Tacloban’s mall aspiration: Update

View latest update posted April 09, 2008

So I was not alone in my assessment on Tacloban’s need for a decent shopping center, even just a small mall. If my site’s statistics feedback is any indication, my post, “Tacloban’s mall aspiration” is currently among the top 5 visited posts!

So acceding to the request of many for updates on this development, here are the latest photos of Robinsons Mall Tacloban (yes, I went up again for some aerial shots!) 🙂




The building in the upper-left side of the photos above is not part of the mall development; it is a warehouse mart.



Photos above of Robinsons Mall Tacloban development taken Saturday, March 01, 2008

As expected, this development has prompted a response from the competition. A Taclobanon posted this reply on Gaisano Tacloban’ s plans to renovate its store at Justice Romualdez and also mentioned about plans to build another branch somewhere along Real St (exact location still unconfirmed).

Here’s the architect’s rendition of the proposed new Gaisano Capital Mall Tacloban:


View Architect Domark Ybañez Paquibot’s site here

View my earlier post on Tacloban’s mall aspiration

~ by gerryruiz on 3 March 2008.

78 Responses to “Tacloban’s mall aspiration: Update”

  1. man, all i wish is that they have decent cinemas and comic+books stores.

  2. Gosh, Gaisano shouldn’t be left behind (I mean Tacloban, shouldn’t). But it needs a competitor or competitors to wake up. And so, it is about time the likes of Gokongwei or Sy kept coming.

  3. Salamat. Fatima church ito nga aada ha background, ano? Nice concept from the Gaisano architect. Economic stimulus is what Tacloban needs as well.

  4. Yup, Fatima Church in Marasbaras.

  5. gerry, greatly appreciate your letting us see this development in tacloban, I look forward to the photos you post. Tacloban is definitely moving forward and it would be an added incentive to visit our city again and again.

  6. Pleasure’s mine, Marlyn. 🙂 What I am eagerly awaiting is the blueprint for the construction of the completely new Tacloban DZR Airport! THAT will surely be great! The architect is a friend of mine. 🙂

  7. Yes, Gerry, I am now a fan of yours. I have long been searching for that one in the net hoping they would post it – which I doubt… hehehe

    Will wait for that here in your site… I think I visit your site a minimum of 5 times a day…

  8. Hehehe! Thank you, sir! Balitaw, just got word from my friend architect that there’s no final design yet on the new airport, only preliminary studies. 🙂

  9. Finally!! This is near our house too. My dad was teasing my mom that walking to Robinsons will be her warm-up and going around the mall will be her exercise. LOL

  10. Thank you for posting this pics, Mr. Gerry. I always go online and search on google the mall development in Tacloban. I’m glad I found your site coz now I believe that it’s gonna push through because I can see it with my eyes thru your pics!

  11. The total area looks small, I hope they’re planning underground parking. Underground parking would be great. The cars don’t bake in the sun and people will be able to spend more time there, knowing they don’t have to get into a hot car. Thanks for the aerial shots…they always give a lot of info.

  12. Padi, i’m glad to see you’re enjoying your new hobby. I believe it will evolve into a commercial endeavor, and i congratulate you for that. It’s heartwarming to see a good friend doing things better than he usually does, or did in the past. Keep it up, idol!

  13. Thanks for your eloquent and kind verdict, Most Honorable Judge 🙂

  14. Hi, Gerry, this is Arch’t. Domark Y. Paquibot of the Gaisano Capital Group of Companies Store Planning and Development.

    The (company) president, Henry Gaisano has proposed to open the mall before Christmas. Good news for Tacloban!

    I appreciate your effort in posting the proposed new branch in Tacloban. Keep up the good work.

  15. Thank you, Architect Domark for bringing us the good news!

    Just some clarifications – a) Are you referring to the Gaisano Tacloban Justice Romualdez branch or to the one previously mentioned as being proposed to be put up in Real St? b) May we know where exactly in Real St is the proposed second branch going to be put up?

