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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Giving Bicol's Shopping Experience A New Look

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As part of my series of rehashed articles to fill up space on my blog and to hide the fact that I'm too lazy to write new material, here's a feature story I made last semester for our Feature Writing class. I'm no way affiliated with Embarcadero de Legazpi but this story, in my opinion, was written so wonderfully that it would be a waste not to post it. Also, I also would like to think that this would boost tourists' interest in the place if I posted this (Hello, Catapult Nation's foreign audience!). Also, this is a pretty awesome way to promote Legazpi's tourist hot spots (Hello, Embarcadero de Legazpi managament! I need a job after I graduate!)

by Andrew Garcia Gahol
AB Journalism-3A

MBARCADERO DE LEGAZPI prides itself as being one of the top revolutionizing shopping malls, not only in the Bicol Region, but also in the entire Philippines.

Situated at the Legazpi City harbor area near the ravishing Kapuntukan Hill, Embarcadero is considered as the first waterfront shopping mall in the country. Zaldy Co, the visionary behind the idea of opening the first waterfront mall in the Philippines, had a passion for sea fronts and the Bicolano people. Co’s desire to provide a new shopping experience to the Bicolanos, while at the same time actualizing his love for waterfronts, encouraged him to develop Embarcadero de Legazpi.

Embarcadero de Legazpi opened just last July 18, 2009 but is already generating some buzz and acclaim. With its slogan “Embarcadero: Changing your lifestyle”, the country’s premier waterfront mall never fails to continuously transform the way we look at the Legazpi City shopping scene.

Part of the Embarcadero adventure is witnessing how well it reconciles nature and the metropolis. Embarcadero’s location close to the Kapuntukan Hill’s foliage and the Legazpi City sea port gives clients a first-hand experience of nature while shopping in the heart of the city.

What’s in store

Embarcadero isn’t just about shopping, it’s about changing your lifestyle.

What sets Embarcadero de Legazpi from other the other malls in Albay is that it hosts several top-of-the-line boutiques, restaurants and stores you will not find anywhere else in Bicol. Clothing stores such as Mango, Plains and Prints, F2M, Giordano and Cinderella are shops that you can only find in Embarcadero and nowhere else in the region.

If you’re looking for top-quality gastronomical escapades, Embarcadero also has a wide variety of restaurants to satisfy your gustatory cravings. Food places like Gerry’s Grill, Mang Inasal, Harbour Wok, Kitaro, La Mia Tazza Cafe, Tapa King,  and Bigg’s Diner are only some of the establishments in Embarcadero ready to satisfy your appetites.

Embracadero also has a first-class bowling alley, beauty salons, videoke bars, spas and clubs.

Want to indulge without spending too much? Embarcadero’s Market Place and Celebration Plaza provides clients with an assortment of products that everyone will surely enjoy. Kiosks at the Celebration Plaza serve many on-the-go food items such as ice cream, roasted nuts, waffles and donuts. The Celebration Plaza is also where you can find recreational rides like electric trains, bumper cars and merry-go-rounds for fun family time as well.

The Market Place is a where local products and souvenirs are sold for affordable prices. To promote tourism in the Bicol Region, there are stalls and souvenir shops dedicated to selling locally made products like candies, handicrafts, accessories and clothing that show the best merchandise Albay has to offer.

Embarcadero is where you could go to have a good time without even spending money.

Aside from Embarcadero being a entertainment center, it is also a place where you can take in the breath-taking bird’s eyeview of the city. The 30-meter tall lighthouse found in Embarcadero provides a panoramic view of Legazpi City including the Legazpi City seaport, Kapuntukan Hill (Sleeping Lion’s Head) as well as the majestic Mayon Volcano. At night, it becomes a spectacle of bright and colorful lights that serves as a public attraction every night. The Embarcadero lighthouse may be very well on its way to becoming Legazpi City’s most famous icon.

Other notable features in Embarcadero de Legazpi are the Paseo Palmas, a promenade inside the mall where you can walk through the entire mall while you pass the ocean side and the retail stores and kiosks in the site.

More social life

Embarcadero isn’t just an entertainment center, it is also a social cornucopia.

As part of its vision to take the Legazpi social scene to the next level, the Embarcadero management is also upholding various activities and shows at the mall in order to bring people together to interact and to be entertained.

Activities such as bikini opens, singing contests, gay pageants, dance showdowns, band competitions, senior citizen nights and the Ralanguyan are only a handful of programs that Embarcadero is currently sponsoring to showcase local talent and promote social entertainment.

Aside from the long list of activities and programs Embarcadero is holding, the shopping center also has an in-site club, Padi’s Point which is open every night welcoming club enthusiasts and partygoers all over the city.

Embarcadero supports enriching the social activities in the city in order for Legazpi to become at a par with major metropolitan areas like Metro Manila and Metro Cebu in terms of the social scene and night life. This way, Embarcadero is also promoting Albay tourism.

Embarcadero has come a long way from its grand opening last July, 2009. It is only more than a year old but it is already changing the way the Bicolano defines fun and adventure. Embarcadero is definitely one of Bicol’s precious gems. In just a span of one year, this pioneering shopping center has already introduced the future of shopping to Bicol and has definitely put Legazpi City on the map.

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