The Philippine Star
Shangri-La Plaza celebrates Christmas & 25 years of success
This Christmas is extra special for the Shang as it kicks off the mall’s 25th anniversary next year with a raffle giving away trips to Paris, London, Vancouver, Sydney, Dubai, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Boracay – and accommodation at Shangri-La Hotels and round-trip tickets via Cathay Pacific for the international destinations.
It’s a cheerful, fabulous Christmas at Shangri-La Plaza with the beautiful East Wing and Main Wing decked out in gorgeous decorations and the sounds of symphonies and children’s choirs wafting in the air.
In the past two decades, the Shang has always distinguished itself as the mall that truly embraces the season with elegant décor and events that make you feel the spirit and warmth of the holidays.
Shangri-La Plaza EVP and general manager Lala Fojas says, “This year, we went for a traditional Christmas theme, the entire mall is filled with Christmas balls, poinsettia, berries, pine cones and crystals. In the past we’ve had themes such as Polar Bears and Christmas in Wonderland.”
Lala adds that the essence of Christmas at the Shang has always remained “a tradition for the family to enjoy their time here together. We always make sure it reinforces family bonding. From the offerings that we have, each member of the family will find something that will make Christmas more memorable for them. And for a break in their Christmas shopping and after watching the concerts, we have F&B outlets where they can get together with family and friends.”
The Shang is truly a one-stop mall for all your Christmas gifts, whether it’s a year-end treat for one’s self or for family and friends. The mall has approximately 630 stores to choose from including high-end brands like Gucci and Givenchy to local favorites
like Bench and F&H, and the multi-brand Rustan’s Department Store.
You can also do your noche buena shopping at Rustan’s Supermarket or the various delis and kiosks that offer specialty foods, and order from restaurants to add to your home-cooked feast. And to make shopping easier there’s the year-round valet service in front of the Main Wing’s two entrances.
This Christmas — more than any other year — is extra special for the Shang as it kicks off the mall’s 25th anniversary next year with a grand raffle promo giving away trips for two to Paris, London, Vancouver, Sydney, Dubai, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Boracay. What’s unique about this promo is that apart from Shang providing the airfare, it also provides accommodation at Shangri-La Hotels. Cathay Pacific is the official airline partner for its international destinations.
So when Lala says that “Christmas is one continuous event for the whole month of December,” it actually extends to summer 2016, when the winners will be announced in April. (Details in the next page.)
During our chat with Lala, we reminisced about the Shang when it opened in 1991 and how it was pioneering in terms of design (it remains the only mall with revolving doors and express escalators) and atmosphere — truly the first upscale mall of its kind to open in Manila. And yet, the Shang has also evolved with the times in the past 25 years, expanding its market and redefining the malling experience for everyone.
“We were the first one to position and identify ourselves with the upscale market and we’ve always valued the safety and security of our customers,” says Lala. “We pioneered so many things, like the sniffing dogs as an added security feature. Then when we did the rezoning of the stores — we were the first one to put our dining facilities on the topmost floors, which nobody dared to do because before, dining was always on the lower levels. But we knew it was a good complement to our cinemas. We had The Ledge, which was the sixth-floor dining, and then we put restaurants on all levels.
Shang also pioneered commuter-friendly “street shop fronts,” which are the stores on EDSA and Shaw sides of the mall that cater to the commuter market. These are the shops that people basically pick up things from on the way home or to the office; we made it more convenient for them when they have to buy, say, medicines from Mercury Drugstore or a quick snack at 7-11.
On the dining side, Shang also pioneered the Streetscape with tents and al fresco dining; and medical facilities like American Eye Center, which had its first branch at the Shang. In the earlier years Shang had entertainment museums like Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
When I was living in Quezon City, I remember Sundays at the Shang just hanging out or watching a matinee of Repertory Philippines when they had their home at the William J. Shaw Theater on the top floor.
Today , looking at the mall, you realize it hasn’t only evolved with the times – it has actually helped change people’s lifestyles and gave them better choices.