    Thanks a lot!

  16. Hello Gerry, I’m referring to the (Gaisano Tac) J. Romualdez St. which is an ongoing project (the one you’ve posted.) The proposed branch at Real St. is beside the gasoline station. You’d see a bodega inside; that’s the one I’m referring to as the other project. This is subject to observation of the first mall we put up in J. Romualdez.

  17. Thanks again for your time!

  18. do you have a copy of the blue print for the mall structure? If you have the copy, can you post it for your updates? Thank you for all this gerry…

  19. Sorry, but I don’t currently have a blue print on the proposed mall 😦 If ever I get hold of it, will post it here.

  20. It’s ok, no worries. I’m just too excited for this new shopping malls they’re putting up. It’s really about time for the Taclobanons to have a shopping mall… And of course, a new airport terminal. In this way, it will not only generate a lot of income for the city but as well as encourage a lot of investors. I have a good feeling that the city will be something great in the future, this is just a part of the beginning.

  21. I cannot agree with salabatog any more better. In my travels to other Philippine cities where one can easily see their respective development progress, the question would always pose itself to me: why are these things not happening (yet) in Tacloban? Is it purely an economic thing? Or are there other factors involved, like politics, the local constituency and the kind of local leadership we have had for decades? The bottom line is – we’ve been at the bottom for years; I see no other way but UP! 🙂

  22. Hi, I’m from Ormoc, I would like to inquire if the Gaisano Capital Group is also interested to build a mall here in Ormoc? I learned from an insider at Ormoc City Hall that the Gaisano’s bought a prime lot at Brgy. Alegria recently.

  23. wow, this is my first time to hear that there will be a new building for gaisano. that’s great, man, kasi kung wala kang mga photos here ’bout sa nangyayari sa leyte, hindi ko pa malalaman.

  24. ^
    Robinson’s construction site po yun nasa taas, yung new mall ng gaisano ay proposal pa lamang daw pero ung current dept store nila sa Justice irerenovate nila

  25. Wow… Thank you, Gerry for posting this sketch of Gaisano Mall. We greatly appreciate your sharing to us these pictures!

  26. Wanna share you something (about mall developments) in Cagayan de Oro City. In 2002, SM City came to CDO. Existing malls in the city were encouraged to renovate with the SM entry – a bigger mall to operate 8Km away from the city proper on the hilly place near the airport. Limketkai Mall spent a billion pesos to counter the arrival of SM City. Robinsons Supercenter expanded later inside Limketkai Business Center, Makro was later left behind, also 3 Ororamas Dept Stores and most of the 4 Gaisano Stores. But with the increase of business opportunities in Northern Mindanao, still only Limketkai Mall became one of the big and decent malls in Mindanao. The Gaisano’s on the other hand, countered the needs of our Muslim brothers in the Lanao area by putting up Gaisano Mall of Iligan which will open in the mid of 2008.

    Maybe this would also happen in Tacloban if Gaisano would counter the needs of the Leyteños and Samareños, and also welcome the entry of SM in the region. Tacloban has lots of potential since it is the center of trade and commerce in the region.

    Mr Ruiz, I would like to know if your roots come from Hinunangan? Thnx a lot.

  27. Hi whennacks theater. Nope, I’m not from Hinunangan. I was born and raised in Tacloban City – my father, though, hails from San Isidro, Nueva Ecija and my mother is from Palo, Leyte. 🙂

  28. Yes! Finally I don’t have to go to Cebu for National Bookstore.

  29. It’s wonderful to see Tacloban City progressing to a grand Regional Capital from a small colony of Palo.


  30. i’m just curious if the once republic theater building along justice romualdez is the one being renovated for a bigger gaisano mall? it seems to be a very big lot. keep us updated on this.

