A garden in the sky flies high north of Metro Manila. SM City North Edsa‘s much anticipated newest outdoor attraction on the second floor called the Sky Garden will formally launch on Friday, May 29.
Built at the heart of Quezon City north, the long awaited opening of the elevated park is finally coming to completion. It was the former parking lot in front of the main mall.
It’s now getting the finishing touches of the facades since it started construction about mid of last year. The sudden change actually came as a surprise to many mall shoppers as Shoe Mart (SM) had just built an adjacent building – The Block, a few years ago.
Reminiscing & Looking Back
I still remember back in the 80’s, more specifically in 1985, when the first supermall in the Philippines was built – the SM City North Edsa. One of my uncles brought me to this newly opened mall as we just live a few kilometers away at Balintawak, north of Quezon City. It was really an awesome experience since the place was so big. My cousines even call it ‘the Mansion.’ Our weekly grocery habits then transferred from the old “Glo-ri Supermart” located along Del Monte Avenue, to that of SM City’s Supermarket.
Just like most Chinese family in the Philippines, we have a big clan with 4 uncles, two aunties, and the eldest – my dad. Add to that their children – my cousins and we are like one barangay in two cars in convoy going to ‘SM City.’ And of course, ‘Angkong‘ (grandfather) and ‘Ama‘ (grandmother), would not allow us to leave them at home. Especially that they are the ones who are ‘taya‘ (in charge of paying our shopping bills).
The Old Has Passed, The New Has Come
Twenty-Four years after, much have changed now. My uncles and aunties all have their own families and they live in different households. ‘Ama‘ has passed away and ‘Angkong‘ is now wheelchair-bound. The same with SM City North, much have changed. From the single main building, they expanded to having the annex and the carpark through the years.
A major addition to the cluster of buildings was ‘The Block‘ which was followed by the reconstruction of an even bigger annex building and the latest – the truly awesome Sky Garden.
The biggest mall in the Philippines now brings the concept of ‘green’ to another level by coming up with a family-friendly park right beside the mall.
Filled with different trees, plant variants and green carpet grass, a family can enjoy the whole 15,500 square meters of open-air outdoor park.
It’s For Everyone
It has dining establishments for the hungry dad, retails shops for the shopaholic mom and entertainment centers for the kids.
The open-air park was also made pet-friendly for the animal-loving patrons.
SM also made sure that the Sky Garden considered PWD (persons with disability) customers.
Interestingly, the management limited the commercial establishments to occupy only about 15% of the total floor area, or 2,000 square meters of the Sky Garden to maintain its unique space dynamics and a cozy atmosphere for the people.
Food, Food, Food!
Dining spots are predominantly grills and cafes that suit the open-air outdoor set-up. These include Padi’s Point, Ineng’s BBQ, Pixie’s Sinugba, La Mesa Grill, Marina, and Gerry’s Grill. The coffee shops will never be complete without Coffeeworks, Coffee Experience, and Starbucks which is situated as a floating coffee shop amidst a small pond. Other establishments include Cello’s Donuts, Freshbar by Big Chill and Kitchen of Cakes & Coffee, among others.
The long curvilinear Sky Garden also serves as a shaded common access point for the whole mall as it links the main mall building, the Block, the new Annex building and the car park.
The Sky DOme
The Sky Garden‘s most prominent attraction would be the Sky Dome. It is a huge half sphere protruding structure on the west side of the park highly visible along Edsa and nearby places.
The Sky Dome is an amphitheater that can house an audience of about 1,200. It is suitable for concerts, conferences, and exhibitions; the latest of which are the concerts of international singing child wonder Charice Pempengco and American Idol star David Cook.
Other attractions include the Roof Garden and Water Features including a floating restaurant that will house a world-famous coffee shop and a man-made water-fall.
I’m just glad that SM City North Edsa continues to improve this mall which stood witness to the growth of our extended families through the years, or rather, decades. It was the mall where we spent our weekends to bond and share our cheers as a family. Until today, though distant apart since some of our relatives now live in different parts of Metro Manila and as far as Makati, we still have our annual reunions in the restaurants here.
It has, and it continues to be the vessel which binds our family together – that is SM City North Edsa to my family, then and now.
More SM City North Edsa Sky Garden Pictures including the Press Walk last Monday: Enjoy your photo tour. 🙂
This is the end of your amazing SM City North Edsa Sky Garden Photo Tour. 🙂 And let me end this article with a 5-minute video of some of SM’s top executives giving a brief history of SM City North Edsa:
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