life in the Philippines, travel/landmarks

Family Bonding through Malling?


As a mother, one of the things I appreciate living in Seoul is the presence of playgrounds and parks everywhere. Open spaces are good for children to run around in… to make their legs stronger… to explore… to appreciate.

Clean and safe parks and playgrounds are facilities that we don’t have the luxury here in the Philippines. This is exactly the reason why malls are suffocatingly full  especially during the weekends… don’t even start to try imagining how is it during sale season. But malling is one activity that has become a part of a Filipino family’s life.

The management of SM Prime Holdings surely knows how malling has become a part of family tradition for almost every Filipino family. And so, the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) was constructed. It used to boast of being the largest mall in Asia but it only comes second now to the Golden Resources Mall located in Beijing, China.

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Shopping need not even be on the list when a family goes to the mall. Window-shopping, yes. Since I arrived here in the Philippines, I haven’t been to a decent park or playground but I have been to malls all over. Malling is not my idea of fun but when you’re in Rome, do what the Romans do…

Anyway, last Saturday (November 14) was my second time to be in MOA – the first time was in 2006 – and I came to think “Is there family bonding in malling?”

Consider this: Families usually go to the mall with children and yayas (nannies) in tow. Parents do not go around the mall with squirming and impatient children unless they mean to buy something for the kids which require their presence. What happens? Parents – or adults – go around on their own while children with their respective yayas are left in playrooms where you have to pay exorbitant fees! Excuse me, I’m used to free playrooms and parks and playgrounds:-). Where is the bonding?

Maybe, I’ve just been so used to being a hands-on mom and hubby and I bring our son almost everywhere except during Saturdays when we have a nanny to look after our son in Seoul. While I enjoy the freedom to leisurely go around the mall without having to run after my son, I would always miss him. Of course, he doesn’t miss me! Little boys do not miss their moms when they are surrounded by toys and playmates.

I am happy for my son for he gets to spend time with cousins and other children in the playroom. These children never seem to get exhausted! But again… family bonding in malling? Nah! Children get to bond more with their yayas, yes. Adults get to go their separate ways without having to worry about the little ones, yes. But family bonding? NONE.


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2 thoughts on “Family Bonding through Malling?

  1. Hi Wendy! When Seonggyu and I went home in Dec 2007, I brought him to SM Clark (about 10 minutes by foot from our home) to play at the playroom. I had to watch him of course since he was just 1 1/2 years then. In Angeles City, we don’t have safe parks or playgrounds where children can play.

  2. Hello ate Wendy! When SM baguio first opened, almost all children in Baguio and Benguet and (perhaps) nearby provinces cry “SM” to their parents, not the parks that we very much enjoyed prior its opening. When our nieces beg us to bring them there. we only stay for about an hour and bring them to Camp John Hay instead or drive around the outskirts of Baguio, walk around the benguet state university grounds or the capitol building or simply just bring them to my mom’s home. We like bonding with them a lot. there’s the feeling and anticipation that children grow fast and we didn’t want to miss out anything new they say or learn…

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