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28 January 2007

SMS and SM malls

Mall of Asia. Image source: Forbes.com

SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Philippines: the third largest mall in the world with 4.2 million square feet. Image source: Forbes.com

THREE OF the world's 10 largest malls are in the Philippines, according to Forbes Magazine this month. The trio belongs to SM Group, one of the oldest organized retailers in the country. Quite a distinction for a land driven by a strong spirit of communal activity. (We Filipinos call it the bayanihan.)

Add the fact that the Philippines has the most number of text messages sent daily. Imagine text messages being sent from those gigantic malls with all their state-of-the-art facilities (including chapels, health clinics, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool in SM Mall of Asia).

These trends make me wonder (and I fear any affirmative answer): have urban Filipinos stopped making personal conversations with each other? And have they turned the shopping mall into the modern village they live in?

Related Site: List of the 10 largest malls in the world

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