  31. Joel, I noticed this too but there seems to be no official announcement from Gaisano Tacloban. If the fact that there’s no renovation activity at the Tacloban Shopping Center (while work is in progress at the old Republic Theater) is any indication, then one can conclude that the J. Romualdez Gaisano that Architect Domark Paquibot is referring to is the old Republic Theater.

    On the other hand, the proposed Real branch of Gaisano is at the corner of Lukban & Real Streets, but this is still tentative.

  32. thanks gerry… i’m just excited to see these developments; there’s a lot as you pointed out on your web page. it matters a lot to us, gerry, these information you’ve been sharing with us. it’s been a long eight years since i’ve been home and finally december, this year is going to be the time! i miss Tacloban and the whole Leyte as well. there’s no place like home, right? i hope to see all these developments and hope they all get finished. no need for us to go over to Cebu. do keep us updated if you get some new info. thank you very much and more power to your web and your cafe with great food. godbless, we love you all.

  33. Gerry, when are you going to post recent pictures of the Robinsons construction? thanks! you really help us a lot who misses Leyte so much!

  34. is having a mall now measures the progress of an urban center? dumaguete has a mall but the economic status is still the same 15 years ago. so what’s the fuzz of having robinsons here in tacloban?

  35. @Toto, there really is no fuzz at all. It’s just the added convenience when buying things and the availability of more choices for the public consumers that matter. 😉

    As for its being posted here, it’s more of sharing this development to denizens of Tacloban who do not have much options when it comes to shopping, unlike others in other Philippine urban centers.

  36. yehey!!! diri na huron it tacloban!!! hehehehe

  37. while we are all going gaga and fanatically anticipating the rise of this giant mall, must we also understand the possible effects of this to the small and medium enterprises we already have right at the heart of the city. though progress is the real filling this city sandwhich of development, i cross my fingers that this really puts the greater welfare of the masa and the common tao in the most advantageous perspective…

    gerry, im a fan of ur blog for a quite a time now though its my first time to put a comment on a post. im currently writing an article about the rise of this mall and its effects to the mind set of the taclobanons in general.

    kudos sir!!!

  38. Hi Bert! Thanks for your comments; it’s well taken. Like I’ve always said, this mall development should be taken in the right context. What we have is a free market system. Sad to say, free enterprise will determine in the end which small businesses will thrive and progress (yes, some will do) and which ones will close shop (lousy service, pricing, etc.) In the end it’s the consumers – whether masa or elite – who will benefit. That’s the way it goes under our current political and economic system. To dream otherwise of some other scenarios is best reserved for academic classroom discussions.

    Remember the time when everybody spread the scare off with the entry of Gaisano into Tacloban? Did Tacloban small businesses die? I don’t think so. And what happened to the other cities in the Philippines with malls being built at a much faster rate than Tacloban – are they worse off now than before? Seems everybody’s doing just fine. 😉

  39. Gerry, could you please take pics of the newly installed traffic lights in Downtown?

  40. Basta it akon la masisiring – unta matima it new airport ha Tacloban – that will be great… maganda kasi pagka design ng architect… tsaka yong Robinson’s Mall. kasi nakakasawa na Gaisano ang liit2x.

  41. hi gerry, can you give us any updates with regards to gaisano and robinsons? we rely on you especially for us here overseas. We still yearn for news from our hometown everyday. Hope to see some pics if possible. Thanks a lot gerry and more power to you and the whole tacloban community. god bless.

  42. Hi Joel, construction is ongoing, no question about it, but you really cannot see anything visually appealing yet – it’s mostly steel thrusts & scaffolding stuff, no form yet of a building…

  43. hey, mr. ruiz… thanks for sharing all of these wonderful news to individuals like me who is craving for a big change in this very backward city… just want to ask you since your kinda privy to all the info regarding the said malls… can you post some of the possible stores opening in the malls? just dying to know if national bookstore or any popular bookstores in the country are putting up stores in the malls… thanks. really appreciate it since i’m looking for a novel by VLADIMIR NABOKOV and books by SALMAN RUSHDIE and i cant find them anywhere in the local bookstores… i’ll be waiting for your response 🙂

