Believe it or not SM City North EDSA is the 2nd biggest mall in the world and the biggest mall in the Philippines. I know you would protest and say that SM Mall of Asia is the biggest mall but actually its not. SM Mall of Asia is bigger in terms of land area, but SM City North EDSA is the biggest when it comes to floor area imagine it has 460,000 sq meters with more than 1,000 shops and concessionaires as their tenants .
SM City North EDSA was built in 1985 one of the trying times in Philippine history. It was just a couple months before the historical EDSA Revolution 1, the time of the People’s Revolt against the dictatorship of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. We lived in Baesa, Quezon City, then Q.C. Mayor Jun Simon was our neighbor back then and I just turned 8 years old. I barely had an idea what all those “tora-tora” flying overhead were about. All I know is that people were on the street and I was enjoying the airshow.
That was also the time my brother was kicked-out of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) for something he did not do. President Marcos already approved his return to the PMA but was not able to sign the papers because he was suddenly evicted from office. Anyway he was referred to a cool job just a stone throw away from SM City North EDSA. He was my motorbike riding ass-kicking brother who took my sister and I for a date at SM City North EDSA every weekend. His colleagues even thought we were his daughters since we have this 14 years gap.
Anyway, he was the one who introduced me the SM mall. SM City North EDSA is where I watched my first movie. I think it was the movie My Step Mother Is An Alien or Mac and Me. I recalled my brother did not like watching Tagalog movies.
After the political unrest and my brother became busier, it was my older sister who continued the SM City North EDSA adventures I had. She was the one who introduced me the concept of cutting classes. It was the time when SM City North EDSA was not that strict with student wearing uniform going in their mall so we were able to freely spent our time in there.
I barely recalled what we do there but according to my sister we would just roam the SM Department Store and drool over the nice stuff we see wishing they were ours and even promising to each other one day we will be able to buy stuff on our own. When we get hungry we would go to the SM Foodcourt at the basement or to Dunkin Donuts near the SM Grocery, French Baker and the SM City Annex entrance. We would also play a couple games at the arcade.
According to my sister we turned SM City North EDSA our school for a whole week until our parents discovered that we were not attending classes anymore. After that incident I heard the mall no longer allows students in uniform during school hours to come inside the mall without an adult with them and that rule is being followed until now by SM malls and management all over the country.
I also recall that we used to do our weekly grocery shopping in there, it’s either SM or Triftway. We would also play bowling with our cousins at the bowling lane back then. My father would stop by there to take home a box of Dunkin Donuts for us or a Happy Meal from McDonalds. I can’t forget my McDonalds lunch box!
Years passed and we moved out, SM City North EDSA was too far from me to visit. I was only able to return when I was in college. It is where my first boyfriend and I used to watch movies together.
Now is my turn to pass the SM family tradition to my daughter. She definitely enjoys The Sky Garden as she loves looking at the sky and loves the sight of the water fountains and streams. The greenery is also something she enjoy as there is not much around. I love the concept that it is an elevated park so that people won’t have to take the smoke from the vehicles passing by. The parking area and the public terminal below it is very convenient also. Although we frequent SM City Fairview as she like playing at the SM Story Land and its closer to us than (SM City North.
(Photo courtesy of Iris of Pinayads.com taken during the The Sky Dome Press Walk )
Looking back SM City North EDSA is the only mall I know with a relevant history behind it not just for me but for every Filipino. The time it was built was a trying time and yet it emerged successful. SM North was the one that started the mall trend in the country. It used to be just a block of a vertical building at the middle of the cross-roads to the North back then.
Then the extension mall came The SM City Annex where Binggo Bonanza was housed. There was a time I think SM City North deteriorated people grew tired of the usual things in there and since too many malls came about that that picked a cue from them.
It’s great to see that SM City North EDSA reinvented itself. With the three cycle renovations it underwent I could say the new SM City North EDSA is the best thing they’ve done. It is no longer a just a shopping mall but a one-stop-shop venue for everything anyone could possibly need. With its latest addition The Block, The Cybermall and The Sky Garden, SM City North EDSA stay true to their claim that “We got it all for you!”
Oh, by the way, I bet you have heard of SM West? There is no such mall. SM West and SM North is one and the same. Nobody can really tell how the name SM West emerged by I also recall it was a common name for SM North more than 20 years ago.
How about you? What are your memories of SM City North EDSA?