The invitation read: “Mr. Henry Sy invites you to the blessing ..."
Hmmm, yet another SM Mall . . .
But wait, this is in Dolores, Taytay. My neck of the woods! More or less 10 minutes, give or take 5 -- depending on traffic -- from where I live. A booming community -- residentially and industrially. Makes good business sense, methinks, for any store chain to locate there.
My saving grace was spotting Johnlu Koa of French Baker fame, who used to teach at UP Diliman, and who introduced me in turn to his wife Marilou and SM VPs Gigi Mabanta of Merchandising and Daisy Chua of Leasing. I was able to sound off the lady execs that I wanted to talk with someone who can talk about SM and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) for a story I had to write for a broadsheet.
French Baker is one of several establishments in the mall that served no-limits food and drinks to the inaugural guests.
I met too the 15 priests -- yes, 15! -- from the Diocese of Antipolo who concelebrated mass and blessed the place -- all two buildings, six floors (two in Building A and four in B) and 38,000 square meters of it. One of them, Father Jimmy Padilla, told me the Choir of Taytay Choral Group sang during the mass.
The Miss Philippines titlists who graced the event glowed so it was hard not to spot them.
But where oh where was Henry Sy who "invited" me? And where, too, my blogging berks?
But then that's what one gets for trying too hard to be fashionably late and ending up disgracefully missing out on much of what she came for.
I hope these pictures redeem me somewhat.
The registration/courtesy booth; smiling, glowing Ms. Philippines belles
Gigi Mabanta, Marilou Koa, Daisy Chua, and Johnlu Koa; some of the priests from Antipolo diocese.