  44. Hey all – just returned from Tacloban. Word on the streets is that the new Robinsons is shooting for a Christmas-season opening. I sorta doubt it, but they are working 24/7 on it. As of July 17 is was steel girders and concrete forms, nothing more. But, I too, can’t wait. I have a home in So. Leyte and make monthly trips to Tacloban for shopping. Gaisano really needs to remodel, clean, and update its store, for sure! Robinsons will be good for T-town and, likely, SM won’t be far behind. Competition is good! I’m from the States, live in the States, and make yearly pilgrimages; family is there year-round.

  45. ^^ possibilities are endless my friend =)

  46. Hi, I’m new here, I was just looking around, trying to check some sites. I’m glad I found this site. I’m from Tacloban (San Jose) but I studied and now work here in Cebu, that is why I got surprised with all the changes in Tacloban these days. I haven’t been able to go home for awhile. Good thing Tacloban is starting to wake up, economic-wise. Thanks y’all…

  47. we here in butuan city have only one mall – gaisano mall, but the service of gaisano is not good – the mall is hot (ngatipid to think that the whole caraga region shops here), the cinemas maraming daga. robinson’s is land banking here, pero 5 to 8 years pa cguro sila magstart to construct, buti pa kayo nagconstruct na. i think gaisano management should not wait for robinson’s or any competitor para they improve their services and facilities.

  48. I’m from Tacloban as well but currently studying in Manila. Thank you for the pictures. I live in Marasbaras and I now have an aerial view of our subdivision. I’m glad Robinsons is opening up a mall in Tacloban. Progress at last. And it’s near our house as well. Hooray!

  49. ive studied in cebu for 5 years and prety much knew about the city. our downtown looks like colon but for me ours is cleaner. the city is too provincial but i like it more that way cz there is not much traffic and little pollution,if any. i like the weather here more cz even when you go out at noon,u only slightly feel the heat not like in cebu,gosh you feel baked!

  50. i hope SM will also set their business sights here. it would do great help for the people of samar and nearby towns for the sake of shopping convenience.

  51. and please for the people who`s running GAISANO, improve your boring shopping center. it’s more like a grocery store to me.

  52. good thing a mall is brewing up the city kay puro nala kita napapalibutan hin hardware store and gasoline station

  53. and to those small enterpreneurs,dont get afraid aaout the entry of robinsons doing business here,instead be challenged to improve and be more competitive. hello, as if tanan nga tawo adto ha mall mapalit.

  54. i hope this would signal the start of the urbanization of metro tacloban. be more cosmopolitan and sophisticated yet distinctly waray.

  55. nice one dandelionne..hehe.. based on what i have heard, next year daw SM is planning to have their mall in tacloban..

  56. I hope that SM hearsay wouldn’t be just for the grapevines. I hope it would materialize. I hope they would build it on a big swath of land, NOT next to a housing area. It should be bigger cuz it would cater to the whole of Region 8. The builders should plan it carefully so it would not congest the area in the future.

    I hope that if they wanna rush it, it should at least be of standard quality.

  57. hi, can u give the exact address of the robinson mall of tacloban? tnx…

  58. Robinson’s Mall Tacloban is located at Brgy 79, Marasbaras, Tacloban City. To view map of actual location, head on to: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=478159&highlight=gerryruiz&page=11

  59. hello! it is so nice to see your web site, i feel i’m in tacloban; di na ako na-homesick! salamat po…

  60. i had fun viewing.. i wish soon i could get you as my photographer on my wedding when i get back to tacloban…
    i’m happy to hear that there’s a robinson mall under construction. holy molly… great! good job!

  61. Hi everyone! I’m really looking forward for the opening of Robinson Mall in Tacloban.. I stayed in manila for so long time that i would definitely miss watching movies in big cinema w/c is only offered in huge malls like megamall, trinoma, gateway , mall of asia etc. so opening of Robinson Mall would be a blast to all Taclobanons and would definitely a huge success!!. I’m also looking for for the opening of National Bookstore!!!

