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How to survive SM Seaside City like a boss

Even if you’ve been living under a rock these past few days, you’re most likely aware that the SM Seaside City Cebu opened to much fanfare on November 27, 2015. It’s impossible not to, when everyone and their grandmothers and dogs—and yes, I’ve actually seen a fair share of pets there already—are flocking to the city’s newest lifestyle destination. As SM Prime Holdings’ 56th mall in the country and third in Cebu after SM City Cebu and SM City Consolacion, the SM Seaside City is the third largest mall in the Philippines, making it A Very Big Deal indeed.

SM Seaside City Cebu (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

SM Seaside City Cebu (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Everyone seems privy to most of the details about the mall already, so let’s skip the fact sheet and go straight to the point: How to survive SM Seaside City like the boss that you are.


On social media, for every post about SM Seaside City, there’s three about the heavy traffic in the surrounding areas. You can enter the SM Seaside City from the SRP or the Mambaling extension road, which are definitely not the widest streets in the city. As a result, traffic is crazy, but there’s nothing you can do—not even skipping SM Seaside City entirely—to solve it. Might as well make your travel experience as bearable as possible. I have Spotify playlists with songs I can sing along to in the car, while another friend suggested putting movies on your preferred gadget.

(Instagram: @matthewmagnifico)

Traffic at the SRP going to SM Seaside City (Instagram: @matthewmagnifico)

As far as I know, no jeepneys are allowed at the SRP, so commute is limited to cabs and habal-habal. Some people actually walk from Mambaling to SM Seaside City (now that’s what I call dedication). But hey, did you know there’s now a MyBus you can ride if you want to go?

Unfortunately, no matter how you plan on getting to the SM Seaside City—yes, even by foot if the crowded sidewalks are anything to go by— you are not exempted from the traffic. A moment of silence for traffic-free SRP. You will be missed.


The first time I went to SM Seaside City, I had a mini panic attack because when I asked the guard where I can park, he pointed me far, far away from the mall. This. Is. Okay. As it turns out, it’s quite a long ride going to the entrance, especially if you’re coming from the Mambaling end.

There are two options for parking: Upper and Lower. I’ve never been big on basement parking because of claustrophobia, so I definitely prefer the upper one. Based on experiences with both, the upper parking area also seems to have more convenient accesses to the mall. Either way, parking is a bit disorienting, so it helps to note the shops you encounter the moment you get into the mall so you know what to find when you’re making your way out. Otherwise, this happens. As an additional precaution, you can also take a photo of the parking slot codes painted on the pillars… as long as you make sure your mobile phone’s batteries last the whole time you’re there.


Consider this: I stand just a little under five feet. SM Seaside City is around 4,300,000 square feet (roughly converted from 400,000 square meters). To say that the mall can get overwhelming is an understatement. Also, if that doesn’t humble you, I don’t know what else would.

This photo shows four of the five floors at the SM Seaside City (Instagram: @emmsronda)

This photo shows four of the five floors at the SM Seaside City (Instagram: @emmsronda)

There’s a lot to cover on foot, but before you run inside your new playground (that is, if you can figure out where to enter), orient yourself with the basic fact that the SM Seaside City is divided into four parts: The Cube Wing, The Mountain Wing, The City Wing, and The Seaview Wing, all named after the sides they face (and yes, you can finally see how the Cube looks like from the inside after gawking at it from outdoors for the longest time). Since the mall has a circular shape, however, I personally don’t see why they’re called ‘wings’. Why can’t it be ‘piece’ or ‘slice’, because you know, pizza? Cake?

The circular orientation means that if you start from point A and walk to either your left or right side, you’re going to pass by all the slices wings and still manage to end up again at point A. So when you see all those arrows pointing to the restroom/ATM/whatever, you are headed in the right direction. It just entails an endless walk ahead. Talk about going in circles.

Signs - justinjayperez_

All signs point forward. (Instagram: @justinjayperez_)

Anyway, point made: Mall is B-I-G. Which leads us to…


I live and breathe in high heels, and actually spent my first day at the SM Seaside City in five-inch shoes. By the next day I went to the mall, practicality won over vanity and I like having feet and I’m not a total masochist, so I grudgingly conceded to wearing more comfortable flats, even if I had to look up at everyone else. There is just no other way to enjoy exploring all of SM Seaside City with painful feet.

