One of the hardest places to miss is the SM Mall of Asia (MOA), simply because it is the biggest mall in the Philippines and the third biggest in the world.
MOA is one of the newest SM malls in a string of them scattered all over the country. Two other SM branches also made it into the list of 10 biggest malls in the world: SM Mega Mall in Pasig is 6th and SM North EDSA in Quezon City is 10th. With one SM branch in all major cities in the country from Santa Rosa, Laguna to Davao city in Mindanao, SM has changed the lifestyle of millions of Filipinos. Family time, national holidays and weekends are not complete without a visit to an SM mall. The construction of SM Mall of Asia is a landmark achievement that seems to emphasize the point that indeed life in the Philippines cannot be the same without SM.
Located at the southern tip of EDSA highway on a reclaimed area along Manila Bay, MOA has hundreds of inviting stores, restaurants and facilities to offer. There are too many to mention, but the four most notable attractions are clearly the IMAX Theater, ice skating rink, Discovery Center, and the Esplanade.
The IMAX Theater in MOA is the first ever in the country. If you have not watched a movie on IMAX yet, you should now. The huge screen and incredible surround-sound make for a total movie immersion experience. Along with the IMAX are 6 two-tiered cinemas, and three other special theaters, which are the Director’s Club Theater, which accommodates only 30 people for intimate viewing on La-Z-Boy seats, Premiere Cinema, and Center Stage Cinema, which also shows concerts and theatrical plays.
If you are not into show business but more of the athletic-type, the Olympic-size skating rink is the place to go. Located at the heart of MOA on Level 1, the rink is said to be the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia. It is amazing that a tropical country could actually host an international ice skating competition. Thanks to the skating rink in MOA, the Philippines was host to the prestigious Skate Asia competition in 2007.
SM ice skating centers in MOA and Mega Mall also conduct training programs. Today, a number of Filipino children and youth have competed and won in international figure skating and ice hockey competitions around the world. Before, learning these sports was just a dream, if not a joke.
Happily, venues like the rinks at MOA and Mega Mall make such dreams possible.
Another great place for children is the Science Discovery Center. Children will enjoy the many attractions here. To name a few, there is Spaceship Earth, Virtual Reef, City Science, Robot Inc, a planetarium and the LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Center. SM invested P313 million to build this center.
Meanwhile, party goers will enjoy the Esplanade at the backside of MOA. Overlooking Manila Bay, this part of the mall has been used as venue for the World Pyro Olympics and the Lovapalooza. The latter was an event that pulled in 5,300 couples to kiss for at least 10 seconds. They made it to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The open-air concert ground is also perfect for parties and special events. SM Mall of Asia has hosted performances by Alicia Keys, the Pussycat Dolls, and Justin Bieber, among others.