    In addition, I’ve heard in the local news that SM would also start its construction here in Tacloban?

  62. Where part of Tacloban City???? The SM City Mall Tacloban?

  63. Any developments and current status for SM City Mall Tacloban Sir Gerry? how about Robinson’s Mall Tacloban, any infos when is the tentative date for its much awaited grand opening? Im planning to go home by Febraury glad if I can make it. Hahahhahahah….Thanks a lot!

  64. Hello Sir, thank you for this very informative Blog for taclobanos… Actually anhi la ako ha Tacloban pero nagbisita ako nganhi just to know when would be the opening of robinson. Pero right now, as I have learned different issues raised in this site, I will regularly visit here… Thanks haimo Sir

  65. I desire food that I am accustomed to in the USA, i.e., beans, (white-navy, pinto, red beans & rice, etc). Also COFFEE, not instant, not 3-in-1 instant! I could find all these things in Manila but not in Tacloban yet. Help!!! Thanx TED

  66. The latest I heard from a friend with a leased outlet at Robinson’s Tacloban is that they will have their formal opening (their outlet) on April 30, 2009.

  67. I think this date is probably tentative. The way I look at it, people are very excited with the opening of this small, but when you check the aerial view of the site, it looked like it could still take a few more years to complete. I don’t know how badly the Philippines is also affected by recession coz this could also slow down the construction process if from the business point of view they won’t be picking up much profit the way they have forcasted it if there is no recession. Just a thought…:)

  68. …maybe this is just a “wait and see situation”…if the economy and the spending power of the people will improve then they are going to hurry up the construction…or is it just regardless?

  69. The mall should have been built a long time ago… maybe during the time of Mayor Mate’s term. But it’s all politics and vested business interests han mga people connected with politicos that took almost 2 decades before this mall project could be realized. Now the mall is coming up but the timing is BAD as the global economy is in recession. God Bless, Taclobanons!!!

  70. Well, Filipinos view malls as a convenient place to buy necessary things in one place and, secondly, as a leisure center. That’s why malls here in the Philippines are always littered with people. Unlike in other countries where they view malls as a leisure center first. Besides, the Robinsons Mall houses shops that any Juan could afford, and not any high-end boutiques like Lacoste or Prada.

  71. OMG about time too! I hate being teased by my bf, he calls us “backwater” folks. A little insulting but I just call him an arrogant Manileño. Hehehe

    No chance in this being open by September, does it?

  72. Hi guys, I know everyone is excited about these mall openings and other developments. Not to dampen your excitement but please be discerning when hearing talks about the construction of another mall in this or that location or whatever: all these talks are speculative, based mostly on hearsay and rumors. If I have the facts ready, I would gladly share them here with you. Right now, it’s all speculative. Besides, some real estate people are engaged in such talks hoping to drive up prices of lots which they are selling.

  73. agree. boo realtors. hehe.

  74. Yehey!!!

  75. Tacloban is still a nice place to stay…bisan pa adto waray malls nakatalwas man..asay pa ba yana..dba..at least kita mo it transition…GODBLESS TACLOBAN…

  76. Yes, bisan akon Papa nalipay ini nga pag-open han Robinsons dinhi aton siudad han Tacloban. But, we hope soon there would be more to bless us! Yes…..:-> By the way, is there any new update for SM Mall here in Tacloban Sir Gerry?

    • As I’ve always said, it all boils down to economics. Everybody hopes SM would come in, but reality dictates – would our local economy be sufficient enough to support its feasibility? Right now, I personally think it would not. Not yet, anyway.

  77. I have just come home from Robinson’s Tacloban. We stopped in for lunch and had trouble finding a restaurant with a vacant table to sit. The whole mall is overflowing with people. We need SM now, not in 2 years from now.

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