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SM City Baguio
Part 5 of the Libotero Baguio-Banaue Roadtrip series
After lunch at Skyrise Hotel and Restaurant, it was the perfect time to climb up the Lourdes Grotto to shed some calories. Since it was just less than a block away from our hotel, we were at the foot of the hill in an instant.
Foot of the hill
We were all so ready to climb more than 200 steps to the top when rain just suddenly poured out of nowhere!
Bummer! So where else could we go on a rainy day? To the mall ofcourse, LOL. So we hopped on our van and proceeded to SM City Baguio.
If my memory serves me right, the last time our family was in Baguio was eight years ago but I never remembered having encountered insane traffic jams in the city! This time, traffic in Baguio is like hell. I think one can get to point A to point B quicker when walking than when on a vehicle. That’s practically okay when the weather is good but when it’s raining so hard, we had no choice but to be patient. I am really saddened by the urban mess that is Baguio City. It feels like the city is about to burst anytime. All I could do is just, sigh!
So after running like a turtle for at least an hour, we finally arrived in SM City Baguio!
During my last visit, SM wasn’t existent yet. All I could remember was a hill full of pine trees! I wonder where all those pine trees are now. I hope they were “transplanted” and are now breathing in a better place.
Opening to the public on November 2003, SM City Baguio is now easily one of the top tourist destinations in Baguio City! While we’re totally sad about the removal of hundreds of pine trees in the area, at least we get a neatly designed SM mall as a consolation.
I can confidently say that SM City Baguio is one of the best-designed SM malls. We were all so used to the boring boxes back then and this mall is actually the first that went out of the box. You can really see that much thought has been poured on the design and construction of the mall.
Taking advantage of the cool mountain resort climate of the City of Pines, SM City Baguio is mostly non-airconditioned! Only the cinemas and some of the individual tenants have their own aircon units. This was achieved through the use of a tensile roof and a terraces-like structure that allows the cool mountain air to come in. Cool!
Anyway, here are some photos of SM City Baguio:
The main atrium
SM City Baguio is made up of 4 levels
Heavy rain spawned a very long queue to the taxi bay
SM City Baguio is one of the most crowded SM malls. It has an average daily pedestrian count of 100,000
Another long queue to the taxi bay at the supermarket entrance
The mall’s lotus-like tensile roofing
SM City Baguio is set for expansion in the near future!
(…to be continued)