Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013
 Surprisingly, a huge shopping mall in Palawan.

Robinson Place

This was my first introduction to the city of Puerto Princesa – a huge mall experience – in a place where nature is of bounty!  Since I arrived late in the afternoon and hungry, I craved for a ready-to-eat food, so a restaurant will definitely fit the bill.

Entrance to Rob.

The Rob, that’s how the locals call the Robinsons Place is just along the main highway.  I was actually surprised to find a huge shopping mall in a small place like Puerto Princesa, well, it used to look like a small place for me some decade or so ago when the only shopping or department store is the NCCC in the downtown.  OK, Puerto (Princesa) is not actually a town, it’s a city so it should be bigger than most regular cities in the Philippines.  Robinsons which is one of the big mall chains in the country owned by no less than the Gokongweis , the rival of the much bigger SM chain of malls owned by Henry Sy.  I heard they’d be building an SM mall around the place soon.  Healthy competition, ain’t it?

Facade of the Rob.

Popular among locals and tourists alike, the Robinsons Place is the latest huge shopping mall ditching NCCC Department Store (who's currently developing theirs into a shopping mall).  It’s a rectangular piece of big structure right off the main highway.  It’s very spacious indeed, it has everything you need laid out in 2 levels – many clothing shops, big supermarket, cinema, boutique stores, a big hardware store (Handyman), the famous National Bookstore, foodcourt, and several other fastfood chains, restaurants and my favorite quencher slash brain-freezer, the pearl sago on the second level, they make fancy but good crushed ice smoothie type of a drink, with the heat outside, I could really drink two of those grand sized plastic glass that cost 55 pesos.  I wonder though why the big M did not set up a place inside or even beside the Rob? That’s strange.  There’s a Jollibee (the local version of McDo) but there ain’t no arched M!  Will someone explain that to me please.

An entertainment program at the Rob.

Rob can be very crowded with students and children during the weekends.  If you’re coming from the downtown, in front of Jollibee (fastfood) is, you have to take those multicabs with the signage “San Jose” or “New Market”, lots of them there and ask the driver to drop you off at Robinsons, fare is 10 pesos and if it’s not a rush hour and not much of a traffic, you’ll reach the place in 15 minutes or less.  That is, if you’re staying at or near the downtown.

Jollibee (the local McDo)

There is also a hotel called “GO Hotel” few strides, let’s say almost beside the Rob if not for the gasoline station in-between.  For people who want to stay beside the mall, the hotel is convenient, although it’s a bit off the busy central area, but the area surrounding the mall and the hotel is mostly residential, very green and not hectic compared to the downtown so I guess a good place too for those who don’t want to be bothered. 

Convenient grocery.

Rob is very near our place, though honestly I’m not really a huge fan of malls and big shopping centers, it’s still a convenient place for picking up lots of stuff like groceries, foodstuff, clothing, mobile loads and lots of stuff.  I could actually reach the place on foot in 20-minute from our place though I haven’t tried it yet as tricycles and those multicabs running along the highway cost so little for me to compromise walking under the hot weather.

A sort of metropolitan way of my first introduction – my first day at that – to the city of Puerto Princesa.

How to get there:

If you’re coming from the city centre, in front of Jollibee and Chowking , there are several multicabs parked waiting for passengers.  Or if you're staying somewhere else, get to the main road and hail a multicab.  Look for those with the signs “San Jose” or “New Market”.  Pay P10 and in about 15 to 20 minutes you'll be in Robinsons.


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