2017 Feature Highlights: A Successful Year for SM City Iloilo

It’s been a successful year for SM City Iloilo. Years ago, SM City Iloilo only consisted of the central mall. Now it has extended to SM Northwing and SM Southpoint giving more options to shoppers. We remember the grand opening of SM Southpoint last 11th of November 2016 with an up close encounter with SM’s very own Hans Sy, son of mall magnate Henry Sy.

‘There is no replacement for hardwork. It is 50 percent harwork, 40 percent guts, and 10 percent luck’ – Mr Hans Sy during his visit to SM City Iloilo during the grand opening of SM Southpoint last November 2016.

This year, 2017, has also been pivotal to SM City Iloilo in its bid to expand its green initiatives – 2,904 solar panels at 285 watts per panel were launched and will serve as the mall’s prime source of electricity. This milestone is part of SM City’s continued thrust for sustainability and environmental stewardship. The launch and ceremonial switch on was held on the rooftop of the said mall and was graced by Iloilo City Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III, Chairman of the Committee on Environment and City Councilor Rleone Geroche, Chief of DENR-EMB6 Environmental Education and Communication Section Mr. Rabbi Chris Carvajal, Office of Civil Defense 6 Dir. Rosario Cabrera, Senior Environment Management Specialist and Chief of Pollution Control, CENRO Engr. Robert Escuto, Assistant Mall Manager Mr. Darrel John Defensor, and Chief of Provincial Information and Community Affairs Office Mr. Nerio Lujan. Read more about SM’s Solar Energy Ceremonial Switch On here.

We also recollect how the said mall has been the venue for many events instrumental in promoting Iloilo City – its tourism as well as local talent. Back in November 24, 2017, the Department of Tourism Region VI spearheaded by Regional Director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas launched a series of projects and campaigns aimed to boost local tourism, preferably in the Western Visayas. It includes the following: Launching of the Bring Home a Friend (BHAF) Project, Launching of DOT VI Branding Campaign, Soft Launching of the United Western Visayas Song, and celebration of Month of Overseas Filipinos and International Migrants Day. The event was held at Cinema 6 of SM City Iloilo and joined by the Department of Tourism and students from various universities in Iloilo. The program featured performances from 2live Crew, Hon. Dante Beriong, and Tumandok Crew (Grand Champion of Experience Western Visayas First Hiligaynon Rap Song Writing Competition).

It was in SM City Iloilo that we seen and heard Region VI’s Department of Tourism branding campaign ‘Tahum’, as well as the United Western Visayas Song written and performed by our very own Mr. Dante Beriong. And of course, a special performance from Tumandok Crew, artists behind the monumental song ‘Basta Ilongga, Gwapa’. Read more about Department of Tourism Launches Bring Home a Friend Project here.

Apart from tourism, SM City Iloilo has also been the venue for showcasing local talent such as in the case of Cinekasimanwa: Western Visayas Film Festival, a week long celebration of local films – where we cried and laughed, moved by the colorful stories written and directed by exceptional individuals from Iloilo and neighboring provinces. CineKasimanwa has risen up as the number one regional film festival in terms of number of films produced locally, year-round audience attendance, number of venues, number of satellite screenings and outreach programs. Between 2013 to 2016, CineKasimanwa has world-premiered more than 300 short films from Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental.

And of course, what is SM City Iloilo without food? Here we share some of our experiences dining in SM City Iloilo’s food capital – SM Southpoint. Enjoy the best of Bicolano cuisine at Spicy Elements, the sumptious steaks at Jamies Steak Room – revel in a variety of steaks, ranging from Philippine meat, Aussie, to USDA certified meat – and more.

Niño’s Burritos, from the name itself, is a Mexican-inspired restaurant serving the best of comida Mexicana. Settled in the heart of SM Southpoint, SM City Iloilo, the comida ala Mexicana serves everything Mexican – quesadillas, nachos, and of course from its name, burritos. Niño’s Burritos is primordially Ilonggo – the first Niño’s Burritos store opened in September 2015 at the Atria Park District in San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City. Later on, it opened branches in Robinsons Place Jaro and SM City Southpoint. But it doesn’t stop here in Iloilo. Niño’s Burritos now has branches in SM City Ortigas and SM City Fairview in Metro Manila. Read more about Niño’s Burritos here.

Need I say more? As a keen follower of the official Facebook page of Mrs. Wharton London Bakes and English Tea, I have to admit, I am always blown away by the enticing posts. I love Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Reese, even S’mores – and you somehow can’t explain the feeling when all your favorites are in and on a cake. The first time I heard that Ferrero Rocher cake is available at Mrs. Wharton, I did an emotional somersault. No words can explain how excited I was. And, just recently, when I heard that Reese cake will be available I just can’t help but fall in love with Mrs. Wharton London Bakes and English Tea – the place certainly knows how to push all my buttons. Just recently, Mrs Wharton’s Mango Surprise was featured as one of the best treats in SM Stores nationwide! Read more about Mrs Wharton here.

Health is wealth, definitely – this seems to be the mantra embodied by the recently opened restaurant at SM Southpoint. Live by Healthy Kitchen opened its doors – soft opening last May 26th and grand opening at the 29th. The restaurant/health store will be offering three interesting product lines: dine in comfort food, healthy to go meals, and a variety of products at the mini grocery. Read more about Live by Healthy Kitchen here.

What’s great about evenings, especially a Saturday evening, at SM Southpoint Iloilo is the parade of restaurants lining the wide SM expanse. There is that distinct homey ambiance paired with good music resonating in the open space, healthy eats and mouthwatering finds along with the scent of brewed coffee in almost every corner of SM Southpoint. One Saturday night, we dined at San Jose Cafe. San Jose Cafe is a haven for coffee and delicious food. It is a proud supporter of local coffee beans and likewise producer of unique coffee blends. The first San Jose Cafe opened a few years back at The Shops at Atria Park District and a new one recently on the ground floor of SM Southpoint. Read more about San Jose Cafe here.

Ramboy’s is no longer foreign to the Ilonggo palate – by far, it is already a household name. With over eighteen branches nationwide – one in Aklan, three in Iloilo, two in Manila, one in Roxas, and eleven lechon houses distributed in the country – Ramboy’s is taking over the prime spot for authentic liempo and lechon manok. Liempo is a hardcore Filipino favorite. Spelled liyempo in traditional Tagalog orthography – and commonly spelled as liempo – is actually a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. Grilled and seasoned with spices, liempo is a beloved Filipino dish best served with rice. Read more about Ramboy’s, Aklan’s Best here.

Inspired by the Latin aphorism ‘carpe diem’ meaning ‘seize the day’, you will definitely be able to seize the day with a cuppa in an ethereal realm at SM Southpoint Iloilo. Meticulously designed with whimsical interiors and exteriors, Cafe Diem will not only let you enjoy coffee and seize the day but likewise transports you to the bizarre and peculiar world of Harry Potter. There’s just something about Cafe Diem. Aside from the Harry Potter themed space, the coffee shop displays a wall of encouragement made by its customers. When you’re feeling down or discouraged, the wall of inspiration is something worth to take a look at. Moreover, the creativity at Cafe Diem is overwhelming. The usual Ilonggo, when ordering and asked by a friend regarding what he/she wants to eat, can be quite hilarious at times. Cafe Diem, with its dose of humor, has made the selection easier for its customers. Seriously, what do you want to eat?! Read more about Cafe Diem here. 

Indeed, it has been a fruitful year for SM City Iloilo. Happy Holidays, SM City!

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