I jokingly suggested to some people that they should wear running shoes and make a workout out of malling (isn’t shopping a sport anyway?), but this is actually good advice. You’re sure to work out a lot of calories, especially if you plan to tour everything in one go. Side note: I’ve been at SM Seaside City practically every day since the media and VIP launch, and yet it took me days to finish going around the spaces accessible to the public.

Expect a lot of walking. (Instagram: @countocram)

It’s good to note that there are golf carts available to give free rides to senior citizens, pregnant women, or just the average weary shopper… that is, if you can manage to get on one.


As with any other new mall, the air conditioning units at the SM Seaside City are running at full blast. Backstage at the SM Woman fashion show, I was told that this is done to measure the full capacity of said air conditioning units. That’s cool and all (pun intended), but unless you want to test the full capacity of your body warmth at the risk of catching hypothermia or if you want to prepare yourself should the winter season be legalized in the Philippines, wear a jacket. Especially if you’re planning to hit the ice skating rink.

On the plus side, the insane crowds help with the chilly temperatures. Still, it helps to be prepared. Winter is coming.


Not all the shops are open yet, and the bulk of those seem to be the dining establishments. Seriously. SM Seaside City, we need to sit down and talk about priorities.

There’s a lot of new concepts to look forward to (Tim Ho Wan!), but for now we’ll have to make do with a handful of restaurants, mostly fast food joints such as Jollibee and McDonalds as well as the ones on the food courts of the cinema and the supermarket. Naturally, these are jam-packed, so unless you’re a contender for The Hunger Games (literally, not the book/movie series) or willing to wait in line for who knows how long, make sure you don’t go to the mall on an empty stomach.

The crowd at Jollibee (Instagram: @karissayu)


Over the past few days, I’ve noticed that some mallgoers seem to relish bumping into other people. This is not necessary. I can’t emphasize enough how SM Seaside City is huge, and even with the crowd, there’s still a lot of space for people to share. So, play nice.

The crowd at the SM Seaside City's media and VIP launch on November 26 (Instagram: @thestylecebunews)

The crowd at the SM Seaside City’s media and VIP launch on November 26 (Instagram: @thestylecebunews)

Most of all, have fun! SM Seaside City is a huge (ha) development for Cebu. It’s pretty. It’s shiny. It’s sparkly. It’s new. It’s big. It’s a lot of things, yet most of all, it’s an experience that should be celebrated by everyone.


South Road Properties cor. Mambaling Road
Cebu City, 6000
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by Patty Taboada

Did I miss any tips? Or do you want to share your thoughts? Sound off in the comments section!


St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Marco Polo Plaza

Marco Polo Plaza will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Festival with the rest of the Irish community! It’s not only a feast of greens and four-leaf clovers but of good food too! From March 17 to 19, dig in and enjoy traditional Irish dishes and delights such as Irish Stew, Potato Nachos, Cheesy Reuben Loaf, Guinness Beef Stew Pot Pie, Beer Mac N’ Cheese and many more. These on top of the international lunch and dinner buffet at Cafe Marco. Complete the experience in true Irish fashion with an ice-cold mug of Irish Beer, also available at Cafe Marco.

Gastronomic adventures await at Café Marco! For inquiries and reservations, you can call (032) 253-1111. For real time updates, like the Facebook page at facebook.com/marcopolocebu or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu. Visit the website at www.marcopolohotels.com.

For inquiries and reservations, call 253-1111 or email hospitality.ceb@marcopolohotels.com.

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La Liga Henerales: Shaping History Awareness Back Again in Cebu

La Liga Henerales is a community of young talents passionately promotes historical awareness through periodic costumes carefully researched for its authenticity and accuracy and promoted as well in events and schools.

Only few individuals before were into pursuit in this historical awareness project until the age of communication where internet is convenient in the palm of our hands through our gadgets. New information travel fast and data is retrievable, yet also possess a disadvantage with the plethora of different social media platforms carried by various makers as well. In a daily basis, historical backgrounds are unearthed making its trend until now as new discoveries are released, but the idea of these information being shown and shared is as close as not valuing or commemorating to its sources leaving this information just a trend.

