Mandaluyong City

Mandaluyong is now known best for the Ortigas Center. Filipinos love this city’s air-conditioned palaces. The 348,000 square meter SM Megamall is a local favorite, accessible by EDSA (Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue, the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila) and the MRT (the Ortigas Station of the Metro Rail Transit. Many Asian countries do seasonal sales, but not here. It seems like every other week is a sale here, which is more than a hundred thousand people visit the malls every day.

The Podium, along ADB Avenue, is for those who don’t like big malls. Sebastian’s Ice Cream on the fourth floor. They specialize in the marriage of Filipino flavors and gourmet ingredients.  Mangga’t suman (rice cake and mangoes) ice cream, anyone?

The ultra posh and chic should try the Shangri-La Plaza, known to locals as “The Shang.” It carries top brands like Kate Spade, Furla, Burberry, and Rustan’s.

Looking for the perfect five-star hotel? You don’t have to look far. Across the street is the mega chic EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, one of Tripadvisor’s top 10 Philippine hotels. The Lancaster Hotel and Go Hotel are also good places to stay.

To get a feel of old Mandaluyong, head on towards Shaw and Boni Avenue.  San Felipe Neri Church on the corner of Boni Avenue, was a battle site during the 1896 revolution. Plaza Tatlong Bayani along Bonifacio Street is an homage to the great heroes of the revolution, including Gat Andres Bonifacio, General Kalentong and Laureano Gonzales.

The Philippines is said to have the longest Christmas season on Earth. We start right after Halloween and end during the Feast of the Three Kings.  Pass by Policarpio Street during this season and be floored by the extravagant lighting displays in each home.