The mall craze has finally caught up with Digos City with the opening of Gaisano Grand Digos. Under Philippine standards, it isn't really as grand as its moniker, but it's a step towards this. People used to troop to parks to chill out, but in the age of the internet, they turned to the glittery, cool interiors of the mall. We've written before about the big malls soon rising in this moderately affluent, progressive yet rural "city". The Gaisano Grand Digos is the first to open. It has a sprawling parking space, a two-story building (with a small 3rd level for the Gaisano Department Store), a food court, a huge supermarket at the back of the building, and several shops, spas and parlors, etc. No stand-alone restaurants just yet as of this writing. No, there are no cinemas here as well. Digos has long forgotten how it is to queue up for their favorite blockbuster movies. But that soon shall change when a new SM or NCCC open its doors.
There is an older Gaisano along Estrada Street, but its cramped space and tiangge mentality takes you to the era of department stores, not malls. Make no mistake, vestiges of such mentality still exist in Gaisano Grand Digos. Upon entrance into the lobby, you find little stalls of bargain garments, some as cheap as P30 and P50 (less than a dollar). This tacky displays actually defeats the purpose of the glittery and behemoth concept of millennial commerce, but then this is still rural central. People walk with leisurely pace. City paranoia is too far removed from their lifestyle just yet.
The food court at the second level has a considerable selection of local dishes. There's a Goldilocks inside. An RCBC ATM machine bashfully hides under the escalator steps. There's a PSBank as well. More importantly, a CDR King with generous space has opened in the mall. The two-level department store is spacious but lacks imagination where partition is concerned. In fact, you find the kitchenware, the appliance center, the home decor section, the garments, toy section, school supplies scattered aimlessly on a glisteningly tiled floor, above the supermarket.
I overheard a customer complaining about the mislabeling. A huge sign read "3 for P100" for a kitchen tupperware, yet when the customer queues up to buy three, he was told that he can only buy the three similar items if he gets 4. The products were erroneously marked P60 per piece - and you cannot purchase just one. What then is the sign of "3 for P100" for? Fictional? This is a clear violation in the Department of Trade and Industry practices, isn't it? Either that - or they remove the huge advertorial signs visible several meters within the supermarket floor. What's worse, they couldn't find whoever it is that manages and decides on this simple dilemma.
Regardless, Gaisano Grand ushers the epoch of malls in a progressive city like Digos. It's starting to get its rightful place in maps. And do i even have to mention that the recent winner of the Philippines' "X-Factor" hails from Digos? So congratulations are in order for Miss KZ Tandingan who went home with a bounty worth P4 million. It's a victory well deserved.
Happy malling, Digosenios and Davaoenos.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|It glistens and it's cool inside, but what greets you is the tacky bargain displays.|
|Gaisano Department Store|
|CDR King (above and below)|
|This horizontal bar reminds me of the riots in Mendiola. Are they anticipating such riots here? LOL|
|Small food stalls fronting the supermarket.|
|Supermarket. Elevators lead to the Department Store at the second level.|
|Elevators at the mall lobby lead to the food court and the front of the Department Store.|
|Gadgets and peripherals at the Octagon.|
|One of the 2 optical shops in Gaisano.|
|Mt. Shake has terrific Durian shakes but service is excruciatingly slow.|
|A row of refreshment stalls fronting the grocery.|
|LBC, Rose Pharmacy, My Phone, a photo shop, Globe Shop (at the opposite side) in this hallway also leading to the supermarket.|
|Yellow chairs punctuate the food court. What's with yellow? Cory Fever? Even their tricycles in the streets are all colored yellow.|
|RCBC ATM, the "secret" ATM machine hides bashfully under an escalator.|
|As of February 2015, there's a new Red Ribbon, but it's mainly a take-out counter with 2 or 3 tables. Those tacky steel bars are still there.|
|Over at the Food Court, many of the food shops have folded so there are fewer options to choose from.|
|Front of the building facing the highway that leads to Bansalan westward and Digos City proper at the opposite direction.|
|One of the two Jollibee stores in Digos City.|
|Second Jollibee store at the MC Square, another cramped out shopping complex with a Rose Pharmacy and a small supermarket inside.|
|When a BDO bank is around, could SM be far behind? This is one of the half a dozen ATM machines available in this city.|
|Roadside stuffed toys on sale in several areas in the city.|
|Traffic stagnates in the narrow streets of Digos with its thousands of unregulated, noisy, wayward tricycles. They have a color scheme - yellow. All other trikes have to paint their vehicles yellow or they won't get renewed at the LTO.|
|Young majorettes of a marching band at the beautiful Rizal Park.|