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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrLocated at 8 ADB Avenue in the business district of Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong in the Philippines, The Podium is one of the newer upscale shopping malls that offer luxury and convenience. This mall has a light-filled and airy ambiance owing to the glass sunroofs. It is just across the Discovery Suites Hotel. Surrounding the mall is El Pueblo Real de Manila which is another small mall, SM Megamall, St. Francis Square, and Shangri-la Plaza. Just five minutes' away is the Asian Development Bank and the corporate headquarters of San Miguel Corporation, one of the Philippine’s biggest companies.
The development is a joint venture of Keppel Land Limited of Singapore and SM Prime Holdings of the popular SM Malls. In the 40 years of its retail business, The Podium is SM’s first venture in the upscale market, young professionals and high-income shoppers looking for luxury and exclusivity including residents of high-end villages within the area of the mall.
HistoryThe five-story mall with its unique curved shop fronts bordering the atrium opened in August 22, 2002. It had a net leasable area of 17,500 square meters with more than a hundred tenants. The BDO Corporate Center, the new headquarters of Banco de Oro, is an office tower at the top of the mall. The ongoing expansion that is expected to be finished by 2016 will be 5 stories high with levels of basement parking adding 34,000 square meters of leasable space.
What to See and Do
ShoppingThough it is relatively small compared to its neighboring malls, The Podium has high-end retail shops featuring popular and high-end brands of clothes, gadgets; home appliances, furniture; sporting goods, Italian leather goods; and more. Perhaps the only shops where you can get inexpensive items are National Bookstore, the biggest bookstore in the Philippines where you can find a range of office and school supplies and CDR-King that sells cheap computer accessories and electronic items.
Philip Stein is a young brand that has gained popularity for creating high quality iconic watches and sleep bracelets. Topshop is a British company known for its clothes, shoes; bags, accessories; and makeup. Dorothy Perkins is another UK high street brand that is targeted for women ages 25 to 35 with clothes, bags; purses, shoes; accessories. Charriol is a Swiss brand sought after for its iconic bangles with a well-known Celtic twisted cable motif design. Their shop at The Podium also sells their iconic St Tropez and Columbus wristwatches, jewelry and accessories like belt, bag, pen and wallet.
DiningThe Podium houses over thirty upscale restaurants and food shops that are perfect for power lunches or business meetings over a cup of coffee but they are not for those on a tight budget as the prices are in the higher level. It is geared for those who are willing to spend more for some delicious crepes or a plate of Italian pasta.
Café de Bonifacio is an upscale restaurant that serves favorite Filipino dishes prepared with a twist like Chili Garlic Butter Prawns, Crispy to the Bone Hito ni Ka Freddie, and Sisig ala Rebolusyonaryo. House of Wagyu is a high-end steakhouse that serves Grade 8 Wagyu beef. Must-tries are Wagyu 8 Premium Ribeye 8 oz and Striploin 8 oz at ₱3,100 ($68)+ served with Soup of the Day. Madeca is a Filipino-Mexican restaurant that combines the best of both cuisines serving dishes like Sisig Burrito, Lechon Kawali Mexikanin, and Spinach & Mushroom Quesadillas.
Another restaurant worth trying is Brasas which is the first in Metro Manila that specializes in Latin American Street Food with dishes like Brazil Brazil churrascaria, Patacones; Beef Grilled Wrap, Lomo Saltado; and Puerco Asado Cuba. Those who love Japanese food must try Kimono Ken which has a modern fusion menu with signature dishes like Agedashi Tofu, Nippon Hamburger Steak, and Crunchy Wasabi Wanton aside from its array of sushi, sashimi; teppanyaki, maki; donburi, tempura; and yakimono.
EntertainmentSpend an hour or two at any of the two state-of-the-art movie theaters at the fifth level of the mall that show the latest local or foreign titles. There are also regular musical shows of popular singers and theater performances by the local theater group, Trumpets Philippines. For special occasions like New Year’s Eve, mall-goers are in for a treat with amazing fireworks display and special restaurant dishes.
Kidsville at the fourth level is ideal for kids who want to have fun. There is a mini village with a village shoppe, barn; a real vintage VW Beetle car, Little Tikes cars; café, and a hospital where kids can pretend to be doing grown-up activities.
Mall HoursThe Podium is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays to Sundays.
How to Get ThereTake a taxi and tell the driver to take you to The Podium near ADB. By MRT Line 3, get off at Ortigas station, go down the stairs. Take a taxi or walk along EDSA going north. Turn right at the first intersection which is Guadix Drive and then go straight until you reach the corner of Guadix Drive and ADB Avenue. Turn right at ADB Avenue and go past the Asian Development Bank and the parking area and on to The Podium. By bus, get off at the Megamall bus stop. Follow the same route above or go to SM Megamall Building A and exit at the back. Cross to St. Francis Square and right behind it is The Podium.
Travel TipsKeep your belongings close to you since thieves are just waiting to take them away from you the moment that your attention is diverted or if your things are left behind even for just a minute.
Credit cards are generally accepted in the mall but in case there are stores that do not accept internationally-issued cards or else add on exorbitant charges, it is best to be prepared with ready cash.
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Author: janblim. Last updated: Feb 20, 2015