Hey guys! ūüôā I know it’s Holiday madness for all of us right now! ¬†Especially for college students who are just about to start their Christmas break. ¬†Let me not forget that it was pay day yesterday so most of us are probably fixing our budgets and thinking of what to give our loved ones this year in Christmas. ¬†Not only for our loved ones but for ourselves too!

I have been shopping for myself and a few for my loved ones since November. ¬†I have basically went around Metro Manila and listed down places where it will be good to shop. ¬†I am sorry for readers who aren’t from Metro Manila though, because this entry shall be Metro Manila-centric since I have no access to places like Davao and Cagayan De Oro.

TriNoma – I used to hate TriNoma–and it was not even simple hatred. ¬†It was ULTIMATE HATRED for the mall that I felt years ago when it opened. ¬†It opened when I was in my last year in high school. ¬†I remember that the reason for my hating of the mall was it was cramped by Science High School geniuses whose noses looked down on kids who are from exclusive high schools. ¬†Another thing that I hated before was its poor airconditioning. ¬†TriNoma used to be warm and its flooring wasn’t that good–the tiles look like tiles you will see in your average bathroom. ¬†I am very O.C. when it comes to a place’s architecture and it affects my mood about the place.

The facade of the Trinoma mall

My love for TriNoma just started during the last quarters of 2009. ¬†I used to always go to its neighbor–The Block SM North but I developed a hatred for the place since I always rub elbows with random people in that mall and they do not even say sorry when they hit you, etc. ¬†I crossed the pedestrian and tried TriNoma for a better shopping experience. And boy, I was not disappointed.

If you are a shoe addict like me, you would love TriNoma. ¬†Almost all shoe stores in SM North are in TriNoma actually–but the beauty of this is, STORES ARE LARGER IN TriNoma!!! Weeee. ūüėõ Let us take CMG for an instance. ¬†CMG is a shoe store which is known for their badass girly and sophisticated shoes and bags. ¬†They also have a clothing sister company too which is bYSI. ¬†The CMG store in The Block SM North is just an average-sized store. ¬†CMG (during this season) has a lot of sales and marked down products. ¬†I felt cheated when I had a shoe shopping spree in CMG The Block when I went to their TriNoma store. ¬†This is because the choices of designs in TriNoma were much prettier than that of the ones in The Block. ¬†And hell, they have a bigger store in TriNoma which also includes bags and clothes–so you don’t just get to splurge on shoes but also in other pretty stuff too! Another thing is, TriNoma’s size does not kill me. ¬†SM North’s just too big that it will REALLY wear you out WHILE shopping!

Aside from better shops, I think TriNoma is a one-stop spot for people who want to expand options when it comes to the stuff they will buy. ¬†The lower levels of TriNoma have the mainstream shops such as Bench, Penshoppe and Bayo whilst its upper levels have the “high-end” shops such as Aldo, Debenhams and Zara. ¬†For my general gifts to classmates and chums, I went to the Marks And Spencer store in TriNoma and bought them the 150-worth shower gels in Citrus and Aloe Vera scents (I HOPE THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO READ THIS).

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I am pretty happy and satisfied with what my money was able to buy because toiletries are very useful nowadays and people usually become happy when they see that they’ve been gifted with a branded merchandise. ¬†I believe Marks And Spencer has very affordable yet nice gift¬†items in their shop. ¬†They also have other items like hand washes, lip balms, lotions, deodorants and moisturizers that are set in very affordable prices and favorable quantities. ¬†The beauty of shopping in M&S is that for each item you buy, they will give you a corresponding paper bag of their store which you can use for wrapping the gift. ūüôā ¬†Convenient and fabulous!

TriNoma also has Landmark and Crossings which offer a lot of affordable and useful gift items. ¬†ūüôā

But let me not give you the impression that I am a total hater of SM North now. ¬†It’s just that I’ve found better options these days. ¬†SM North is still the number once source of gadgets and techy stuff. ¬†They have a newly renovated Cyberzone now and it has been renovated to give consumers a better shopping experience when it comes to gadgets and tech stuff. ¬†My Dad is a tech geek and he has always brought me to the Cyberzone of SM North ever since I was a kid and I remember hating every feel in that old place. ¬†For one, it was too narrow and number two, it was damn hot! ¬†I just went to the new Cyberzone of SM North in July and the experience was no longer the same. ¬†I think this is the great advantage of SM North over TriNoma–the place for tech geeks. ¬†Sure, TriNoma has its own section for gadgets and techy stuff in one of their top floors but its options aren’t wide enough for individuals who wish to explore options first before purchasing. ¬†So when it comes to tech stuff, I’d go for SM North. ¬†In my last visits of other SM malls, I saw that they already have their own Cyberzones too–but I still think that the one in SM North is the most badass of them all. READ: I am totally excluding SM Mall of Asia because I have been there only twice and it is damn too far for me to reach. ¬†I live in Quezon City, hello.

Gateway is also one of the nicest malls around Quezon City. ¬†Aside from its cool interiors and flawless architecture, it also showcases great accessibility for it is directly connected to the MRT and LRT2 stations. ¬†For the year 2009, it is the mall that took the bulk of my bank account’s contents. ¬†It is the mall that my friends and I immediately go to for meals before and after watching UAAP games that were mostly held at the Araneta Coliseum. ¬†It is also one of the nearest malls to Katipunan college students for the existence of the LRT2 station in Katipunan. ¬†Gateway

Gateway has a lot of nice shops. ¬†However, the downside of the shops in Gateway is that they particularly cater to the high-end market. ¬†Sure, there are moderate shops like People Are People and Marks And Spencer. ¬†However, the rest of the shops won’t be a good spot for people who are doing their standard Christmas shopping. ¬†When I say standard, I am only including people who are on the standard budget–people who won’t be able to afford a whole Christmas shopping of items from Rustan’s and other high-end shops. ¬†Gateway has a nice food court though–it is not your typical food court which contains places that sell native food and the like. ¬†Its food court has Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, Auntie Anne’s and other food stores that are not so mainstream. ¬†Thus presenting a refreshing vibe when it comes to crowded food courts. ¬†Despite these nice places in Gateway, I’d still say that walang mabiling reasonably-priced in this place. ¬†So I put the red mark here.

This may sound weird but I won’t recommend GREENHILLS SHOPPING CENTER this year! This is for the reason that the stalls MARKED UP prices way too high just because of the Christmas season! ¬†When I went there last week, there was this store selling Guess REPLICA bags for 7000 PhP when the REAL PRICE of the ORIGINAL bag in Guess stores is just ranging from 6000-8000. ¬†Why would you still buy there?! ¬†Shoes have also marked-up eh puro fake naman karamihan. Let us not be blinded by these shopping centers’ images. ¬†Be careful with what you buy still. ūüôā

So to all Pinoy Teens readers… I wish that we may all have a very meaningful and happy Christmas this year and a prosperous New Year! ūüôā I know this year has been very hard and bumpy for all of us in almost all aspects so this is our time to celebrate the gift of life that we still all have. ¬†Let us not forget to pray for our beloved who already went to a better place this year. ¬†It is okay to be sad but to be totally sad is something they themselves won’t like us to experience this yuletide seasons. ¬†I hope this article will help all of you shoppers there in choosing shopping places and visit the revitalized site next year pa rin ah! ūüôā ¬† And thanks for supporting my first year here in PTO. To my haters, sana masaya Pasko nyo kasi sa akin, masaya eh! ūüôā