There is a certain community of Cebuanos that are taking a quest to rewrite and restructure what was in the past, filling the gaps in facts with further research of variable sources that are made debatable but sticks to it true cause, to unveil the truths of our heritage and our origins, as Cebuanos and as Filipinos as well.

La Liga Henerales is a Cebu-based, non-profit organization composed of a group of talented, committed and respectable individuals from different walks of life, schools and profession whose primary aim is to promote both, Cebuano and filipino culture and heritage that was depicted before in pre-colonial and colonial eras via re-enactment with costumes vested in proper research and investigation to achieve authenticity. They also push their cause on schools and other social gatherings promoting and spreading awareness about our local, and national heroes that we look up to. With these said, they also portray a closer look of the lifestyle of the past to where they perform stories, perform forgotten dances and rituals and portray their individual roles, vital in the fight of our country’s future during those challenging times, and in honor to spread awareness of the lost practices we had in those times.

The Founder

Combining passion and education. Louis Villaflor re-enacts his way patriotism through his periodical costumes and expresses his love for Cebu and Philippines as a culture-centric country.

Louis Kenneth Villaflor, an entrepreneur and an avid history enthusiast and costumer, founded the group on the purpose of re-educating the youth about real local and national history, he saw the opportunity to combine his favourite hobbies which is costuming and story role-playing and the process to instill the historical awareness and value among the youth and in schools, along with a group of fellow enthusiasts who shares his passion about research and history, they took it among themselves to be purposeful in the advocacy in spreading historical awareness in schools or events by wearing periodically correct costumes and sharing the stories and its value to the youth.

Behind the Garments

With the its senior expertise of fashion design and a teacher of the field, his passion also of history caters also in his designs as he pushes through sustainable fashion and historical awareness combined.

Meet Rodney “Pee-Wee” Senining, who has been in the fashion industry since the late 90’s, strives  in concepts of avant-garde, innovation and cutting edge-fashion forward design. And also a teacher of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design of University of San Carlos, he had grown into research of books like the holy grail in the Library Resource Center and is always fascinated of the periodical times and how to preserve it; Hence, his interest had grown for the affinity of Periodical Costumes and Sustainable Fashion.

 Being part of the group La Liga Henerales, he was tasked to instantly be their mentor for the young talents and as the organization is still new and developing with limited funds, resourcefulness and research were done to come up with a good output of photo shoot and was quite proud of it and still promise on the next editions of pieces to be more historically accurate. Even as teacher for Fashion Design in SAFAD, his expertise comes hand in hand with the members as he helps them do research as well. His passion and interest somehow led him with enough knowledge to key the insights of the significant periods and historical backgrounds of it.

Historical Awareness in Cebu

The strength and progress of a country is anchored on how well they know and honor its history. The means of historical awareness in Cebu is almost non-existent among the Cebuanos, although we push forward in tourism and promote beauty through sceneries and other aspects of culture yet never commemorate deeply on historical icons such as our other local heroes, and ancient cultures as well that is almost been forgotten in an urban Cebu. Nevertheless, as long as communities’ like La Liga Henerales are now evolving in a learning state by real discovery by multiple resources, this will always reflect of how we appreciate love, patriotism and honor to our country and would look forward to progress.


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Christmas in Colonial Cebu: A Themed Exhibit by Teresin Mendezona and Eva Gullas for Stylescapes 2019

Ever wonder how the yuletide season is celebrated in colonial times? This year at Stylescapes 2019, Teresin Mendezona and Eva Gullas collaborated to showcase the elegance of Christmas during the colonial period, specifically most of the Spanish regime.
This pop-up radiated the ambience of Christmas in the colonial times through the various details used within the setting. Specific pieces like the gansilyo table cloth, oil lamp, and the sketches were from Ms. Mendezona and Gullas themselves.
Aside from that, various table and living room pieces were sourced from Rustans and Metro Ayala, and was curated by Doro Barandino.

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