I live in the Q.C. (Quezon City) and it has everything a girl like me would need: shopping malls, parks, restaurant rows, etc. So I very rarely make my way to the other end of EDSA and that imposing structure known as the SM Mall of Asia.
I’m only here when I need to a) see some friends for whom MOA is the closest/most convenient mall; b) attend Fashion Week or any other event held at the SMX Convention Center in the MOA complex; c) attend work-related meetings at Fitness First MOA; or d) visit a specific store not found in any other mall in Metro Manila.
It’s for Reason D that I’m at MOA right now, having made my way through the 2-hour traffic jams caused by payday Friday (and I should note that it’s Friday the 13th as well). I’ve brought my entire mobile office with me as well, since I don’t want to pop into the store, get what I’m looking for, and then leave MOA to go work somewhere else on my articles.
So here I am ensconced in my little corner of Coffee Bean counting the reasons I don’t come to MOA more often.
Reason #1: It takes too long to get to MOA! I live about 15 minutes away from SM North EDSA, and 10 minutes from Trinoma. Today it took me 2 hours to get to MOA. One hour into the trip and I was only on EDSA-Santolan.
Reason #2: MOA is huge! While I appreciate that there might be more shopping choices in a mall of this size, most of the stores also have branches in other malls in the metro, and since stores of similar pricing and products aren’t located near each other, it can be quite tiring to window-shop in MOA. In fact, it’s making me tired just thinking about it… And good luck if you’re trying to find a specific store but don’t know where it’s located: there may be touch-screen store maps around the mall, but some of these terminals aren’t working anymore, and the listings may not be updated.
Reason #3: MOA is crowded! You’d think a mall of this size would have ample space for people, but during certain times of the day you won’t be able to find a place to sit down or even stand in line at the restaurants and fast food chains. There are always throngs of people here no matter what time of the day as well. Don’t these people have jobs they need to be at? Or maybe they’re all freelance, like me?
Reason #4: It’s too hot to walk around in MOA. Apart from the main mall, which is fully air-conditioned, getting from store to store involves walking along a non-airconditioned corridor. I know boardwalks are vey popular in other countries, and MOA is built right on Manila Bay with that boardwalk feel. Unfortunately, this is the Philippines and “al fresco beside the ocean” translates to “sticky and sweaty”.
Still, it’s always an adventure to come here. I just always need a whole day — and comfy shoes! — to take it all in.