SM Mall of Asia
J.W. Diokno Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex, CBP – 1A
Pasay, Metro Manila 1300, Philippines
The SM Mall of Asia (locally addressed as MOA, pronounced as “mo-wa”) in Pasay City, Metro Manila is a must-visit attraction for both locals and tourists. It is the second biggest mall in the Philippines after SM North EDSA, and at the same time, the fourth biggest mall in the world. Interestingly, this small developing country has three of the top 10 biggest malls in the world.
With a total land area of 407,000 square meters, the mall stands in almost four hectares of floor area. It also has 8,000 parking slots, and 100 slots for tourist buses, and 5,000 square meters of space allotted for public utility vehicles.
The mall’s regular operating hours is from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The retail shops, boutiques, and some dining establishments close during this time. The movie theaters close by around midnight, after the “last full show” as how it is typically called in the Philippines. Most of the clubs and bars around the area are open until the morning drops, especially during weekends and most holidays.
Touring Mall of Asia
It is considerably impossible to tour around in luxury if you aim to completely tour this giant mall in just one day. It is just too big that every after a few hours, you need to rest your feet and feed your tummy. It is also kind of useless to just stroll around without having to stop from one store to another every once in a while; thus, spending more time in one particular place to make the visit worthwhile.
At one point, you may need to buy something. You see the beautiful sight of the Manila Bay right beside the mall and witness what both tourists and locals call as the famous “Manila Bay Sunset.” Before you know it, you just realize you need to go back another time to explore the parts of the mall you missed the first time.
The SM Mall of Asia is located in a reclamation area of the Manila Bay, just west of Roxas Boulevard, a renowned Manila spot for hotels, entertainment spots, restaurants, bars, historical and cultural sites such as the Rizal Park and Intramuros, travel agencies, and a number of embassies and consulates, including the Embassy of the United States and the Embassy of Japan. It is about 15 to 30 minutes away whether coming from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Makati City, the Philippines’ central business district and prime commercial hub.
Mall of Asia is easily recognizable as it marks the end of the EDSA Extension. EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue) is the main circumferential road and highway of Metro Manila. Mall of Asia is at the south end of the EDSA Extension. Once you see the giant globe that changes the color of its light every evening, then you’ve reached the mall. Wherever you are coming from, going to the mall is considerably accessible to all kinds of public transportation from the MRT (Metro Rail Transit), LRT (Light Rail Transit), buses, jeepneys, FX and shuttle services, and taxis.
Mall of Asia is nearest the Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, along with a number of other commercial establishments and tourist attractions in this part of Manila.
Most Manila hotels have special shuttle services going to Mall of Asia.
Dining and Shopping
Mall of Asia has more than 1,000 establishments, most of which are dining and shopping spots. It also features branches of all the standard anchor stores found in the Philippines’ SM Supermalls including the SM Department Store, SM Hypermarket, SM Supermarket, and SM Appliance Center. There is also the standard food court, hundreds of restaurants featuring all kinds of world and regional Filipino cuisine, fast food chains, food booths, and fine dining restaurants.
There are many shopping establishments found all over the mall including fashion clothing, designer brands, thrift shops, jewelry stores, accessory shops, hardware stores, computer and electronics stores, home and furniture stores, toy stores, branch offices and repair shops of various brands of computers, mobile phones, and gadgets, and just about everything a typical shopper would ask for.
Pets are welcome to walk freely in all non-airconditioned areas of the mall. This includes the North and South Arcade areas and the Entertainment Mall area. In the main mall, only small pets that can be carried are allowed. Pets are also required to be carried when riding the escalator, for safety reasons. To promote responsible pet ownership, pet owners can take advantage of the pet stations equipped with free plastic bags and special disposal bins for fast and easy clean-ups.
In case of emergency, professional assistance is available for pets at the Animal House located at the mall’s South Wing or at the Dogs and the City located at the Entertainment Mall.
There is a valet service available at the Ocean Drive and the Seaside Boulevard. Operational hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 12 m.n. daily.
There are many participating stores that provide Package Pick-up service so that people can enjoy strolling around without the hassle of carrying heavy baggage, most of which are from their shopping sprees. You can simply ask these stores to send your purchases to the Package Pick-Up area. Upon deposit of the package/es (whether personally or through a participating store), you will receive a claim stub to be surrendered upon pick-up of packages.
Entertainment and Recreation
Mall of Asia is home to the first and now the largest IMAX theater in the country. The San Miguel-Coca-Cola IMAX Theatre is one of the world’s biggest IMAX screens featuring an 8-storey high screen, 44 speakers offering state-of-the-art digital surround sound, and advanced 3D technology. The Cinema Complex also features six regular two-tiered movie theaters, the Director’s Club Theater for intimate screenings (with 30 La-Z-Boy seats), the Premiere Cinema, and the CenterStage Cinema typically used for live musical concerts and theatrical performances.
Mall of Asia showcases the country’s first Olympic-sized ice skating rink that accommodates recreational and competitive figure skating and ice hockey tournaments. Aside from plain access and skate rentals, the rink also offers training programs for figure skating and ice hockey.
The Bowling Centre offers comfortable cozy interiors, state-of-the-art bowling alleys, advanced electronic scoring systems on plasma displays, and accessible food service. It also features an area for playing billiards with world-class billiard tables.
The mall has an open-air Music Hall directly facing the sea. It hosts a number of local and international events, contests, festivals, and concerts the whole year round.
The SM Science Discovery Center is the first technology-based, highly interactive science learning theme park in the Philippines. This two-level, 3,000-square meter facility features nine walk-through galleries, a planetarium, and other interesting educational and entertainment amenities for kids and adults to experience a fun and highly interactive way of learning and appreciating what science and technology can offer.
Apart from all these highlight attractions, there are many other entertainment and recreation spots in Mall of Asia, and it will take a number of feature articles to cover all of them.
The Esplanade is an extension of the Mall of Asia property. It is in between the mall and Manila Bay. It also serves as an observation center for the Mall of Asia fireworks and it usually hosts a number of fireworks events in the Philippines, including the World Pyro Olympics. The One Esplanade area is a popular events venue for product launches, parties, and other events. There are many retail shops, bars, and restaurants within the long stretch of The Esplanade as well.
SMX Convention Center
Mall of Asia is directly connected to the 46,647-square meter SMX Convention Center, a world-class exhibition center complete with state-of-the-art exhibit and convention halls, function rooms, meeting rooms, and training rooms. It is a prime location for both local and international events and conventions.