By Lawrence Casiraya
TARLAC CITY, TARLAC - This city will have a brand new landmark soon when SM opens its first mall in the province this April.
You know you’re in Tarlac when you come to a ‘junction’ – a portion of McArthur Highway going to Baguio City that forks left going to the city proper. For those who routinely take the bus going north, it is exactly where you make a stopover to this place aptly called “Siesta”.
But pretty soon, one only needs to see those two familiar letters plastered on a huge building and you know you’ve reached this province, fondly called “Cojuangco” or “Aquino” country because it is the birthplace of these political clans.
I must say this is a very strategic location to build a mall. I should know because back in high school, I take a 30-minute jeepney ride everyday from my hometown of Capas to Tarlac. What is SM now used to be just a huge vacant lot. How else could you go wrong if you’re near the main highway?
Since then, there have been two or three local “malls” that have been built, although these are two-storey structures that are not even a third of the size of SM City Tarlac.
Naturally, of course, in a mall-crazy nation like the Philippines, wherever an SM is being built is sure to create buzz. Promdiblogger carries some artist sketches of SM City Tarlac, which elicited comments inquiring about job openings.
On the other hand, an SM mall is also bound to stir controversy because it represents a threat to local businesses. But that was nearly three years ago. Now, the people of Tarlac should be excited about having an SM to call their own.
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