Shopping Centers in Iloilo City

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The Atrium Shopping Center, Iloilo City, Philippines

The Atrium Shopping Center, Iloilo City, Philippines

The centrally-located  “Atrium” Shopping Center on General Luna Street,  contains a parking garage, the Day’s Hotel, a large branch of the Iloilo Supermarket and several restaurants (including a two-story McDonald’s) and shops. The “Home Store” is one of the best places to buy fancy kitchen and household appliances, equipment and accessories.  (but also see HERE) The Iloilo Supermarket at the Atrium has the best selection of imported food in Iloilo City — and the best prices.  They also stock salad greens and herbs.  The seafood is also good but more expensive than at the public markets.  We’re so pleased that the Tinapayan Bakery is now producing excellent whole wheat and multi-grain breads, by far the best in Iloilo City.  It’s a favorite of ours. You’ll see more expats at the Atrium than just about any other place in Iloilo City.

Iloilo Supermarket at the Atrium

If you shop at any branch of the Iloilo Supermarket you’ll find it hard to keep its jingle out of your head!

SM City Shopping Center, Iloilo City Philippines

SM City Shopping Center, Iloilo City Philippines

SM City is the mecca, the holy grail of “malling” in Iloilo City.  It’s the biggest mall (and the noisiest) in Iloilo. It’s packed on weekends. It provides far more big mall buzz than its Iloilo competitors.  I find the acoustics and piped in music to be disorienting, sort of like being trapped in a karaoke bar. Perhaps that’s the buzz they are shooting for.

Still, the selection of shops and restaurants is vast; every food chain, hardware, music, movies, clothing, photo processing — everything.

There is a large SM grocery store on lower level  To me, the below grade location of the grocery area has a bit of a mustiness to it.  It’s not our favorite.

If you’re driving, SM City can be convenient because they have lots of free outdoor parking.  Depending on where you live, it can be two jeepney rides to SM City.

Robinson’s Place, Iloilo City

Robinson's Place, Iloilo City

Robinson’s Place, Iloilo City

Robinson’s is a major Iloilo City mall.  For me, it has some advantages over SM City.  It’s not in a isolated island outside the city proper.  Robinson’s is downtown.  It’s easy to walk from Robinson’s to the Central Market, the Super Market, banks, restaurants, the downtown Iznart-JM Basa shopping area and all the other amenities of the city.  I find Robinson’s be a more enjoyable and little less chaotic and noisy  experience than SM City.  It does not feel like a big noisy box.  Robinson’s has the usual panoply of chain restaurants and retail outlets but not really comparable to SM City. To us, Robinson’s Supermarket is the cleanest in the city.  It’s not the cheapest.

Robinson’s has an attached, large, free parking garage so it’s easy to park, leave your car and do all your downtown errands from this central location.

There are many other shopping centers in Iloilo City; Marymart, Gaisano, Gaisano City and so forth but don’t overlook shopping at the public markets, especially the Central Market and the Super

Iloilo Public Market or Central Market

Iloilo Public Market or Central Market

Market where you can buy fresher, better quality food for less. Vegetables in the markets often cost half of what they do in the supermarkets and the quality is much better.  We generally drive to the Iloilo Central Market early on Sunday morning. There’s little traffic then and we can park steps away from the market.

The Iloilo Public Market offers meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables.  The “terminal” of “super” market near Robinson’s has a bigger, fresher selection and better prices on vegetables.  It’s where many vendors in other markets buy their produce to resell.

On our last trip there (9-22-08) we bought

  • Very, very fresh Speckled Grouper for P200 per kilo or about $US 2.00 per pound.  You pay twice as much in a supermarket.  It was so fresh it only smelled of saltwater, not fish.   I poached it and served it with a butter-caper sauce.  Iloilo is a paradise for seafood lover!
  • Broccoli (a luxury food here) P120 per kilo.
  • Extra-large eggs P60 per dozen
  • Carrots P75 per kilo
  • Very nice green beans P40 per kilo
  • Potatoes P50 kilo
Dried fish section Iloilo City Central Market

Dried fish section Iloilo City Central Market

Also, don’t overlook supporting the traditional downtown Iloilo shopping areas, especially Iznart Street and JM Basa.  It’s a bit more adventuresome but you will find bargains and some local color.  There’s no question that the big malls, especially SM City has drawn shoppers from downtown.  Wanting to see this colorful old historic Calle Real downtown district to survive and thrive, I’m hoping that as the cost of energy and air conditioning rises that rents and prices will rise at the malls, giving the old downtown a new lease on life as a mecca for bargain hunters.

More about Iloilo public markets: /iloilo-public-markets-and-market-days/

Comments (2) Write a comment

  1. One of the best blogs I ever encountered. Almost everything about Iloilo is here. But I feel this needs to be updated regularly.

    Congratulations for you good work!

    I will aways recommend to friends who want to visit / stay for good in iloilo.

    Reply

  2. Hi bob just reading over some of your archives the one i can relate to most is the shopping centres ,when i stayed in davao we went to sm mall for sopping the first horror was how will i know what i am buying it willl all be in tagalog but when i went in ahhh it was in english , i didnt get to go to the markets one of the dissapointments but i agree sm malls are just like here in australia (except for the security gaurds) i even took a photo of the body shop there as it was identical to the one here in adelaide , had a bit of trouble getting my head around eating rice with all our takeaway though , broke a tooth in mc donalds didnt realize that i could have got it fixed cheaper and probably better there ,things you learn am enjoying reading different articles that you have written ie: war memorials ect
    regards chris & ana snell

    Reply

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