. Jobs are sometimes in these malls whenever there is job fair (Looking for jobs? Read my Practical Tips on that). Malls are now the concert and album launching ground for many of our local artists. This is where gaming competitions, dance showdown, car exhibits, and conventions are held. You can even play bowling and go for an ice skating adventure at SM. Golf? Not sure about it yet but it could happen anytime soon. Who knows?


On the Photo: SM Ice Skating Arena in SM Mall of Asia



On the Photo: SM Mall of Asia Bay View



Here are my words of advice; shop only if you have extra money or if you’ve already paid your bills. Prioritize electric and water bills first. SM can magnetized you to shop. Love SM but not too much of the shopping. Enjoy your everyday at SM.


Related Posts
Filipino Job Seekers: Here are the Practical Tips on How to Get a (Good) Job in the Philippines – Part 3

The Divisoria Malls - Defining Shopping in the Philippines

Christmas in the Philippines is More Fun, a One of A Kind Christian Tradition


About this Post
You may or may not love SM. You’ve just read why Filipinos love SM. This article is brought to you by www.knowriel.com, an educational website that is aspiring also to be like SM someday, in terms of helping the Filipinos in certain ways. Visit our website today and find out more about our objectives of helping the Filipinos. We are on the process and someday, we hope, we would be like SM too. You may also contact norielpanganiban@gmail.com if you have any inquiry about this post. Thanks for reading.

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